Krista Nerland


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Krista Nerland is an associate at OKT. Her practice focuses on litigation related to Aboriginal rights, Aboriginal title, and treaty rights; human rights and discrimination; and advancing Indigenous jurisdiction. Krista has particular expertise in appellate litigation and has appeared at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Krista holds a J.D. with honours from the University of Toronto, where she received awards for academic excellence and highest standing in constitutional law, evidence, labour and employment, and business organizations. Prior to joining OKT, she served as a law clerk to the Hon. Justice Rosalie Abella at the Supreme Court of Canada.

While in law school, Krista worked with the Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association on human rights abuses in the context of policing and corrections, particularly focusing on the effect of corrections policy on indigenous women. Krista also volunteered with the Barbra Schlifer Clinic, assisting survivors of domestic violence, and with Pro-Bono Students Canada, providing services to unrepresented litigants in the Ontario Court of Justice. She served as the Co-Chair of the Feminist Law Students Association and the Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Law and Equality.  

Krista also holds a Masters of Arts (Political Science) from McGill University. Before attending law school, she spent several years doing policy work with government and non-governmental organizations in the areas of indigenous rights, transitional justice, and security system reform.

Krista is a member of the Law Society of Ontario, the Law Society of the Northwest Territories and the Advocates Society. She is an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, where she co-teaches a class on Rights and Reconciliation.

Representative Work

Counsel representing the Saugeen Ojibway Nation in its Aboriginal title claim to water and claim about the Crown’s fiduciary breach and failure to protect their land, in Saugeen First Nation v Canada, 2021 ONSC 4181 and currently before the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Represented Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs in its intervention at the Supreme Court of Canada regarding the Crown’s fiduciary duty to protect Indigenous lands in Williams Lake Indian Band v Canada, 2018 SCC 4

Represented the Shibogama Tribal Council in its intervention at the Supreme Court regarding the protection of Indigenous sacred sites in Ktunaxa Nation v British Columbia, 2018 SCC 54

Represented the Chiefs of Ontario before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in litigation about remedies for Canada’s discrimination against First Nations children in child and family services in First Nations Child and Family Caring Society v Attorney General, 2018 CHRT 4.

Represented the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund in its intervention to combat discrimination under the Indian Act in Gehl v Canada, 2017 ONCA 319.

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