Darian Baskatawang

Associé

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Darian Baskatawang is an Associate and Class Counsel for the First Nations Drinking Water Class Action settlement agreement. He is a two-spirit Anishinaabe man of the Loon clan in Whitesand First Nation.

Darian grew up on a small reserve in northern Ontario, surrounded by the wisdom and care of cousins, aunties, uncles, grandmas and grandpas. He was mentored by his community’s advocates and attended meetings on behalf of Whitesand from an early age, first starting at the age of 13.

As a young advocate, Darian volunteered as a youth representative for the Independent First Nations and Chiefs of Ontario on top of his school work. Like many Indigenous youth, Darian advocated with community in mind and considerations for how children and youth can achieve their full potential. As representative from the Independents, Darian sat on the Leadership Council of the Chiefs of Ontario and maintained portfolios in education, child welfare, and justice. He focused on advocacy for children and youth believing that they alone are our fortune and sole hope for the future. Darian is guided by values and principles his great-grandmother taught him, which knit Indigenous nations together: kindness, humbleness, respect, collaboration and laughter.

After a few years as a youth representative from the Independent First Nations and Chiefs of Ontario, Darian began further advocacy in roles advising federal and provincial cabinet ministers, and the leaders of both orders of government. He has held roles working in the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada and advising former Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne.

Darian maintains a broad practice in First Nations governance, class actions, child welfare, land claims and community emergency matters. He is a member of the Law Society of Ontario and the Indigenous Bar Association.

Darian enjoys runs along dirt roads, paddling, re-watching Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, and playing Halo.

Representative Work

  • Prosecuted constitutional challenges in both Federal Court and Manitoba Court of King’s Bench to bring about clean, safe drinking water in First Nations across Canada, resulting in the largest settlement in Canadian history, valued at more than $8 billion. Darian leads community outreach on behalf of the OKT team.
  • Represented the Chiefs of Ontario in responding to the Assembly of First Nations and Canada’s joint motion to accept the terms of the Removed Children, Trout and Moushoom Class Actions final settlement agreement in front of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, valued over $20 billion.
  • Assisted in the negotiation and implementation of the Ontario – Anishinabek Nation Master Education Agreement, breathing life into the largest sectoral self-governance agreement in Canada.
  • Assisted community leadership negotiate with the Crown and an energy provider in towards settlement agreement.
  • Advised various Cabinet Ministers in revamping and drafting laws, policies and regulations.
  • Assisted with consultations to draft laws and codes for First Nations communities, including community constitutions, membership codes and election codes.
  • Represented the Independent First Nations on a tripartite table concerning the enforcement of First Nations laws with Canada and Ontario.

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, ‘State of Indigenous Health and Human Rights in Canada’, Queen’s Health and Human Rights Conference, Kingston, Canada, November 2018.
  • Speaker, ‘LGBTI Youth, Inclusive Education and Health’, Leaving No One Behind: UN Equal Rights Coalition Global Conference on LGBTI Human Rights and Inclusive Development, Vancouver, Canada, August 2018.
  • Speaker, ‘Leaving No One Behind – Canada’s Role in Advancing LGBTQ2 Human Rights Globally. Leaving No One Behind: UN Equal Rights Coalition Global Conference on LGBTI Human Rights and Inclusive Development, Vancouver, Canada, August 2018.
  • Speaker, ‘Racism in the Laws of Love for Indians’, Government of Ontario Conference on Anti-Racism, Toronto, Canada, December 2017.