Human Rights Legal Support Centre

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About Us


Board of Directors

The Human Rights Code provides that the work of the Centre is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the Government of Ontario. The Board is comprised of five members including the Chair.

Meeting Minutes

Patrick Nadjiwan

Patrick Nadjiwan was appointed as Interim Chair of the Human Rights Legal Support Centre in July 2017 until July 2018. Mr. Nadjiwan is a member of the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation. Mr. Nadjiwan has practiced Aboriginal Law for the past twenty-two years, providing general legal counsel to clientele of First Nations Governments, Tribal Councils, Indigenous organizations, and Indigenous individuals. Mr. Nadjiwan operates his own legal firm, Nadjiwan Law Office, and has diverse experience in areas such as litigation, First Nation governance, corporate governance, administrative law, employment law, and constitutional law. Appointment September 17, 2009 to July 26, 2019. 

Nancy Gignac

Nancy Gignac has served as an elementary school teacher, vice-principal, and principal with the Greater Essex County District School Board. She also served as Supervising Principal of Special Education, primarily responsible for special education programs and services in both elementary and secondary schools. Ms. Gignac has been a Program Developer and Sessional Instructor with the Faculty of Education at the University of Windsor, and is currently working as a self-employed education consultant for Queen’s University. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Windsor-Essex Children's Aid Society and the Maryvale Adolescent and Family Services and the John McGivney Children’s Centre as both board member and President. Appointment September 17, 2009 to July 26, 2019.

Mary Gusella

Mary Gusella has served as the Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, Canadian Chair of the International Joint Commission of Canada and the United States, a member of the Public Service Commission, President of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and Chair and President of Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation. In addition, she was a board member and President of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada and a member of the Canadian Human Rights Museum Advisory Committee. Ms. Gusella holds a membership with the Law Society of Upper Canada and the International Commission of Jurists - Canadian Section. She has a Certificate from the Canadian Securities Institute and holds undergraduate degrees from the Universities of Toronto and Ottawa. Appointment September 17, 2009 to July 26, 2019. 

Karen Drake 

Board Member, Karen Drake

Karen Drake is an associate professor at Osgoode Hall Law School at York University and a citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario. Her teaching and research interests include Canadian law as it affects Indigenous peoples, Anishinaabe law, and Métis law. She previously clerked with the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Federal Court of Canada and currently serves as a Commissioner with the Ontario Human Rights Commission and is on the Board of Directors of the Indigenous Bar Association. Appointment August 17, 2017 to August 26, 2020.