Robert J. M. Janes, Principal, JFK Law Corporation, Victoria, BC. Mr. Janes has had extensive experience in Aboriginal law. He has acted in Aboriginal cases in British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta and has appeared in all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He has acted as counsel for parties or interveners in cases such as Dene Tha’ First Nation v. Canada, Haida v. British Columbia, R. v. Marshall and Bernard and Okanagan Indian Band v. Bonneau. Mr. Janes’ work involves advising clients regarding Aboriginal rights and title, the Indian Act and related legislation as well as other related matters. Mr. Janes also advises various clients with regard to negotiations under the British Columbia Treaty Process. In addition to his Aboriginal law practice, Mr. Janes practises civil litigation and has been involved in a diverse range of commercial, administrative and environmental disputes.


Chief Joe Alphonse, Tribal Chairman, Tsilhqot’in National Government, Williams Lake, BC. Chief Joe Alphonse has been the Tribal Chairman of the Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG) since 2010 and elected Chief of the Tl’etinqox-t’in Government since 2009. From 2000 to 2009 Chief Alphonse acted as the Director of Government and Services at the TNG. Chief Alphonse played an instrumental role in the Tsilhqot’in Nation vs. British Columbia Aboriginal title case. As a fluent Chilcotin speaker, Chief Alphonse is a fifth generation Tsilhqot’in Chief and the direct descendant of Chief Anaham, the Grand Chief of the Tsilhqot’in Nation during the Chilcotin War of 1864. Chief Alphonse has brought stability, consistency and respectability into the many roles he has been honoured to hold within his community and Nation.


Karey Brooks, Principal, JFK Law Corporation, Vancouver, BC. Ms. Brooks has extensive experience in civil litigation. Her practice focuses on Aboriginal and constitutional law issues. She represents First Nations and First Nations organizations on matters relating to treaty and Aboriginal rights, land use issues, environmental issues, oil and gas related matters and water rights. Ms. Brooks represents clients in BC, Alberta and Ontario.


Douglas R. Eyford, Partner, Eyford Macaulay Shaw & Padmanabhan LLP, Vancouver, BC. Mr. Eyford has broad experience in civil litigation matters, representing clients in claims involving fraud, contract disputes, negligence, defamation, product liability, railway law and fire loss. He has appeared at all levels of court in BC as well as at regulatory and administrative tribunals. Mr. Eyford has extensive experience in alternate forms of dispute resolution, representing clients at arbitrations and mediations and in treaty negotiations. He negotiated the resolution of issues between the Prince Rupert Port Authority and First Nations communities involving the expansion of container terminal facilities in the Port of Prince Rupert for which he received the 2011-2012 Deputy Ministers’ Recognition Award from the Government of Canada. In March 2013, Mr. Eyford was appointed the Government of Canada’s special federal representative on west coast energy infrastructure. His report to the Prime Minister Forging Partnerships Building Relationships, Aboriginal Canadians and Energy Development was published by the Government of Canada in December 2013. In July 2014, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development appointed Doug to lead engagement with Aboriginal groups and key stakeholders for the review and reform of the comprehensive land claims policy. His report entitled A New Direction: Advancing Aboriginal and Treaty Rights was published in April 2015.


Celeste Haldane, Acting Chief Commissioner, BC Treaty Commission, Vancouver, BC. Celeste Haldane was elected by the First Nations Summit for a third two-year term in February 2015. She is a practising lawyer and holds an LL.M. in Constitutional Law from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, and an LL.B. and B.A. in Anthropology both granted by the University of British Columbia. She was appointed by the Provincial Government to serve on the Board of Governors for the University of British Columbia. Celeste is an active member of the Canadian Bar Association and is on the Executive of both the National Constitutional & Human Rights Forum and the National Women’s Lawyer Forum. She previously served four years as Chair on the Musqueam Land Code Committee, and now participates on the Musqueam Intergovernmental Affairs Committee and the Housing, Lands and Capital Committee. Celeste is a member of the Sparrow family from the Musqueam Indian Band and is Tsimshian through Metlakatla



Neilane Mayhew, Associate Deputy Minister, Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. Neilane was appointed the Associate Deputy Minister and Chief Operating Officer of the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation on October 8, 2014. Neilane has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Laws from UVic. Prior to joining the public service, she practised law with a small firm in Victoria and then joined the BC Public Service in 2001. Shortly after joining, she was asked to form and lead a new branch in the then Ministry of Provincial Revenue to consolidate the ministry’s tax appeals program. This opportunity started Neilane's journey leading a variety of project and initiatives in the tax administration area which a focus on improving service delivery, transforming business processes and building strong stakeholder relations.  In 2011 Neilane joined the Natural Resource Sector as an Assistant Deputy Minister. In 2013, Neilane continued to build on her sector knowledge becoming the Assistant Deputy Minister to the Strategic Initiatives Division within the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. With an emphasis on building strong working relationships, Neilane works with senior leaders in a number of ministries across government as well as external agencies and organizations including First Nations, regional districts and municipalities.  She is committed to the work of the public service and is constantly looking for ways to improve our services and implement new ways of doing business to ensure we meet the needs of our customers, stakeholders and partners.  


