Rebecca was born and raised in unceded Anishinabe territory, also known as Ottawa, Ontario. Her parents immigrated from Malaysia; her father is Hakka and her mother is Bidayuh. The Bidayuh are an Indigenous people from the island of Borneo, and Rebecca grew up listening to stories of her grandfather fighting to protect their native customary land, and of her aunts who have fiercely protected Bidayuh ways of life. Her Bidayuh identity led her to learning from and about the Indigenous peoples of the land in which her parents chose to build a home.
She completed her Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences in Conflict Studies and Human Rights with a minor in Indigenous Studies from the University of Ottawa in 2018, and then completed her Masters of Science in Migration Studies from the University of Oxford in 2019. Her Master’s thesis looked at the intersection between Indigenous Studies and Migration Studies, specifically looking at what the Canadian citizenship test study guide taught newcomers about Indigenous histories.
For the past 5 years or so, Rebecca has worked for the federal government in the departments of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Indigenous Services Canada. She has held multiple positions as a Parliamentary Affairs Officer, Policy Analyst and Assistant Negotiator. She has also completed her certification as a Third Party Neutral with the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution, specializing in facilitation, mediation and group conflict skills.
She has recently undertaken a new adventure and has begun the University of Victoria’s joint JD (Canadian Common Law) & JID (Indigenous Legal Orders) program. She now lives on lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ territory with her husband Ben and their 11-lb Yorkshire Terrier Hank.