ELCS Board


The ELC’s Board of Directors is comprised of diverse and experienced members, including law students, lawyers, law professors, and members of the community. The Board supervises and directs the Society’s activities and is led by an elected student executive. All branches work collectively to create a collaborative and productive environment.
Lisa Fong, QC

Lisa Fong, QC

Community Board Member

Lisa Fong, QC is a lawyer at Ng Ariss Fong. Her practice is a blend of administrative, aboriginal and environmental litigation, and advising governmental bodies. She is honoured to be able to assist Aboriginal peoples with their legal representation and governance needs. Her work with Aboriginal groups extends to litigation, providing strategic advice, consulting or negotiating with government and third parties, and assisting her clients to build and maintain governance infrastructures. She and her firm have a special interest in environmental regulatory reviews. She represented Heiltsuk First Nation and Kitasoo Xai’Xais First Nation in challenging the Governor in Council’s decision to proceed with the Northern Gateway Enbridge Pipeline before the Federal Court of Appeal.

Clare Frater

Clare Frater

Community Board Member, Co-Chair

Clare Frater is the Director of Trust Area Services for the Islands Trust. In that role, she supports a team working on a variety of environmental advocacy campaigns focused on protecting the islands and waters of the Salish Sea, as well as communications, policy development and land protection. Previously, Clare has worked for the BC Ministry of Environment, the Islands Trust Conservancy and Habitat Acquisition Trust.

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Brenda Gaertner

Community Board Member

Brenda Gaertner, since joining Mandell Pinder in 1986, has worked with Indigenous peoples in their pursuit of the recognition of Indigenous and Aboriginal title and rights, modern self-governance, resource governance and management, project agreements, economic development, and nation-to-nation and government-to-government agreements. Brenda’s experience and expertise allow her to contribute legal, policy and negotiation skills to a myriad of projects and teams.  Her decades of experience have honed her abilities to work respectfully, to identify solutions, and find paths forward, even in difficult situations. 

For decades Brenda has actively listened to Indigenous leaders, elders and knowledge holders.  She has been taught that building respectful relationships with Indigenous peoples and effecting transformative change are foundational to reconciliation. She has helped many First Nations find unique solutions to reach their goals, including collaborative governance and management agreements, mutual benefit agreements, impact benefit agreements, shared territory agreements, and First Nation-to-First Nation protocols.

Brenda is deeply committed to working with Aboriginal people in their pursuit of the recognition of their inherent and aboriginal title and rights to healthy ecosystems, fish, and aquatic resources. Aware of the vulnerabilities facing fresh and marine water ecosystems, she is honoured to work with Nations who are proactively managing these precious resources. 
Brenda is a long-standing member of Mandell Pinder LLP’s specific claims team.  She remains committed to helping to resolve these historic wrongs and sees such resolution as a necessary part of reconciliation. 

Representative Work
Brenda is a member of the Coastal First Nations team who helped eight Coastal Nations achieve their 2021 Fisheries Resources Reconciliation Agreement, including its collaborative governance and management schedule. 

Brenda was the lead negotiator for the Fraser Salmon Management Council, an Indigenous organization working on behalf of 71 First Nations, who in 2019 achieved their Fraser Salmon Collaborative Governance and Management Agreement. 
Brenda assisted the Broughton Nations in achieving their 2018 agreement with the Province regarding the transition of open pen atlantic salmon fish farms, and their 2019 Indigenous Monitoring and Inspection Agreement with the farmers. 

Brenda has represented numerous First Nation Coalitions before the courts on fish related matters.  She is currently counsel for the First Nation Coalition in the Discovery Island Judicial Review in the Federal Court.  Brenda served as senior counsel for the First Nations Coalition in the Cohen Inquiry on Fraser River Sockeye and has represented First Nation clients before both the National Energy Board and Joint Federal and Provincial Review Panels.

In 2011, after decades of negotiations, Brenda assisted the St’at’imc Chiefs Council reach their historic agreement with BC Hydro and the Province of BC regarding the footprint and ongoing impacts of hydroelectric projects in their Territory.

She is a board member of the Pacific Salmon Foundation.

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Darcy Lindberg

Faculty Board Member

Darcy Lindberg is an Assistant Professor with the Uvic Faculty of Law. He is mixed-rooted
néhiyaw, with his relations coming from Samson Cree Nation in Alberta and the Battlefordarea
in Saskatchewan. Darcy teaches on Indigenous legal traditions (specifically Cree law and
Cree governance), constitutional law, and ecological governance through Indigenous legal
orders. His current academic journeying involves the relationship between néhiyaw peoples
and the ’more-than-human’ world, and the role of Cree law in governing those
relations. Darcy knows there are many hills to walk upon and rivers to put hands in, and wants
to bring his two young ones along on those journeys.

Nikki Skuce

Nikki Skuce

Community Board Member

Nikki Skuce is the Director of the Northern Confluence Initiative, a project on Tides Canada’s shared platform. Northern Confluence is an initiative based out of Smithers that focuses on land-use decisions in northern BC and strives for the greater conservation and protection of wild salmon watersheds. Nikki has over 20 years experience in the non-profit sector working toward environmental and social justice on local, national and international levels. She worked with ForestEthics (now Stand) on stopping the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines and tanker project and on protecting the Sacred Headwaters. For several years Nikki worked with One Sky on policy and practical programs in Canada, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Peru. She began to focus on energy issues after coordinating Canadian NGOs around the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 and spent years advocating for renewable solutions at all levels of government. Nikki has volunteer board experience, including with Langara College, Wet’zinkwa Community Forest and currently on the Bulkley Valley Community Arts Council. She holds a degree in Canadian Studies and International Relations from the University of British Columbia. She lives with her Argentine partner, daughter Lucia and son Felix on Wit’suwit’en territory.

