How We Work

RAVEN takes on fundraising for groundbreaking challenges in partnership with  Indigenous Nations.

RAVEN responds to Applications for Support from Indigenous Nations across Canada.

We also have an Intervenor Fund established to bring Indigenous perspectives to legal challenges without Nations having to shoulder the entire financial burden of bringing a case through the justice system. Learn more or apply here. 

RAVEN Advisory Panel

RAVEN’s volunteer advisory panel is charged with reviewing the applications for fundraising support that RAVEN receives from Indigenous Peoples across Canada. The panel provides its legal perspective to RAVEN’s Board of Directors. The Board makes the final decisions in conjunction with the Executive Director about any new cases RAVEN will support.


Dr. John Borrows

Dr. Borrows is Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law at the University of Victoria Law School. John is Anishinaabe/Ojibway and a member of the Chippewa of the Nawash First Nation in Ontario, Canada.​​​


Brenda L. Gunn

Brenda L. Gunn is an Associate Professor at Robson Hall Faculty of Law. As a proud Metis woman she continues to combine her academic research with her activism pushing for greater recognition of Indigenous peoples’ inherent rights as determined by Indigenous peoples’ own legal traditions.

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Karen Drake

Karen Drake is a member of Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation who researches and teaches in the areas of Canadian law as it affects Indigenous peoples, Anishinaabe constitutionalism, Indigenous pedagogy within legal education  and Indigenous dispute resolution. She joined the Osgoode faculty in July 2017.

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Dr. Alan Hanna

Dr. Hanna is an Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law. His teaching focuses on Indigenous laws and governance and their relationship with the Canadian state. Alan is of mixed ancestry, Blackfoot and European, and is connected to northern Secwepemc te qelmucw through marriage.

We submit all applications to rigorous analysis via our RAVEN Advisory Panel, and engage in a process with our Board of Directors to determine our capacity to take on new campaigns.

Once approved, RAVEN enters into partnership agreements with Nations. We are not lawyers, nor are we a grant-making organization: we are fundraisers.

We work collaboratively with Nations to shape a campaign. We engage in public education and outreach centered around Indigenous People's stories of what’s at stake – for communities and for the environment.

Through digital campaigns, events, and partnerships with allied organizations, we engage our very active community to fundraise on behalf of the Nations.

We build coalitions with movement leaders, grassroots organizations and passionate supporters to fundraise, organize events, fundraise online and engage businesses in stepping up for Indigenous rights. 

When we partner with Indigenous Nations, we set out to raise funds which are held in trust and disbursed at the direction of our Partner Nations to the law firms they have chosen to work with. 

We welcome new applications from potential Indigenous community partners: see our Partner Guidelines and Application for Support here.

Gift acceptance policy

RAVEN welcomes donations that support our mission with gratitude. The principal basis for making a gift should be the desire on the part of the donor to support the mission, programs, and objectives of RAVEN.

RAVEN’s values are rooted in human rights and environmental integrity. Our Gift Acceptance Policy reflects RAVEN’s goal to identify those gifts made to RAVEN that align with RAVEN’s values and work towards RAVEN’s mission.


Like most charities, we also have to raise the money to keep the doors open. Our standard practice is to use 15% of funds raised to pay for RAVEN’s core operations: that amount now goes to our Discretionary Litigation Fund  which puts those administration fees toward whichever of RAVEN's legal campaigns need it most.