Krista Nerland


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Krista Nerland is an associate at OKT. She has a broad litigation practice, focusing on Aboriginal and treaty rights; human rights, discrimination and equality; the duty to consult and accommodate; Indian status matters; and administrative law.  Krista has a special interest in appeals and judicial reviews. She has appeared in front of a variety of courts and tribunals, including the Supreme Court of Canada and the Ontario Court of Appeal.

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 discriminatory effects 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 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 non-governmental organizations in the areas of indigenous rights, transitional justice, security system reform, and economic development. She also provided policy advice to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada on gender, lands and economic development.

Krista is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Law Union and the Canadian and Ontario Bar Associations.

Representative Work

  • Gehl v Canada (Attorney General), 2017 ONCA 319
    • I appeared on behalf of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), an intervener supporting Lynn Gehl, who was arguing that the Indian Act discriminates against her on the basis of gender.
  • Ktunaxa Nation v British Columbia, 2017 SCC 54
    • I appeared on behalf of the Shibogama First Nations Council, arguing that the Canadian Constitution should protect Indigenous spiritual practices, and that Canadian law should evolve to be consistent with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

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