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through a process more sensitive than the traditional court process. After
the dispute resolution process was established, Len continued to work with
victims of residential school abuse. He represented countless victims in
their pursuit of a remedy for the abuse they had endured. In addition, he
was representative counsel for British Columbia on the Plaintiffs’ Counsel
Advisory Network and served on the Chief Adjudicator’s Reference Group.
Len’s work ethic during these years was unparalleled and reached almost
legendary status. Len would regularly work over 300 hours per month pursuing
remedies for the victims of abuse. Len has always been inspired by
those who have put their trust in him, and he remembers every one of the
hundreds who have.
As Len became a leading lawyer representing hundreds of victims of the
residential school system in Canada, he also became a road warrior. Len
accumulated more miles in the air and by car over five years than anyone
we know. He was constantly on the road, travelling throughout western
Canada and in the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. His travels
took him to such exotic places as Burwash Landing and Beaver Creek.
From all of his travels he has shared three very important lessons:
1. always carry cash, because often the baggage handler is your “taxi”;
2. plan to be stranded longer than your scheduled stay, so bring a
good book (preferably a John Irving or Leon Uris novel); and
3. in 24-hour sunlight or darkness, scheduled meeting times are more
like guidelines, except when it comes to flight departure times,
which are always on time.
Further, whether he is travelling or at home, Len must always have easy
access to peanut butter. We hope that Len will be allowed to keep a jar of his
favourite condiment in his chambers.
At the core of Len’s life is his family. His mother, Donna, and his sister,
Lori, continue to be huge supporters of Len and provide him with the love
and stability of a close-knit family. His father, Len Sr., was also an ardent
supporter of Len’s ambitions and a huge influence on Len’s life. Len Sr. was
the first Member of Parliament, Cabinet minister and senator of First
Nation heritage and, like Len Jr., was a trailblazer and advocate for First
Nations culture. Len Sr.’s biography, Breaking Trail, is an excellent read, particularly
if you find yourself stranded somewhere for longer than your
Len will tell you that the most important person in his world is the love
of his life, his wife, Laurie. Len asked Laurie, the younger sister of one of
Len’s varsity rugby teammates, to marry him a few short months after