P. Mitch McAdam, Q.C., Director, Aboriginal Law Branch, Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice, Regina, SK. Mitch graduated from the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan in 1984 and after articling and working in private practice in Saskatoon for five years, he joined the Constitutional Law Branch of the Ministry of Justice in 1989. Since that time, his practice has focused almost exclusively on Aboriginal issues.  Mitch has represented the Attorney General a number of times in the Supreme Court of Canada in Aboriginal law cases such as R. v. Badger dealing with Treaty hunting rights; R. v. Powley dealing with Metis hunting rights and Haida Nation and Mikisew Cree dealing with the duty to consult. Most recently, he appeared in Manitoba Metis Federation dealing with the implementation of section 31 of the Manitoba Act, 1870 and Tsilhqot’in Nation dealing with Aboriginal title claims. In 2007, Mitch was named the Director of the new Aboriginal Law Branch at the Ministry of Justice. He received a Queen’s Counsel designation in 2011.


Gregory J. McDade, Q.C., Managing Partner, Ratcliff & Company, North Vancouver, BC. As senior litigation partner, Greg conducts major First Nations litigation. A large part of his practice is negotiation of impact benefit agreements, and Aboriginal consultation and accommodation litigation in respect of major resource projects in BC, the North and Ontario. Greg has extensive experience before all levels of court, including the Federal Courts and Supreme Court of Canada. Greg was counsel in the recent Court of Appeal decision in Thomas et al v. Rio Tinto Alcan, and counsel for one of the Intervenor groups before the SCC in Tsilhqot’in. Greg was called to the Bar and has practised in BC since 1979. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1996.



Dr. Bruce McIvor, Principal, First Peoples Law Corporation, Vancouver, BC. Dr. Bruce McIvor is a lawyer and historian. First Peoples Law is dedicated to defending and advancing Aboriginal title, Aboriginal rights and Treaty rights. Bruce has represented First Nations at all levels of court and assists First Nations across the country in the defence of their Aboriginal and Treaty rights and the negotiation of impact benefit agreements for major resource development projects. Bruce holds a law degree, a Ph.D. in Aboriginal and environmental history and is a Fulbright Scholar.


Val Napoleon, LL.B., Ph.D., Law Foundation Professor of Aboriginal Justice and Governance, University of Victoria Faculty of Law, Victoria, BC. Val Napoleon is from northeast British Columbia (Treaty 8) and a member of Saulteau First Nation. She is also an adopted member of the Gitanyow (Gitksan) House of Luuxhon, Ganada (Frog) Clan. Prior to joining the Faculty of Law at UVic, she was an associate professor cross appointed with the faculties of Native Studies and Law at the University of Alberta. Val worked as a community activist and consultant in northwestern BC for over 25 years, specializing in health, education, and justice issues, and has also worked with a number of regional, provincial, national, and international projects relating to Indigenous legal traditions, conflict management, education, and citizenship. Her current research focuses on Indigenous legal traditions, Indigenous legal theory, Indigenous feminism, citizenship, self-determination, and governance.


Jay Nelson, General Counsel, Tsilhqot’in National Government and Associate Counsel, Woodward & Company LLP, Victoria, BC. Jay clerked for the Chief Justice of Canada, Beverley McLachlin. He was a member of the legal team for the Xeni Gwet’in and the Tsilhqot’in Nation in their historic Aboriginal title and rights trial, Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia and Canada, and acted as co-counsel on the appeals to the BC Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.  He has appeared as counsel before the Supreme Court of Canada for intervening First Nations on several landmark Aboriginal rights and title cases.  Jay also acted as counsel for the Tsilhqot’in Nation in the federal regulatory reviews that resulted in the rejection of both the Prosperity and New Prosperity mine proposals, preserving an area of profound cultural importance to the Tsilhqot’in people.  Jay lives in Victoria with his partner and three children.



Jean Teillet, IPC (B.F.A., LL.B., LL.M.), Partner, Pape Salter Teillet LLP, Barristers & Solicitors, Vancouver, BC and Toronto, ON. Ms. Teillet has been called to the Bar in Ontario, BC, NWT, Manitoba and Yukon. She specializes in Aboriginal rights litigation and negotiations and is currently the chief negotiator for the Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw who are negotiating a treaty in the lower Fraser Valley in BC. Ms. Teillet was counsel at the Supreme Court of Canada in Pamajewon, Powley, Taku River and Beckman and acted for interveners in other cases including Blais, MMF, Paul, Cunningham, Haida, Delgamuukw and Moulton Contracting. She also acted for an intervener in Daniels at the Federal Court of Appeal. Ms. Teillet maintains an active role as a public speaker and primarily speaks on Aboriginal rights, access to justice and Charter issues. She is published in many journals and law books and is the author of Métis Law in Canada. Ms. Teillet is a former Treasurer and Vice-President of the Indigenous Bar Association, and was the first recipient of the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Lincoln Alexander Award. In 2011, Ms. Teillet was awarded the title “Indigenous Peoples’ Counsel” by the Indigenous Bar Association. In 2012, she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. She has been awarded two honorary doctorates: Guelph University (2014); Law Society of Upper Canada (2015). Ms. Teillet is the great grand niece of Louis Riel.