Crystal Reeves has devoted her scholarship and legal practice to advancing the interests of Indigenous peoples in Canada and internationally. She focuses on litigation and advocacy regarding Aboriginal title and rights, as well as assisting Indigenous clients on child protection, and family matters, including on the Bella Bella and Bella Coola circuit courts.
Crystal was called to the bar in 2009 after articling at the Upper Skeena Counselling and Legal Assistance Society, a community legal aid clinic in Gitxsan Territory. She joined Mandell Pinder in 2010.
LL.M. Law and Society, University of Victoria, 2007
LL.B. Osgoode Hall Law School, 2003
B.A. University of Lethbridge, 2000
Crystal completed her law degree at Osgoode Hall Law School, where she participated in the First Nations Intensive Program and interned at the New South Wales Native Title Services in Sydney, Australia.
Crystal completed her LL.M. in Law and Society at the University of Victoria, where she considered the intersection of Indigenous laws and colonial legal traditions and legal pluralism in Samoa.
Worked with First Nation clients, alongside other Indigenous groups, environmental organizations and their counsel to challenge the approvals of the Northern Gateway Pipelines Project and the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.
Successfully represented First Nation clients in judicial reviews of pipeline approvals, fisheries issues, and other matters.
Represented First Nation clients in hunting and fishing rights cases, including at the BC Court of Appeal.
Represented First Nation clients in child welfare litigation.
Supported First Nation governments in developing strategies for the recognition and implementation of Indigenous laws and jurisdiction, including over child welfare, marine use areas, forestry and legislative reform.
Assisting First Nation clients in ensuring that the duty to consult that is owed to them is carried out by the Crown, including assisting in negotiations, strategic advice, and litigation where necessary.
Appeared in all levels of court in British Columbia and the Federal Courts, and worked on matters for the Supreme Court of Canada.
Family Duty Counsel on the Bella Bella and Bella Coola circuit court.
Member, Law Society of British Columbia (2009)
Adjunct Professor, Indigenous Community Planning, School of Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia (2013-present)
Contributor, Aboriginal Family Law Issues, BC Family Practice Manual Update 2014 to present, CLEBC
Presenter, Unpacking the Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. Desautel, PBLI, August 2021
Presenter, An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families: Affirming Indigenous Jurisdiction, CLEBC Child Protection Conference, June 11, 2021
Presenter, Wrapping Our Ways: Indigenous Child Welfare Conference 2020, Indigenous Communities and Federal Child Welfare Legislation, CLEBC
“Traditional Decision-Making in Contemporary Child Welfare: Relying on Dane-zaa Laws to Care for the Protect Chidlren and Families” (Co-authored with Tara Ney, Vanessa Currie, Maureen Maloney, Crystal Reeves, Jillian Ridington, Robin Ridington and Judith Zwickel) in Adebayo, A. J. Benjamin and B. Lundy (eds.), Indigenous Conflict Management Strategies: Global Perspectives (New York: Lexington Books, 2014)
Carving Space for Indigenous Laws in Administrative Bodies (Co-Authored with Brenda Gaertner and Prepared for the Canadian Bar Association National Aboriginal Law Conference, April 11 and 12, 2013)
The Family Relations Act Reform Project: Final Report. (March, 2008) Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia.
Youth Included: Youth Recommendations for Children and Youth Participation in British Columbia’s Family Justice System. (May, 2008) Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia.Building Bridges between Communities and the Law: Including Community Members as ‘Experts’ in Legal Reform Initiatives. Presented at Canadian Association of Law Teachers Annual Conference, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, May, 2007.