Ian was born and raised in a settler family in amiskwaciy-wâskahikan (Edmonton, Alberta), on Treaty 6 territory. He now lives and works in Vancouver, on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Ian is a law reform-oriented lawyer with a passion for helping redesign and decolonize legal and governance structures to be more aligned with the needs of both communities and Nature. Ian was called to the bar in BC in 2017 and Alberta in 2019 and has since provided a wide range of governance- and advocacy-related legal services to local governments, non-profits, businesses, Indigenous-led organizations, and Indigenous governments.
While experienced at navigating the broad range of legal questions that come before Indigenous governments, Ian has particular interest and experience in supporting lawmaking, effective governance, and agreement negotiation and enforcement relating to land use planning, child and family welfare, resource development, consultation, and implementation of UNDRIP. Ian also works with Indigenous governments in implementing novel forms of environmental governance, with a view to always centering the revitalization of Indigenous legal orders.
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Ian contributed to numerous dimensions of the sustainability sector, including community organizing, community garden management, climate policymaking, and deliberative public engagement. Ian holds a Juris Doctor and a Master of Public Administration from Queen’s University, and has worked in Kenya supporting and learning from Indigenous communities pushing for greater protection for and recognition of their environmental rights. He currently sits on the boards of Foodlands Cooperative of BC and CityHive, and is a member of the IUCN’s World Commission on Environmental Law.
- Law Society of British Columbia
- Law Society of Alberta (non-practising)
- IUCN’s World Commission on Environmental Law