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Jan 4, 2018

Meet Moira Gracey, partner at the firm and advocate for indigenous land rights in Belize.

Moira has been at Carranza since the firm opened in 1994. Juan Carranza refers to her as one of the firm's founders. She was initially hired as the office’s receptionist, and then went on to become a legal assistant, then office manager/bookkeeper, then articling student, associate lawyer, and eventually partner.

In 1999, during law school, Moira was able to indulge her interest in human rights law. She was chosen for a human rights internship for six weeks with the Indian Law Resource Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico under Professor James Anaya, who became a mentor to Moira and would later be appointed the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples from 2008 - 2014. He is the one who initially sent Moira to Belize to help represent the Indigenous Maya people in their land claims. (Read more about this in Mosaic newsletter!)

Moira’s next move was to Tucson, Arizona, when she took a leave of absence from the firm to obtain her Masters in Law, again under Professor Anaya. Moira completed her Master’s degree in 2005, and since that time has been part of the legal team representing the Maya in Belize. In 2008, she took over coordination of the legal team in Belize, during which time the Maya land case went through the Belize Court of Appeal and the Caribbean Court of Justice. 

In her legal career, as well as becoming a Carranza partner and tirelessly defending her clients in their personal injury claims, she taught Comparative Indigenous Rights at the U of T Faculty of Law, and participated in legal Clinics for caregivers run by the Caregivers Action Centre, including bringing high-profile litigation in coordination with a grassroots campaign to change exploitative requirements of the immigration program for caregivers. 

Look out for the new issue of Mosaic newsletter, where there is an article about the legal team’s continued fight in Belize on behalf of the indigenous Maya.

Carranza

Carranza LLP represents clients in Toronto and the greater Toronto area (GTA), Niagara, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga, Brampton, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket, Markham, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa, Belleville, Kingston, Ottawa, Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo, London, Barrie, North Bay, Sudbury.