Laura Edwards

Associate

They/Them/Theirs
  • ledwards@jfklaw.ca
  • P 250-999-1395
  • 816-1175 Douglas Street, Victoria BC V8W 2E1

Laura was raised on the traditional territory of the Siksikaitsitapi, Tsuut’ina, Stoney Nakoda, Cree, Saulteaux, and Metis territory in Red Deer, Alberta. They are grateful to live, work, and learn in lək̓ʷəŋən territory on the lands of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations.

Laura holds a Juris Doctor specializing in Environmental Law and Sustainability from the University of Victoria. During law school, Laura completed a clinical intensive term with the Environmental Law Centre, and they were the president of OUTLaws and the Law Students’ Society.

Laura is committed to using their legal practice to support Indigenous communities to assert their inherent right to self governance, to protect and defend their Aboriginal and treaty rights, and to seek redress for historical wrongs. They are drawn to the practice of Aboriginal law because they believe that advancing Indigenous rights and supporting Indigenous peoples is the only way to repair the social and environmental damages inflicted on Indigenous peoples and their traditional territories by the colonial legal system. Their work is driven by compassion and respect for Indigenous communities and a recognition that as a settler they must use their skills and resources to continually work towards decolonizing themself and helping others.

Laura is passionate about social justice, intersectional equality, and LGBTQ2SI issues. They have volunteered extensively with LGBTQ2SI organizations and clubs, and they currently volunteer with PBSC’s Trans-ID Clinic.

Prior to law, Laura worked as a field biologist/ecologist in Alberta specializing in wetlands, riparian areas, and impacts to freshwater ecosystems. Through their work experience and education, they have developed a deep appreciation of the environmental challenges that intersect with the law and communities.

In Laura’s spare time they love to travel and be outside as much as possible. They enjoy playing roller derby with Victoria’s Eves of Destruction roller derby league, hiking, cycling, swimming, crafting, watching sci-fi/fantasy shows and bad reality TV, and hanging out with their cat.

Practice Focus:

Specific Claims

Complex Negotiations

First Nations Governance

Water Law, Rights, and Governance

Indian registration (status)

Administrative Law

Environmental Law

Education and Professional Affiliations

University of Victoria, Juris Doctor, with a specialization in Environmental Law and Sustainability, 2019

University of Alberta, Bachelor of Science with Honours in Biological Sciences – Ecology, 2013

Member, Law Society Yukon, 2024

Member, Law Society of British Columbia, 2020

Member, Advocates Society

Member, Canadian Bar Association

Publications and Presentations

2024 – Bill C-61 – the First Nations Clean Water Act and Implications for Drinking Water Conditions on First Nations’ Lands, Presentation to the Canadian Bar Association – British Columbia Aboriginal Law Section

2024 – Canada Introduces Bill C-61: First nations Clean Water Act, JFK Law LLP Blog Post

2024 – The Federal Court of Appeal overturns the Specific Claims Tribunal’s assessment of the Crown’s pre and post-surrender fiduciary duties, JFK Law LLP Blog Post

2020 – Panelist for University of Victoria Gender and Climate Justice Panel

2019 – BC Introduces Novel Legislation to Implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, JFK Law LLP Blog Post

Highlights

  • Developed a land code for a First Nation

  • Advise First Nations on drinking water rights and guide feedback on federal drinking water legislation

  • Appeared before the Specific Claims Tribunal for oral history hearings of Indigenous Elders

  • Advise First Nations on the implementation and impact of UNDRIP

  • Successful costs order against industry in a regulatory proceeding

  • Assess and advise the strength of potential specific claims

Publications

JFK Law Welcomes several new members to our support team

JFK Law is pleased to introduce Susan Tito, Sumandeep Kaur, Hilary Bressette, Sajina Gnaneswaran and Ezza Ali to our

Treaty implementation takes place in the routine decisions of government officials

The Federal Court sides with Nunavut Inuit and upholds the Nunavut Agreement in overturning a decision of the Department