Resumé & Curriculum Vitæ

       HonBSc, JD (she/elle/kwe)


  • Highly fluent in English
  • Connaissance pratique du français ontarien (sans vocabulaire spécialisé ni technique)
  • Rudimentary knowledge of Anishinaabemowin and Michif/Métis French

Memberships and Accreditations

  • L1 Licensee, not currently practicing, Law Society of Ontario (2009-present)
  • Appointed as Notary Public by the Attorney General for Ontario (2010)


  • Trained as a peer-to-peer support person in education (Métis Nation of Ontario)
  • Trained in Consent & Sexual Violence Prevention (Nipissing University)
  • Certified in Mental Health First Aid (Mental Health Commission of Canada)
  • Cultural competence in mixed First Nation, Métis, and non-Indigenous settings

Employment Experience

Program Practitioner, Keepers of the Circle, Kirkland Lake (2021-2022)

  • facilitated the Culture, Confidence, and Competence program in both online and in-person formats
  • worked co-operatively with other Facilitators, Knowledge Keepers, and in-house Elders
  • enabled two cohorts of Indigenous women & gender-diverse people to prepare for modern employment
  • shared life skills and cultural knowledge
  • revised program materials to be gender-inclusive, more disability-aware, and less ableist

Graduate Research Assistant, Nipissing University, North Bay (2018-2019)

  • monitored, collected, reviewed, and organized research materials for book on experiences of Anishinaabe cancer patients through two-eyed seeing approach
  • obtained ethics approval, conducted, and assisted in analyzing qualitative research in person and online
  • evaluated, selected, and implemented cross-platform task management, bibliography management, and document management software
  • supported initiatives to Indigenize the university

Instructor, First Peoples’ Centre, Canadore College, North Bay (2017-2018)

  • taught Employment Law for First Nation Leadership Development
  • reviewed, adapted, and edited all course material to reflect federal jurisdiction over employment and human rights law in First Nation governance and administration

Nuclear Waste Management Coordinator, Métis Nation of Ontario: Lands, Resources & Consultation Branch, North Bay (2016)

  • coordinated, attended, and reported on plain-language education sessions between Nuclear Waste Management Organization, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, and regional Métis communities across Ontario
  • ensured scientific, legal, and political integrity of documents and communications were retained while being summarized or re-written for different audiences

Barrister & Solicitor, Self Employed, North Bay (2009-2015)

  • owned and operated a successful law practice
  • recruited, trained, and supervised legal and office support staff
  • authored research papers for National Centre for First Nations Governance
  • represented First Nation and Métis parents in family law, child protection, and domestic violence matters
  • interpreted and evaluated medical records and psychosocial assessments
  • acted as Duty Counsel for Legal Aid Ontario in family and child protection courts
  • acted as emergency duty counsel for women experiencing domestic violence
  • provided research, reports, and advice on governance issues, inter-governmental affairs, community consultation, and fostering healthy legal relationships
  • delivered community-based training sessions in employment law, privacy law, Indigenous governance, and compliance with human rights standards

Instructor, First Peoples’ Centre, Canadore College, North Bay (2012-2014)

  • designed and taught bridging courses for Mushkegowok (Cree) students from remote Northern communities of diverse ages and education levels
  • taught Introduction to Canadian Law, Law and Ethics, and Native Studies courses
  • created lessons plans, presentations, lectures, tests, and exams
  • supported students by working closely with academic counselling and cultural support staff

In-House Counsel, Union of Ontario Indians, Nipissing First Nation (2011-2012)

  • provided legal advice to subsidiary corporations and Anishinabek Nation leadership
  • designed, delivered, and evaluated on-location capacity-building workshops in human rights law, education law, and Indian status
  • consulted with Anishinabek citizens, individually and in group settings across Ontario and drafted a report on First Nation Representation on Juries in Ontario: The Anishinabek Experience
  • developed and delivered in-house workshops, seminars, and newspaper articles on relevant legal, environmental, and cultural topics

