Sonya Pighin was appointed as a member of the Tribunal for a four-year term commencing on Jan 11, 2021.
Sonya Pighin is a person with Wet’suwet’en, Italian and French ancestry, as well as a member of the Lheidli T'enneh First Nation. Sonya currently resides as a visitor on Lək̓ʷəŋən lands, and she prefers the pronouns “she” and “her”. Sonya has long standing interests in the areas of human rights, Indigenous rights, social justice, constitutional and administrative law. She holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Victoria, a Master of Laws (w/specialization in constitutional law) from York University, and a Bachelor of Arts (w/ criminology major) from Malaspina University-College. In addition to serving on the BC Human Rights Tribunal, Sonya is called to the bar in British Columbia and she operates a law practice in the areas of constitutional, administrative, human rights and aboriginal law. She also sits on the board of the BC College of Social Workers as a public lay member.
In addition to Sonya’s legal background, she has held leadership positions at the Office of the BC Ombudsperson and the BC First Nations Justice Council. She has also worked as a child rights advocate at the Office of the Representative for Children and Youth in BC, as a youth justice coordinator in New Zealand’s youth justice system conducting family group conferences, and on a treaty negotiations team with New Zealand’s Office of Treaty Settlements. In addition to this, Sonya has over a decade of experience working in British Columbia’s child and youth serving systems, including in the areas of mental health, youth justice and residential care. In Sonya’s free time, she participates in many outdoor activities and believes in maintaining a balanced lifestyle. She loves mountain biking, back-country hiking, kayaking, snowboarding, scuba diving and spending time with family.