Jolene Ashini


(416) 981-9412

Jolene Ashini is an Associate at OKT and is a member of the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation, in Labrador. Before law school, she received a Bachelor of Science in Geology from Acadia University. Jolene studied law at the University of Victoria where she was among the first graduating cohort of the Joint Degree Law Program in Common Law and Indigenous Legal Orders (JD/JID).

Jolene is the first Labrador Innu woman to obtain a law degree, and the first Labrador Innu person to become a licensed legal practitioner.

Raised by a prominent Innu leader, Jolene has spent much time in Nutshimit (on the land), where she learned, continues to learn, and applies the teachings of the Innu within the colonial educational, legal and governance systems within Canada. A passion for equity and the law started at a young age where she experienced the injustices that the Innu faced while attempting to gain not only recognition of their rights, but as a recognized Indigenous peoples in Canada. Jolene served as a Band Councillor for her First Nation, where she realized to do more for her community and other Indigenous communities, she needed to further her education in order to help apply the law fairly to all Indigenous people.

Jolene’s passion for equity, inclusion and social justice was recognized and awarded with the Royal Society of Canada’s inaugural Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella Prize in 2022. The award is presented to a graduating law student in each Canadian law school who is most likely to positively influence equity and social justice in Canada or globally.

Jolene currently sits as the Co-Chair of the Mamu-Tshishkutamashutau – Innu Education Board of Trustees. While in school, Jolene has dedicated her time to the Indigenous Student Society of Acadia, serving as Vice President and as Co-Chair of the Indigenous Law School Association at the University of Victoria.