Having graduated from the University of Toronto with both a Bachelor of Law and a Master of Laws degree, Tara Letwiniuk was called to the bar of British Columbia in 1999 and to the bar of Ontario in 2014. Tara is an experienced lawyer and entrepreneur. With a Master’s degree in Indigenous international law Tara is passionate about advancing the rights of Indigenous peoples and has pursued that goal in many capacities; as a lawyer, a Professor of Law and as the Director of a non-profit organization based in Washington DC that focussed on the international legal rights of Indigenous peoples. Throughout her career Tara has been honoured to work with Indigenous communities, organizations and individuals in 6 countries and 3 continents.
Tara’s passion for indigenous and humanitarian rights can be traced back to her own roots. As a Metis woman of Treaty #3 in the northwest region of Ontario, Tara’s great great grandfather was one of 9 Metis leaders that signed the Metis Adhesion to Treaty 3; the only Metis adhesion to a numbered Treaty that exists in Canada. Tara is also second generation Ukrainian, her Gido (grandfather) having fled to Canada to escape the Holomdor genocide of the Ukraine perpetrated by the Soviet government in the 1930’s.
Tara’s husband, Terence Sakohianisaks Douglas is a proud citizen of the Mohawk nation and a practitioner of First Nations law who works exclusively with First Nations Chiefs and Councils on governance, land management, Treaty rights and economic development issues.
After moving back to her home territory of Kenora with her husband in 2005, Tara explored her entrepreneurial goals and over the next decade started 3 independent businesses locally. In addition to her legal consulting firm, Tara opened and operated Kenora’s first espresso bar and bookshop from 2005 to 2010, and owned a fleet of 5 gourmet street food trucks from 2009-2014. Having become a certified Tea Sommelier with the Canadian Tea association Tara opened Golden Chicken Tea Boutique in 2012, selling it in 2016.
Most recently Tara held the position of Adjudicator, Social Justice Tribunals of Ontario with the Ministry of the Attorney General and continues to operate her private law practise in Kenora.
Tara has presented at several international convenings and published several articles. She has been an active member of the Kenora Women’s Business Network, the local Chamber of Commerce and has sat on various Boards and Committees, including the Kenora Community Foundation and the Advisory Board of Neegaweegin Indigenous College based in Thunder Bay. Outside of work Tara loves all water sports, gardening and humbly considers herself an accomplished “amateur” chef. Tara is currently collecting tradition indigenous recipes of Treaty 3 with hopes to publish a cookbook featuring local foods and indigenous dishes.