Emily Sabourin

Summer Law Student

Emily Sabourin (she/her) is a summer student, going into her third year in the JD/JID program at the University of Victoria. She is Dehcho Dene on her father’s side, with mixed Western European ancestry on her mother’s side, from Denendeh (the Northwest Territories). She has a BA from Carleton University, Major in Psychology and Minor in Laws.

Emily grew up in Yellowknife, visiting family in Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́, where her father is from, every summer. She often attended the Dehcho Annual Assemblies, where protecting and defending the land is central to discussion. This often includes updates about the Dehcho Process, negotiations between Dehcho First Nations, the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories which began in 1999. Given that these negotiations started over two decades ago, and are still ongoing, Emily became aware of the inherent incompatibilities of Canadian legal institutions and Indigenous governance systems at a young age. Ultimately, concerns regarding the use of negotiated agreements to meet goals of Indigenous participation in environmental decision-making processes is what drove her educational pursuits – in psychology, to better understand human complexities and behaviours; and now, in law school.

Emily’s Dene worldviews have taught her to appreciate the interconnectedness of all lessons that are learned from the land that guide our education and knowledge systems, and play a key part in her particular interests in environmental law. She is extremely passionate about arts, spending most of her free time beading, drawing, collaging; and, a big fan of Tim Burton, she has recently tried her hand at Claymation. When she’s not crafting, she can be found adventuring around Victoria with her pup, Cornell (Corndog).