Commissioner Poitras has an L.L.B. from the University of Saskatchewan and an L.L.M. from Harvard Law School. She is also a graduate of the Native Law Summer Program. She comes to the National Inquiry from the University of Saskatchewan where she has taught at the College of Law since 2009. Born and raised in the southeast corner of Saskatchewan, Commissioner Poitras traces her origins through her father’s Michif family, who lived in a road allowance community, and through her mother's Irish roots.
Commissioner Poitras has worked as a court worker, a constitutional lawyer, a self-government negotiator, a teacher and an educational designer for community and institutional programs. She is a student of traditional laws and learns from Elders all over the world, has worked on land issues for Indigenous people in Canada and in the Philippines and produced a film on stalking that Indigenous women face in Canada.