Professor Karen Drake is a citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario whose teaching and research interests include Canadian law as it affects Indigenous peoples, Anishinaabe law, Métis law, property law, and dispute resolution, including civil procedure. She joined the Osgoode faculty in July 2017 from the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University where she had been a faculty member since July 2013 and a founding Co-Editor in Chief of the Lakehead Law Journal. Prior to joining Lakehead, she articled with Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, completed clerkships with the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Federal Court, and practised for three years with Erickson & Partners, focusing on legal issues impacting Indigenous peoples, human rights, and civil litigation.
Professor Drake’s research addresses the relationship between liberalism and Aboriginal rights, Métis legal issues, and the role of constitutionally protected Aboriginal rights and legal education in promoting reconciliation. Professor Drake has presented at education seminars held for Canada’s Department of Justice, Ontario’s Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and the National Judicial Institute. She was the recipient of the Osgoode Legal and Literary Society’s Equity Award in 2018, and of the Osgoode Hall Law School Teaching Award in 2019.
She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Human Rights Legal Support Centre and a member of the legal advisory panel for RAVEN. She previously served as a Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, on the Board of Directors of the Indigenous Bar Association, and on the Thunder Bay Métis Council.
Graduate Research Supervision (LLM, PhD): Graduate Research Supervision (LLM, PhD): Professor Drake is interested in working with LLM and PhD students on projects involving Canadian and international law as they affect Indigenous peoples (including constitutionally protected rights, human rights, rules of evidence and rules of civil procedure), the interplay between state law and Indigenous law, the role of liberalism in delineating the rights of Indigenous peoples, and epistemologies and pedagogies of teaching Indigenous law.