A lawyer at Woodward and Company, Kenji Tokawa’s experience includes advising on self-government and Section 35 rights negotiations, legislated implementation of s. 35 rights, governance, Specific Claims, and Indigenous governments’ commercial matters.
Over the course of his career, Kenji has contributed to a high-profile national settlement agreement for First Nations regarding safe drinking water. He represented a First Nation before the Federal Court of Appeal on a successful judicial review of a Specific Claims Tribunal decision. He supported an Indigenous government to enforce an impact benefits agreement through arbitration and obtained remedy through the BC Supreme Court.
Kenji’s Japanese-Canadian family roots are in Wakayama and Hiroshima, Ucluelet, Vancouver’s downtown east-side, and New Denver, BC. His grandparents and their Japanese-Canadian communities endured dislocation and dispossession which the Canadian government promised to prevent going forward. Honouring his grandparents and this promise drew him to obtain a JD from the University of Ottawa, serve as judicial law clerk to the BC Supreme Court, serve Indigenous governments at an Aboriginal law firm in Vancouver, do a stint in s 35-related advisory work at the federal Department of Justice, and finally to join Woodward and Co.
Kenji is passionate about the redistribution of power and resources as influenced by anti-oppression work and Black Feminism. He is honoured to support Indigenous nations continue self-determination and their legal orders.