Yasmeen Grant, Lawyer

Yasmeen earned her Bachelor of Arts from McGill University, where she majored in foreign languages and linguistics, with a concentration in political theory. She graduated with great distinction in 1992.

That same year, she was awarded the Law Foundation Entrance Scholarship to the University of Victoria, where she received her law degree in 1995.

Unlike many of her colleagues, Yasmeen did not commence her articles right away, choosing instead to focus on a variety of interests, most importantly raising a family with her husband, Rex Grant, whom she met at law school and who is himself a member of the British Columbia bar.

While their children were small, Yasmeen remained primarily at home with them, and would also assist Rex in his work on aboriginal environmental issues. This included participating in federal and provincial treaty negotiations and restorative justice circles; advising first nations bands and tribal councils on BC Hydro and Residential School settlement proposals; and liaising with the private sector, mainly in the areas of resource management and exploration.

During this time, Yasmeen and her family lived chiefly in the remote community of Lillooet, British Columbia, in the traditional territory of the Stl'atl'imx people, to which her husband and children belong. While in Lillooet, Yasmeen also taught at the local high school and worked as a poverty law advocate through the Community Advocacy Office she established there.

Later, the entire family spent a year traveling in South America, where they became familiar with the language, culture, ecology, and politics of the region.

Upon their return from South America, Yasmeen became actively involved in various cross-cultural initiatives designed to promote global awareness of indigenous rights in relation to the politico-environmental issues of the Amazon and the Andes.

To that end, Yasmeen has served as cultural attachée, educator, interpreter, and translator at several conferences and events, and has helped give voice to tribal elders as they attempt to share ancient technologies and wisdom with the rest of the world.

In particular, Yasmeen helped produce a documentary entitled "In Search of the Divine Vegetal", which originally aired on CBC Radio Ideas in November 2007. This documentary examines domestic and international efforts to preserve the Amazonian rain forest, along with the indigenous people who are its custodians.

Yasmeen has also done a significant amount of research and public speaking in the areas of civil rights, cognitive liberty, and the freedom of conscience and religion as guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Her most recent work in this regard has been in the area of legislation and policy concerning the use of sacramental and therapeutic plants.

In addition, Yasmeen has worked as a human rights advocate and mitigation specialist on death-penalty cases in the United States, where she has appeared before the U.S. Federal Court on behalf of defendants facing conspiracy charges and capital punishment.

Yasmeen re-entered the formal field of law in 2005 by working as a legal assistant at a family law firm for two years, and then commencing her articles under Val Hemminger of Hemminger Schmid Lawyers and Mediators, where she has remained.

Yasmeen was admitted to the British Columbia Bar in 2009 and, as her children are now teenagers, has been practicing law full-time ever since, while continuing to support her husband in his practice of aboriginal law.

Yasmeen is also in the process of completing her dual certification as mediator and negotiator through the Justice Institute of British Columbia.

Hailing from an intercultural background herself, Yasmeen has always understood the importance of diversity and tolerance across societal boundaries.

Yasmeen is fluent in English, French, Spanish, German, and Portuguese, and is also currently learning Italian. She regularly offers her legal services in these languages to clients for whom English is not their native tongue.

Yasmeen is committed to providing quality legal services to all members of society, and supports local legal aid endeavours. Yasmeen is proud to be part of Hemminger Law Group, a law and mediation firm dedicated to the ethics and values most dear to her heart.

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