Clarine OstrovePartner Emeritus
Clo was one of the founding members of Mandell Pinder when it was formed in 1983. Combining critical analysis with an insightful mind and a profound depth of feeling, Clo effectively unpacks the essence of the problems, challenges and dilemmas found at the interface of native communities and the law.
Clo is a dynamic force, bringing a wealth of experience to bear on the work of the firm. She has litigated at every level of court in British Columbia, in the Federal Court, and has appeared a number of times before the Supreme Court of Canada on behalf of her native clients. Early in her career Clo coordinated the legal teams involved in the successful defence of those Band members from many communities who were charged with mischief for occupying the Department of Indian Affairs. This occupation and the successful defence prompted changes in the administration of federal constitutional responsibilities for aboriginal affairs. Since then and throughout her career, Clo has had a global perspective on how to work with her clients to achieve their goals of political and economic self-determination. Clo has been co-counsel on the early pivotal cases that have established the law on the protection and advancement of Aboriginal and Treaty rights (Meares Island; Saanichton Marina; Double Tracking).
In keeping with the collaborative approach of the firm, Clo’s work involves:
- participation on the firm’s legal teams advancing Aboriginal and Treaty rights through the courts
- developing and drafting specific claims for submission to Canada
- negotiating settlements of historic grievances
- advising on consultation and drafting accommodation agreements
- negotiating resolution of reserve land issues, such as rights-of-way for roads and hydro
Clo has argued for the just resolution of specific claims appearing before the Indian Claims Commission (before its demise), and more recently, before the Specific Claims Tribunal.
Clo was counsel to the Indian Taxation Advisory Board, a First Nations board facilitating the exercise of taxation jurisdiction on reserve. Devoted to seeing First Nations institutions recognized by the Canadian legal system, she has worked with the Board to manage its transition into the First Nations Tax Commission, an independent statutory body under federal legislation.
Clo has been a staunch proponent of the jurisdiction of First Nations to be able to protect their children through the defence of the Spallumcheen Child Welfare By-law.
During a leave from the firm, Clo taught college courses at the Native Education Centre. She was also a staff lawyer at the Law Society of British Columbia, the body which governs lawyers in the Province.
For more than 30 years, Clo has valued the time she spends in native communities where she is resolutely committed to exploring the potential of the law in assisting the aspirations of First Nations.
LL.B University of British Columbia, 1981
M.A. Educational Psychology, University of Colorado (Boulder), 1974
Professional Standing & Affiliations
Member, Law Society of B.C. (1982)
Publications & Presentations
Bill C-30: Specific Claims Tribunal Act – Is it Justice at Last? prepared for a conference held in Vancouver, B.C., hosted by the Pacific Business & Law Institute, March 6, 2008.
Limitations on Specific Claims in the Courts, prepared for the National Claims Research Workshop held in Victoria, B.C., October 30-November 1, 2007.
From Totems to Trees: Reflections on Intervening in Gray and Sappier, prepared for a conference held in Vancouver, B.C., hosted by the Pacific Business & Law Institute, February 8-9, 2007.
Courses and Lectures
Frequent speaker at land claims workshops hosted by Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs and at the National Claims Research conferences.
Spending her spare time on Galiano Island with her partner and her dog, Clo loves pulling weeds, reading book reviews, and listening to rock and roll.