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Karenna Williams

Community Board Member

Karenna Williams is Turtle Clan Kanyenke:háka (Mohawk) from Six Nations, Grand River Territory, Ontario. She carries on her grandmother’s teaching that a career must be of service to Indigenous peoples. Karenna is primarily a litigator advocating for Indigenous peoples’ rights, title, cultures, languages and ways of life. Her litigation is strategic and bettered by the relationships she maintains with her clients. She remains grateful for their teachings.

She provides effective, passionate and creative advocacy for clients. Although she acts within the Canadian legal system as a lawyer, Karenna does her best to live under the Kayanerenkó:wa, or Great Law of Peace of the Haudenosaunee. Her commitment to her own ways of being permeates her work. A proud Onkwehonwe (original, or Indigenous, person), she believes that Indigenous peoples and laws are powerful and deserve respect. She has appeared at all levels of court in British Columbia, at the Federal Court, and the Supreme Court of Canada as well as the Manitoba Queen’s Bench, the Ontario Superior Court and Court of Appeal.
 

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Logan Aitken

Student Board Member

Logan Aitken is a second year JD candidate at University of Victoria. He received a BCom in Finance and Sustainability from the University of British Columbia and previously worked using capital to resolve climate issues by designing an energy efficiency retrofit financing program for two large cities. Logan has consulted on sustainability and social entrepreneurship projects for 13 different organizations including non-profits, corporations, academic institutions, and governments. His interest in environmental issues stems from his love of the outdoors and activities like hiking, rock climbing, surfing, skiing, and mountain biking.

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Samantha Andison

Student Board Member

Samantha Andison is a second year JD Candidate at the University of Victoria. She has a Master’s degree in Professional Communication from Ryerson University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree with an Honours Specialization in Political Science from Western University. Samantha’s Master’s research focused on political communications strategies used by the Green Party of Canada leadership to (de)emphasize their environmental agenda. Samantha has worked and volunteered in numerous communications positions in the environmental space, and is currently serving as the Communications Coordinator for the Environmental Law Club at UVic. When she is not at school, Samantha enjoys exploring Victoria on her road bike and touring the city’s local coffee shops and restaurants.

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Allison Bilenkey

Student Board Member

Allison Bilenkey is a second-year JD student at UVic, from Ottawa, Ontario. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Global Development and Political Studies at Queen’s University where she focused on the intersection of environmental justice and Indigenous resurgence. Allison’s interests include Indigenous governance, environmental law, and sustainable development. She
enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with friends and family. Allison looks forward to supporting the important work the ELC does!

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Sophie Chase

Student Board Member

Sophie Chase is a JD candidate in her second year at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law. A settler of European descent, Sophie completed her BSc on the traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit. At the University of Toronto, Sophie studied Environmental Biology and Forest Sciences. Her topics of focus were sustainable growth and peri-urban conservation, as well as macroevolution. As an undergraduate, Sophie was an active member of the UofT Forestry Student Union and the Victoria College Sustainability Commission. Sophie’s legal interests include access to justice and community-driven education. Outside of school, Sophie can be found at the pottery studio or the climbing gym.

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James Mager

Student Board Member, Co-Chair

James Mager is a JD candidate at the University of Victoria. Raised in Toronto, he has lived in British Columbia for nearly ten years. James completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Victoria majoring in political science and environmental studies. Outside of school you can find him cycling, skiing, or reading down by the ocean.

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Eric Shapiro

Student Board Member

Eric Shapiro (he/him) is a JD candidate at the University of Victoria. He moved here from Edmonton, AB (Treaty 6 territory), where he grew up exploring the beautiful river valley network. He previously attended the University of Alberta where he studied sociology with a focus on environmental studies and human geography. He is spending the summer of 2022 working with Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Wildlife Service. In his time not consumed by law school and related topics, he loves to read fiction, bake bread, hike, and spend time with his partner and family.

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Megan Walwyn

Student Board Member

Megan Walwyn is a second year JD student at UVic, from Vancouver, BC. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Biology at UBC Okanagan, where she completed an honours thesis focused on how molecular ecology may be used as a tool in conservation. Megan’s interests include environmental law, conservation and biodiversity, and the role of the law in combatting the climate crisis. Megan is interested in backpacking, skiing, reading, and walking her parent’s duck tolling retriever. She is excited to be a part of the ELC and contribute to the field of environmental law at UVic!

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Margaret Williams

Student Board Member

Margaret Williams is a second year student at UVic Law from Hamilton, Ontario. She graduated from Queen’s University in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in History. Margaret is particularly interested in the fields of environmental, Indigenous and water law. In her spare time, Margaret can be found training for a half-marathon, and hiking with friends.

Sean Price

Sean Price

Advisor

Sean Price is a second year law student at the UVic Faculty of Law. Sean has a bachelor’s
degree in Applied Economics from Queen’s University, where he focused on carbon pricing
mechanisms and environmental economics. Sean has worked as a sustainability consultant
in both the public and private sectors, and is interested in social entrepreneurship and
spreading his passion for sustainable business. In his free time Sean likes to read about
current events, spend time outside, and be with his friends and family.

Lydia Young

Lydia Young

Advisor

Lydia Young is a JD candidate at the UVic Faculty of Law and has a BSc in Kinesiology from UVic. Lydia was inspired to pursue environmental law after her experience wildland firefighting exposed her to the impacts of worsening fires and floods on local communities. Her career interests are to explore ways to implement significant and viable policy change for mitigation and adaptation against climate change. Lydia spends as much of her free time as possible outside either rock climbing or hiking. She loves to volunteer with her community and is a Climate Action Research Team Leader with the Greater Victoria Acting Together Alliance and co-president of the ELC Club.