Halie (Kwanxwa’logwa) Bruce is a member of the Namgis/Kwa’kwa’kawakw Nation who was called to the Bar in 2008. Her practice areas include Aboriginal law, family law, child welfare, fisheries law, Indigenous laws and governance, and Aboriginal business law. She has devoted part of her practice to restorative justice, including writing Gladue Reports for bail, sentencing and appeal courts in BC.
Halie attended Simon Fraser University before attaining a Bachelor of Laws degree from UBC. She has 25 years of experience working with Indigenous communities, and Indigenous, provincial and federal governments, and businesses. She has extensive training in mediation and alternative dispute resolution through courses taken at the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, Justice Institute of BC, and the Social Justice Mediation Institute. Prior to attending law school, Halie was an Administrator for a Province-wide aboriginal organization, where she had extensive experience in management and staff and employment issues. She has worked with members of different aboriginal communities from across B.C., Canada and internationally, to explore traditional mechanisms for resolving various land, resource, social policy and internal community disputes.
Ardith (Walpetko We’dalx) Walkem is a member of the Nlaka’pamux Nation who has practiced in the areas of Indigenous law since she was called to the Bar in 1996. She has training in interest-based mediation as well as social justice mediation, and a Masters Degree focusing on Indigenous laws. She has worked collaboratively with Indigenous communities to develop dispute resolution models based on Indigenous laws, including the in the areas of child welfare and lands and resources. Her focus is on finding ways to make space within the Canadian legal system for the recognition of Indigenous laws, and this has included in the areas of child and family wellness (finding ways to reassert and reclaim Indigenous laws in this area) and also exploring laws about land and resource use.
She has owned and operated a law firm (Walkem and Associates a Law Corporation, previously Ardith Walkem a Law Corporation) for eighteen years. She has acted at all levels of court, including the Provincial, the B.C. Supreme Court, B.C. Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada as part of the legal team in R. v. Morris. Ardith has a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University (Major Political Science, Minor Women’s Studies); Bachelor of Laws from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Laws from the University of British Columbia. In addition, she has taught at the UBC Faculty of Law.
Ardith has published and spoken extensively in the area of Indigenous Peoples and the law.