Jessie Stirling (Wa’ya T’so-la) is an associate at OKT. She is Kwakwaka’wakw and a member of the Wei Wai Kum First Nation located in Campbell River, British Columbia.
Jessie articled in the area of children’s law where she represented minors involved in complicated custody/ access matters and the child protection system before the Ontario Court of Justice. She also protected minors’ interests in wills and estates, trusts, and civil litigation. Jessie continues to practice children’s law at OKT where she is honoured to be helping First Nations take back control over the well-being of their children, youth, and families.
Jessie holds both a JD and a Certificate in Aboriginal Legal Studies from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, where she received the President’s Award for the Outstanding Indigenous Student of the Year and the U of T Student Leadership Award. While in law school, Jessie volunteered with Pro Bono Students Canada in a poverty law clinic and the family courts, David Asper Centre’s working group on Indigenous Child Welfare, Justice for Children and Youth researching Jordan’s Principle, and the Caring Society researching Bill C-92. Jessie was also the co-president of the Indigenous Law Students’ Association, sat on the Faculty’s TRC Implementation Committee, and served as the Indigenous Human Rights Program’s first coordinator.
She also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) from the University of British Columbia. Prior to law school, Jessie volunteered with the Access Pro Bono Society of BC and was the lead researcher on a human rights campaign confronting anti-homeless and anti-substance user stigma in BC at the Pivot Legal Society in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Jessie volunteers as the President and Chair of the Board of Directors at Aboriginal Legal Services.
She is a member of the Ontario bar.