Pamela Shields – Kainai

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Pamela Shields
Pamela Shields

I am a member of the Kainai Nation, (Blood Band) of Southern Alberta, part of the Blackfoot Confederacy. I am an Indian Residential School Survivor and attended St. Paul’s Indian Residential School.

As the Manager of Aboriginal Services, Legal Services Society of British Columbia (Legal Aid) I designed and implemented projects and services for Aboriginal people, focussed on improving access to justice. Projects included development of a child protection mediation component as part of circuit courts, and duty counsel for Aboriginal courts; I also developed the Gladue report writers program for Legal Aid.

I am a British Columbia licensed lawyer, and I have developed Gladue training to promote Gladue rights throughout Canada with workshops for lawyers and advocates. Partners include Legal Aid Saskatchewan, the Justice Institute BC, and the Cree Regional Authority, northern Quebec. My website, Gladuereports.org is a portal for Gladue resources such as current caselaw, law journal articles, media reporting and report writing training curriculum.

I am currently studying for the Washington State Bar with a goal of legal representation for criminal and family cross-border issues. My area of interests are advocating for legal rights for disenfranchised people, particularly women, and children and also the impact of border law and polices on American Indians/First Nations whose traditional territory straddles the border.

At the University of California, I was adjunct professor and lectured a survey course in Native American culture, and developed a curriculum based on Native American art and literature; the purpose was to provide context for critical analysis of indigenous history and government policies in Canada and the US.

I am a volunteer with Seattle’s Urban Indian Legal Clinic.

I am a visual artist with a Master of Fine Arts from Mills College, Oakland, California. My emphasis is photography.