Articling Student, Tracey O’Donnell, Barrister and Solicitor, Nipissing First Nation (2008-2009)

  • contributed to the design and development of the Anishinabek Education System and the Kinomaadswin Education Body
  • drafted education laws and policies
  • represented ~40 First Nations in bi-lateral negotiations with Canada and Ontario for self-governance over education
  • provided corporate and employment law services to Indigenous non-profits
  • designed and delivered capacity-building workshops on a variety of self-governance topics to Anishinabek communities

Professor (Contract), Seneca College, Toronto (2003–2005)

  • lectured second year Organic Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology courses
  • supervised laboratory instruction and experimentation
  • created and marked all tests and exams
  • innovated the use of digital teaching technologies and online resources

Biochemistry Consultant, Herman & Millman Law Firm, Toronto (2003-2005)

  • tutored lawyers in organic chemistry, biochemistry, and pharmacology with associated advanced mathematical calculations and computations
  • provided scientific review, research, and advice for patent applications

Teaching Development Graduate Assistant, York University Centre for the Support of Teaching, Toronto (2003-2005)

  • developed and organized workshops and seminars to promote excellence in post-secondary teaching for math and science Teaching Assistants

Teaching Assistant, York University, Toronto (2001-2005)

  • taught and tutored undergraduate students in Organic Chemistry


Fishman, A.; Acton, A.; Lee‐Ruff, E. Efficient Preparation of Hybrid Linear‐Branched Esters of PEG‐PEE Derivatives. Synthetic Communications. 2006 36 (3), 327-330. DOI: 10.1080/00397910500377289

Fishman A.; Acton, A.; Lee‐Ruff, E. A Simple Preparation of PEG‐Carboxylates by Direct Oxidation. Synthetic Communications. 2005 34 (12), 2309-2312. DOI: 10.1081/SCC-120038518

Mladenova, G.; Singh, G.; Acton, A.; Chen, L.; Rinco, O.; Johnston, L. J.; Lee-Ruff, E. The Journal of Organic Chemistry. 2004 69 (6), 2017-2023. DOI: 10.1021/jo035439z

Acton, A.; Allen, A. D.; Antunes, L. M.; Fedorov, A. V.; Najafian, K.; Tidwell, T. T.; Wagner, B. D. Amination of Pyridylketenes:  Experimental and Computational Studies of Strong Amide Enol Stabilization by the 2-Pyridyl Group. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2002 124 (46), 13790-13794. DOI: 10.1021/ja027347h

Batey, R. A.; Powell, D. A.; Acton, A.; Lough, A. J. Dysprosium(III) catalyzed formation of hexahydrofuro[3,2-c]quinolines via 2:1 coupling of dihydrofuran with substituted anilines. Tetrahedron Letters. 2001 42 (45), 7935-7939. DOI 10.1016/S0040-4039(01)01726-9

Interviews and Presentations

"Disability across the lifespan - Autistics For Autistics" with Anne Borden King, Nunavummi Disabilities Makinnasuaqtiit Society, online (2023)

Untitled, in A Long Way To Go: Collective Struggles & Dreams of Reproductive Justice in Canada, Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (September 2022)

“Safely Fostering Métis Post-Secondary Student Identity and Wellness: Building relationships using our methods and their words,” Presenter, Rising Up Graduate Students Conference on Indigenous Knowledge and Research, Winnipeg (2019)

“Confronting the Ethics and Ideals of Western Research Methodology,” Moderator, Rising Up Graduate Students Conference on Indigenous Knowledge and Research, Winnipeg (2019)

“But I Was Wearing a Suit: Indigenous Lawyers Speak Out Against Discrimination,” Interview Guest, Day 6 with Brent Bamburry, CBC Radio One, Toronto (2017)

“Human Rights Issues in First Nation Education,” Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute, M'Chigeeng First Nation (February 2012)

“Sources of Human Rights Law and Jurisdiction,” Union of Ontario Indians in partnership with the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and the Assembly of First Nations, Nipissing First Nation, Garden Village (June 13-14, 2011)

