Karen Restoule – Crestview Strategy

Karen Restoule is Vice President and a strategy, communications, and engagement specialist with Crestview Strategy. Karen is a recognized expert at transformative leadership, change management, organizational governance, policy and innovation, and community, stakeholder, and Indigenous engagement.

Prior to joining Crestview, Karen led an environmental consulting firm working with Indigenous communities towards self-determination, building on a prior role where she served First Nations leaders as Director of Justice at Chiefs of Ontario where she advanced innovative policy solutions to legacy challenges. Karen is committed to building a brighter economic future for Indigenous Nations and Canada. She co-founded BOLD Realities, leading initiatives to advance economic reconciliation. In 2018, they partnered with TakingITGlobal to launch whose.land, a web-based mobile app that provides users with information about Indigenous territories as a starting point for respectful and mutually-beneficial partnerships.

Karen also led Ontario’s administrative justice system at Tribunals Ontario, including key transformations at the Ontario Parole Board, Human Rights Tribunal Ontario, Licence Appeal Tribunal, and most recently the Landlord and Tenant Board. She successfully led Tribunal Ontario’s first public engagement strategy at the onset of the pandemic to hear directly from Ontario citizens on access to justice.

Karen comes from a long line of entrepreneurs from Dokis First Nation, a small yet mighty Anishinabe community located in northeastern Ontario that has long prioritized its economy and as a result, have enjoyed a strong social fabric. She credits the entrepreneurial and competitive spirit passed down from generation to generation for the opportunities that have been afforded to her and other members.

A graduate of the University of Toronto, University of Ottawa’s Common Law Program, and Osgoode Hall’s Intensive Program in Aboriginal Lands, Resources, and Governments, Karen was the youngest and most recent graduate to be inducted into the Faculty of Law’s Honours Society in 2014 for using her legal education as a foundation for making significant contributions to society. She received CivicAction’s 2018 Emerging Leader Award and was named Public Policy Forum’s 2018 Prime Ministers of Canada Fellow.

Karen lends her expertise to a number of advisory and governance boards including Venture For Canada, Canadian Club Toronto, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, TC Energy, Resource Works’ Indigenous Partnerships Success Showcase, Connected North, and Ontario’s Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee. She also serves on selection bodies for prestigious Canadian policy awards The Donner Prize and The Hunter Prize.

A sought-after speaker on Indigenous rights and reconciliation, justice and public safety, law and legal issues, and transformative and change management, Karen appears regularly as a guest speaker on national radio, podcasts, forums, and is a contributing writer at thehub.ca, a preeminent platform that produces news, analysis, and insights about a dynamic and better future for Canada.