Patricia Lawrence (but outside of work most people call me ‘Pat”)

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Patricia Lawrence

Where did you grow up?

I was an army brat, so that’s a bit of a trick question. I was born in Halifax (land of the Wabanaki Confederacy and Mi’kmaq), then lived for about 5 years in Belleville, Ontario (land of the Anishinaabe, Huron-Wendat and Haudenosaunee) before we moved to Ottawa (land of the St. Lawrence Iroquoians, Anishinaabe, Mohawk, Huron-Wendat and Algonquin). I lived in Ottawa for 7 years (just long enough to become fluent in French) and then, after my Dad passed away, we moved to Cornwall, Ontario (land of the St. Lawrence Iroquoians, Mohawk, Huron-Wendat and Haudenosaunee) where I spent my high school years.

What is your favourite food?

Hmmm … there aren’t many foods I don’t like, but if I had to pick one I would probably say lobster (or anything chocolate!!)

Describe a perfect Saturday.

It would definitely be spent with my family, probably at our cottage. I would sleep in a little, and then get up and make a nice brunch for everyone. We would persuade our teenage kids to head out on our kayaks for a family paddle (or maybe, just maybe, talk them into joining us for 9 holes of golf). We would have a barbecue for dinner and then sit around a campfire singing songs together (the rest of my family is quite musical … sadly, I’m not).

What do you love about your job?

I went into law school not knowing much about Indigenous legal issues but from the first course I took in Aboriginal law, I knew that I wanted to work in this area of the law. I was always interested in history and the legal issues we deal with are so steeped in history that every case I get involved in teaches me something new. There are no simple solutions to the issues we deal with, but helping our clients seek to remedy historical wrongs and work towards reconciliation is something that I find deeply rewarding.

Kayaking on the lake!

What areas of law are you passionate about?

Aboriginal law and Indigenous legal issues are definitely at the top of the list, but I’m also a bit of a constitutional law “nerd”. I began my career working for the Canadian Human Rights Commission, so human rights and equality issues are also issues that I feel pretty passionate about.

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