Photo of Robyn Pepin

Robyn Pepin

PhD Candidate (Legal Studies)

Robyn Pepin is a PhD student in the Legal Studies program at Carleton University. Robyn is researching the effects that the new educational policies under the Education Act, with the passing of the Accepting Schools Act and Anti-Bullying Act, have on bullying and racism in Thunder Bay, Ontario. With the new legislative changes, bullying is defined as an offence under the Criminal Code where the police should be notified. The development of these new legislative frameworks, however, has resulted in concerns about the extent to which the discourse of bullying obscures key issues of racism, homophobia and sexism and other specific forms of discrimination that may inform interpersonal dynamics (Short, 2013), and the extent to which they extend the policing and criminalization of youth (Giroux, 2003; Hirschfield, 2008; Kupchik & Catlaw, 2015; Kupchik & Farina, 2014).

Robyn wants to conduct research around how these legislative frameworks impact Indigenous students who move to Thunder Bay, Ontario to attend Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School. Her thesis is that there is a disconnect between anti-bullying rhetoric and the goals of anti-bullying legislation. Are criminal sanctions prevalent in the halls of Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay under the new Education Act? How do the new changes to the Education Act affect Indigenous learning in a mostly non-Indigenous community? What sorts of barriers and/or opportunities might the Accepting Schools Act and the Anti-Bullying Act present for students, staff and local policing authorities in an Indigenous educational framework? Robyn wants to gain a better understanding of how bullying is understood within an Indigenous educational framework and how new legislation in this area is understood, implemented and resisted by Indigenous educators who are nevertheless mandated by the Education Act.

Robyn lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario with her spouse, Adam, and their two young children, Jasper and Aspyn.


Lara Karaian

Research Interests

Law and literature; critical feminist studies; gender and sexuality studies; Indigenous studies

Educational Qualifications

  • Graduate Student Teaching Practicum, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, 2013
  • M.Ed. with specialization in Women’s Studies, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, 2013
  • HBA Gerontology and Women’s Studies, First Class Standing, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, 2011
  • Associate Law Clerk’s Diploma, Confederation College, Thunder Bay, 2011


  •  Master’s Thesis: Mediators’ Perspectives on the Ontario Family Mediation Process and Its Potential Impact on Abused Women and Children’s Education; Supervisor Dr. Lori Chambers

External Awards & Scholarships

  • Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship – Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (2012)
  • Canadian Home Economics Association Fellowship – Canadian Federation of University Women (2012)


  • February 2012 – Research that Makes a Difference: Education Graduate Students’ Conference, Lakehead University
  • December 2011 – Feminisms at the Lakehead, Lakehead University

Affiliations and Positions

2013 – present

  • Editorial Assistant, Canadian Journal of Law and Society/ Revue Canadienne Droit et Société, Carleton University
  • Member of the Carleton University Graduate Legal Studies Society
  • Teaching Assistant, Department of Law and Legal Studies, Carleton University (primarily for Laws 2201 with Professor Brettel Dawson)

2007 – present

  • Associate Law Clerk with the Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario

2014 – 2015

  • Research Assistant, Department of Law and Legal Studies, Carleton University

2012 – 2013

  • Intergenerational Education Task Group Member, Thunder Bay Age-Friendly Committee

2011 – 2012

  • Lakehead University Student Ambassador

2011 – 2013

  • Member of the Lakehead University Education Graduate Students Society
  • Teaching Assistant, Women’s Studies Department, Lakehead University
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Women’s Studies Department, Lakehead University

2010 – 2013

  • Lakehead University Senate Academic Appeals Committee – Undergraduate (2010-2011) and Graduate (2011-2013) student representative

2010 – 2011

  • Assistant Hockey Coach, Atom ‘A’ Power Skating Rangers, Westfort Hockey League, Thunder Bay
  • Law Clerk, Petrone Hornak Garofalo Mauro, Thunder Bay
  • Marking Assistant, Women’s Studies Department, Lakehead University

2009 – 2011

  • Community Connection Volunteer, Thunder Bay Multicultural Association

2007 – 2010

  • Law Clerk, Carrel+Partners LLP, Thunder Bay