Executive Director of the Indigenous Justice Strategy Initiative
Appointed jointly by the BCFNJC and the AG
Colleen is a Métis woman who has advocated for Indigenous rights since she was a teenager, despite not discovering her own Métis Heritage until much later in her life. Colleen moved to British Columbia from her hometown of Calgary, Alberta in 1993, and obtained her law degree from the University of British Columbia in 2007. After completing her articles with Braker & Company in 2008, Colleen decided to pursue a legal career that aligned with her interests advocating for Indigenous people, despite being offered an opportunity to work as Crown Counsel. Colleen has represented Indigenous clients in both family law and child protection proceedings at both the Provincial and Supreme levels of court in British Columbia.
In 2010, Colleen founded Spier & Company Law, and in her role as an Indigenous mediator on Mediate BC’s Aboriginal Child Protection Roster since 2011, has been assisting parties in resolving child protection matters in a collaborative, culturally-relevant and child-focused way.
Since 2011, Colleen has provided Family Duty Counsel Services, as requested, on the Haida Gwaii Circuit Court, as this community and its people found a place in her heart when she was introduced to it in 2007 when she participated as a provincial law clerk through UBC’s inaugural Provincial Court Externship Program.
For the past 7 years, Colleen has worked as the Executive Director at Island Métis Family & Community Services Society, while simultaneously managing her law firm and mediation practice.
Effective November 2018, Colleen joined the Ministry of Attorney General, Justice Services Branch to take on the role as Executive Director, Indigenous Justice Strategy. Colleen will support the collaboration and development of the Indigenous Justice Strategy, which will focus on reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, decreasing the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in the justice system, addressing violence against Indigenous peoples especially women and girls improving access to justice and justice services for Indigenous peoples, and designing services for Indigenous peoples that are culturally relevant and appropriate.
Colleen has served on a number of not-for-profit Boards, including 2 terms through Ministerial Appointment on the Board of the British Columbia College of Social Workers, and for the past 4 years on the British Columbia Aboriginal Justice Council, of which she is currently on her second, 3 year appointment.
Colleen resides with her husband, 2 children and multiple animals in Victoria, British Columbia.”