“Community Engagement in Economic Development,” Economic Development Conference, Waubetek Business Development Corporation, Sault Ste. Marie (2009)

“Two Recent Calls Overcome Roadblocks,” Law Times, Toronto (2009)

“Indigenous Law and Legal Systems: Recognition and Revitalization,” Indigenous Bar Association Annual Conference, Victoria (2007)

“Perspectives on Co-Management: Creating Partnerships Between First Nations and Métis Communities,” Chair, Louis Riel Day, Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto (2007)

“First Nation Governance and Community Economic Development,” Paul Martin Summit on Aboriginal Economic Development, University of Toronto Faculty of Law (2007)

“Open Source Software for Science and Education,” Free Software and Open Source Symposium, Seneca College, Toronto (2005)

“Tablet PCs in Classroom Science Education,” Free Software and Open Source Symposium, Seneca College, Toronto (2004)

Volunteer Service

Leader and Facilitator, Trans Peer Network (2021-present)

Councillor, North Bay Métis Council (2019-2020)

Academic Support, Biidaaban Community Service Learning, Enji Giidoyang Office of Indigenous Initiatives, Nipissing University, North Bay (2018-2020)

Education Working Group Member, Urban Aboriginal Strategy Community Action Circle, North Bay Indian Friendship Centre, North Bay, (2015-2020)

Facilitator, Infinite Reach Post-Secondary Student Solidarity Network, Métis Nation of Ontario, Nipissing University, North Bay (2018-2019)

Peer Mentor, Wiidooktaadwin Indigenous Mentorship Initiative, Enji Giidoyang Office of Indigenous Initiatives, Nipissing University, North Bay (2018)

Participant, Métis Nation of Ontario Youth Council Leadership Conference, Peterborough (2018)

Advanced Math, Science, and ESL Tutor, Literacy Nipissing, North Bay (2015-2017)

Aboriginal Legal Profession Mentor, Law Society of Upper Canada Equity and Diversity Program, Toronto (2010-2013)

Competing Rights Working Group Member, Ontario Human Rights Commission, Toronto (2011)

Chair, North Bay Métis Council (2009-2011)

Director (Board Member), One Kids Place La Place Des Enfants, Children's Treatment Centre, North Bay (2009-2010)

Co-Editor-in-Chief, Indigenous Law Journal, University of Toronto (2007-2008)

IT and Website Manager, Ultra Vires student newspaper, University of Toronto Faculty of Law (2006–2008)

Organizational Support, Louis Riel Day, Law Society of Upper Canada Equity and Diversity Program, Toronto (2005-2008)

Organizer, Aboriginal Law Students Association Powwow, University of Toronto Faculty of Law (2006)

Post-Secondary Education

Graduate Studies, Indigenous Student Wellness in Post-Secondary Education, Nipissing University (2018-2020)

Juris Doctor, Aboriginal Law intensive, University of Toronto Faculty of Law (2008)

Honours Bachelor of Science, Biological Chemistry Specialist, University of Toronto (2001)

Continuing and Distance Education

“Learning How to Learn: Powerful Mental Tools to Help You Master Tough Subjects,” University of California, San Diego (2017)

“Aboriginal Worldviews in Education,” University of Toronto (2017)

“Initiating and Planning Projects,” University of California, Irvine (2016)

“The Social Context of Mental Health and Illness,” University of Toronto Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work (2013) 

“Nutrition for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention,” University of California, San Francisco (2013)

“Ojibway I,” Nipissing University, North Bay (2008)

Awards and Recognitions

Nipissing University Faculty Association Learning Opportunity Award (2019)

Indigenous PSET Bursary, Nipissing University (2018)

Nipissing University Graduate Scholarship (2018)

Ontario Bursary for Students with Disabilities (2018)

Nipissing University Alumni Association Graduate Studies Award (2018)

Nipissing University Reinvestment Fund Bursary (2018)

Métis Scholar Award, Métis Nation of Ontario (2017)