Kinwa is Anishinaabe-kwe from the Sandy Lake First Nation and the Kitigan Zibi Anishinaabeg. She holds two legal degrees, a Juris Doctorate and a Master of Laws, from the University of Victoria. Kinwa is currently finishing her Ph.D. at their Faculty of Law. Her dissertation “The Art of Indigenous Law: The Law of Indigenous Art” speaks to the dynamic relationship between Indigenous art and law.
The true significance of Kinwa’s legal theoretical work lies in the empowerment of Indigenous legal traditions to become active law. Indigenous communities are actively participating in understanding and applying Indigenous norms to reconcile current legislation and policies in all areas of the law, including health. As her supervisor John Borrows says, “Law is a practice.” Through her own interest and practice in leading Indigenous initiatives, Kinwa upholds the commitment to continuously improve governance through respectful partnership, collaboration, and socio-legal innovation. She is an active agent in the broadening of our interpretive legal communities. Professionally, Kinwa works as an Indigenous community-based consultant, who provides facilitation and strategic engagement, development, and management services to non-profits, charities, and all-levels of government. Her recent research in Aboriginal Health, Healing, and Wellness in the DTES supported the development of grants for Elder Services Programs in promoting traditional, spiritual, and cultural health and healing supports in Vancouver. Kinwa is marathon runner, endurance cyclist, and Anishinaabe storyteller and visual artist.