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Karina Kesserwan was born north of the 59th parallel, in St. Petersburg , Russia.
Coming from a multicultural background and having resided on three continents, she
developed a keen interest for rapprochement of cultures from an early age.
Having received a Bachelor of Civil Law and a Bachelor of Laws from McGill University, Ms Kesserwan obtained a Certificate in Mining Law from Osgoode Hall Law School. She then pursued graduate studies in ethics and sociology and is currently writing a master’s thesis on aboriginal governance in the context of mining development.
Ms. Kesserwan began her career in a boutique firm specialized in aboriginal law. She then served as policy advisor to two Quebec Ministers responsible for Aboriginal Affairs. Her responsibilities included the Plan Nord file, the negotiations on the Agreement on Governance in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory, and the relationships with the federal and other provincial governments. Her experience has allowed her to travel extensively throughout Northern Quebec and build trusting relationships with political and social leaders of aboriginal communities. She is also familiar with Northern Ontario, having resided in Sudbury, where she lectured at Laurentian University’s Department of Law and Justice.
Ms. Kesserwan set up her own practice in 2013, surrounding herself with a multidisciplinary network of experienced professionals.
She is fluent in French, English, and Russian, and has a basic knowledge of Spanish, Arabic, Italian and Brazilian Portuguese.
Conferences, presentations and publications :
- « Impact Benefit Agreements: a Canadian Example», Industrial development in the Arctic: a dialog between business and local communities international workshop, Moscow, Russia (April 2018)
- « How can Indigenous knowledge shape our view of AI? », AI on a Social Mission Conference, Montreal (January 2018)
- « Impact benefit agreements (IBAs) and free prior informed consent (FPIC) in Canada», the Influence of Governments and Business on the Self–determination of Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic Region in Today’s International Context conference, Dartmouth College, Institute of Arctic Studies, The Dickey Center for International Understanding, Hanover, USA (December 2017)
- « How to Start a Consultation Process to Achieve Your Goals», Consultation and Accommodation with Aboriginal Communities Conference, Montreal (November 2017)
- « Communities First: Ensuring People-Driven Economic Development in Canada’s Arctic » (with Jean-François Arteau), Conference Board of Canada, Online Workshop (March 2017)
Caroline Briand and Karina Kesserwan, “Obstacles to Compensation of Victims of Violence Before the Civil Law Courts”, International conference“ Violence Against Women: Complex Realities and New Issues in a Changing World“, CRI-VIFF (the Interdisciplinary Research Center on Family Violence and Violence Against Women) (Montreal, 2011)
Caroline Chwojka and Karina Kesserwan, “Cultural Diversity and Promotion of the Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue” Francophone summer university “All different, all equal: Europe as a model?”, European Young Leaders (Paris, 2007)
- Law Firm Startup Bursary, Young Bar Association of Montreal, 2014
- Prix du Cèdre et de l’Érable, "Business and Profession" category , Canadian-Lebanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 2015