Jolene Ashini is a returning Summer Student OKT Law, she is Innu from the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation, located in Labrador. Jolene grew up on reserve within the Innu territory of Nitassinan. Raised by an active Innu leader and political figure, she spent much time in Nutshimit (on the land) learning and applying the teachings of the Innu and how to navigate of the colonial legal and governance system.
Jolene was a Band Councillor for the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation, this is where she realized that in order to do more for her community and other Indigenous people, she needed to further her education to apply the law fairly to Indigenous peoples. Jolene went on to complete a Bachelor of Science in Geology at Acadia University, where she was an active member and Vice President of the Indigenous Student Society of Acadia. She continues to be an active advocate for the continuation and furthering of education for Indigenous youth.
Jolene has just completed her second year at the University of Victoria where she is studying the Joint Degree Program in Canadian Common Law and Indigenous Legal Orders (JD/JID), the first program of its kind in Canada. During her time at UVic, she has been an active member and Co-Chair of the Indigenous Law Student Association (ILSA).