Josephine is from the County of Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. She grew up in Leeds, and gained an Assisted Place to enable her to attend Leeds Girls' High School, where she completed her GCSE's and A-levels. She worked at her parent's art shop on the weekends and worked as a legal assistant immediately following high school. Josephine then attended the University of Keele, in England, to study Law with Philosophy.
After obtaining her degree, she moved to Saskatoon in 2008 and worked as a legal assistant at Semaganis Worme Legal.
She completed the Canadian National Committee on Accreditation process and articled under Donald E. Worme, Q.C., IPC (Queen's Counsel and Indigenous Peoples Counsel). Mr. Worme, Q.C., IPC was former Commission Counsel for the Ipperwash Inquiry, Stonechild Inquiry, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and represented the Assembly of First Nations in the Provincial Missing and Murdered Women Inquiry in British Columbia.
As a paralegal and articling student, Josephine became acquainted with the array of unique Indigenous Nations in Saskatchewan and has focused her legal practice towards advocating for Indigenous clients in areas of constitutional law, criminal law, child welfare law, and litigation, as well as First Nation elections.
Josephine was called to the Saskatchewan bar in 2012 and continued to work at Semaganis Worme Legal representing various First Nations, Tribal Councils, Indigenous organizations, and individuals facing discrimination in the justice system.
Josephine acted as counsel for the deceased's family in the Kinew James Inquest and is engaged in various litigation and appeals across the country defending the inherent rights of Indigenous Nations to regulate child welfare in their jurisdictions.
As well as position papers and legal opinions, Josephine has also drafted and delivered presentations, articles and speeches on the subject of inherent and Treaty rights, restorative justice, militarization of the police, gaps in the prison system, and genocide, among others.
As a non-Indigenous honourary member of the Indigenous Bar Association, Josephine understands her Lawyer's Oath as comprising an additional element whereby she is accountable to the Indigenous communities she represents and has a duty to do no harm to Indigenous peoples, rights, or interests with the knowledge and skills she has gained throughout her practice.
Student at Law
Alissa joined Hensel Barristers in early 2016, summering as a Law Student and working part-time during her 2L and 3L years. Alissa commenced her Articles with Hensel Barristers in June 2017. She graduated with high distinction from the University of Toronto in 2014 with a B.A. (honours) in Political Science and Environmental Studies before obtaining her J.D. and two Certificates in Aboriginal Legal Studies and in Environmental Studies, from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in June 2017.
Alissa represented the University of Toronto as a Student Delegate at COP21 in Paris, France where she studied the participation of Canada's Indigenous peoples in the international negotiation process. She was also one of a handful of Canadians to participate in the 2016 Reconciliation Trip, where she stayed on the remote northern Reserve of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug. Alissa was a member of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law's 2017 Kawaskimhon Competitive Moot team. She also participated in the Gladue practicum and stayed on the Neyaashiinigmiing Reserve during the Faculty of Law's Indigenous Law in Context Intensive course.
Alissa is the first graduate of the Law in Action Within Schools (LAWS) Program to attend law school, through which she has interned, worked, and mentored with numerous law firms in Toronto. For three years prior to joining Hensel Barristers, Alissa worked at a civil litigation boutique as a file clerk, summer student, and law student.
Alissa is expecting to be called to the Ontario bar in June 2018.