November 08, 2023

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Second Vice-President Brook Greenberg, KC (left) and Chief Executive Officer Don Avison, KC (right) present the Indigenous Scholarship to Bailie Copeland (middle left) and Tara-Lynn Wilson (middle right).

The Law Society has awarded the 2023 Indigenous Scholarship to co-recipients Bailie Copeland and Tara-Lynn Wilson. The Indigenous Scholarship is open to Canadian Indigenous students who are enrolled in full time studies and aims to enhance the representation of Indigenous lawyers in British Columbia by supporting their legal education.

Congratulations to Bailie Copeland and Tara-Lynn Wilson for their achievements.

Bailie Copeland

Ms. Copeland is a member of the Métis Nation of British Columbia and is currently a 2024 Juris Doctor candidate at Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Athabasca University in 2021.

Ms. Copeland obtained her Métis citizenship in 2016 and joined the Fort St. John Métis Society as a Youth Representative. In that position, she attended and represented her constituency at Métis Nation British Columbia events across the province. She also hosted learning opportunities, fundraising events and cultural events such as trapping programs, hunters’ education and safety programs, fishing days, and archery days. In 2021 she was elected secretary of the Fort St. John Métis Society.

Ms. Copeland is currently the vice-president of the Indigenous Law Students Association at Thompson Rivers University and has accepted the position of Métis president for the 2023/2024 year. She was a competitor in the Kawaskimhon Aboriginal Moot for the 2023 year and focused on the Coastal GasLink pipeline project for the negotiation. Ms. Copeland has also volunteered her time as a witness for the TRU MacIntyre team as they prepared for the moot in Calgary.

Upon completing her law degree and being called to the bar, Ms. Copeland plans to practise law in northeastern BC to assist with bringing adequate legal representation to the rural north and to Indigenous Peoples. A long-term goal is to expand her knowledge of Indigenous Law and Agricultural Law with a further focus on the Environment and Natural Resources.

Tara-Lynn Wilson

Ms. Wilson is from the Xen’ak’siala tribe located in Kemano, BC, and was raised in the Secwepemc territory of Bonaparte, where her mother is from.

She is currently a 2024 Juris Doctor candidate at Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law. Ms. Wilson has been the recipient of the Aboriginal Lawyers Forum Student Appreciation award by the Canadian Bar Association of British Columbia, the Future Indigenous Lawyers Award by Fulton and the Michelle Pockey Leadership Award by Minerva BC. Ms. Wilson and her spouse founded the TRU Pow wow Club and she joined the committee for the annual TRU Traditional Pow wow and Lahal Tournament.

Ms. Wilson interned at Qwelminte Secwepemc during the summer of 2021 and assisted in-house counsel in negotiations with the government on land management agreements. She was chosen as a member of the Western Canada Trial MacIntyre Cup competition team and the Kawaskimhon National Aboriginal Negotiation team and is currently the president of the Indigenous Law Students Association.

Ms. Wilson’s plans include practising law in BC focusing on Indigenous/Aboriginal law or criminal law, continuing her education by applying to the LLM at Harvard Law School and hopefully, becoming a judge.