White Raven Law
White Raven Law Corporation

Our Team

Legal and litigation services supporting indigenous communities.

 

As a firm that brings a unique indigenous perspective to the practice of law, we fully understand the challenges that indigenous communities face. We see ourselves as a partner and collaborator in finding solutions that are not only sustainable, but also reflect the customs and traditions of indigenous communities.

 
 

Lawyers

The lawyers of White Raven Law offer a unique combination of legal and indigenous knowledge that sets us apart. The breadth and depth of our lawyers' skills and experience in indigenous' affairs enable White Raven Law to fulfill our mission of providing indigenous communities an innovative approach to handling legal challenges with integrity and compassion.

 
 
 
 

Principal lawyer

Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson Gid7ahl Gudsllaay, B.Sc., LL.B.

A citizen of the Haida Nation and also its General Counsel, Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson has practiced in the area of aboriginal-environmental law since she was called to the BC Bar in 1996. She holds two degrees from the University of British Columbia: Bachelor of Laws, 1995; and Bachelor of Science (Computer Science), 1990, and is currently pursuing a Master of Laws.

Since 1995 she has represented the Haida Nation at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada in litigation to protect the old-growth forests of Haida Gwaii, the Haida Nation’s TFL39 Case, the leading case on consultation and accommodation of Aboriginal Rights. She is also counsel for the Haida Nation’s aboriginal title case (launched in 2002), as well as the related reconciliation negotiations–which have resulted in innovative interim agreements with British Columbia and Canada–and other litigation such as that challenging the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project.

Terri-Lynn has published widely and lectures internationally in aboriginal law. In the past she served as founding Executive Director of the national charity EAGLE (Environmental-Aboriginal Guardianship through Law and Education), as an Advisory Council member for the Vancouver Foundation’s Environment Program, as a juror for the Ecotrust (US) Buffet Award for Indigenous Leadership, on the board of Ecotrust Canada and Earthlife Canada Foundation (Gowgaia Institute). Terri-Lynn is currently a board member of the Haida Gwaii Singers Society and an Honourary Director of the national environmental charity Ecojustice. In 2014 she received West Coast Environmental Law Peoples' Choice Andrew Thompson Award for environmental advocacy.

She has a lifelong devotion to perpetuating Haida culture, including illustrating a children's book, sharing traditional dance and songs with Rainbow Creek Dancers, and recording for film and television. She is a multiple award winning singer for her work with Haida Gwaii Singers Society and Raven Calling Productions, including the "Keepers of Traditions" Award from the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards ("CAMA") for her lifetime contributions to Haida musical traditions, the "Best Female Traditional/Cultural Roots Album" CAMA for her CD "Lalaxaaygans: Beautiful Sound", and "Best Female Artist" CAMA for her CD "New Journeys". In 2017 she released a CD "Grizzly Bear Town" with Canadian music icons, Claire Lawrence and Bill Henderson of the rock band Chilliwack. In 2017, she also released the book "Out of Concealment: Female Supernatural Beings of Haida Gwaii" (forwards by Wade Davis and Gwaganad, Diane Brown) and exhibited a multi-media exhibition at the Haida Gwaii Museum.

Download bio here.

 
 
 

Associate

Elizabeth Bulbrook, B.A., M.A., J.D.

Elizabeth is an Associate at White Raven Law, a boutique law firm specializing in indigenous-environmental law. She has an interest in Aboriginal, Indigenous, Environmental and Constitutional law, and brings extensive professional experience working with indigenous peoples to her position. Prior to studying law, Elizabeth received a Master’s degree in Archaeology and worked as an archaeological consultant for the Haida Heritage and Forest Guardians to protect and document archaeological sites on Haida Gwaii. She previously served as the Reconciliation Coordinator for the Council of the Haida Nation, and also instructed and developed a wide variety of university level courses, which centered on Archaeology and First Nations Studies, which has kept her closely involved and active in First Nations’ issues.

Elizabeth has had the opportunity to work on high-profile litigation for the Haida Nation directed at environmental protection. Elizabeth practices law because of her dedication to help clients use all available legal tools to improve social justice and to help protect the environment from unsustainable practices.

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Articled Student

Nigel Baker-Grenier, B.A., J.D.

Nigel is an Articled Student at White Raven Law. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in the History Honours program at the University of British Columbia and a Juris Doctor from the Peter A. Allard School of Law. He was awarded the awarded the Beverly McLachlin Legal Access Award in 2019 and the Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP Indigenous Entrance Scholarship in 2016. In 2018, Nigel published an article in the University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review titled, “Esdii Wal: Gitxsan Law Grounded in Epistemology.” Nigel worked as a temporary articled student for the Indigenous Community Legal Clinic, which provides legal advice in the areas of criminal law, family law, and civil law, to marginalized people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Nigel belongs to the Gisgahaast clan from the Gitxsan Nation. He is also Mushkegowuck (swampy Cree) from Weenusk First Nation. During his upbringing, he was immersed in song, dance, oral history and law from his communities. Nigel chose to study law to revitalize Indigenous laws which are grounded in oral histories and traditions. Indigenous laws contain rich normative resources that are relevant today and robustly inform the rights and obligations of the contemporary world.

Nigel is a lead dancer for Dancers of Damelahamid, an Indigenous dance company based in Vancouver. He has developed and performed numerous works including; Spirit Transforming 2012, Flicker 2016, Talking Past Each Other 2018, and Mînowin 2019. Nigel has toured nationally and internationally as an artist. He has also assisted in organizing the annual Coastal First Nations Dance Festival.

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Advisors

White Raven Law clients benefit significantly from our ability to draw on the wise counsel of senior advisors. Our advisors are acknowledged leaders in their areas of expertise and highly respected by their peers. The exceptional breadth and depth of their knowledge provides insights and solutions that enhance the services we provide. They are a vital resource that rounds out the White Raven Law team.

 
 
 

SENIOR legal counsel

Louise Mandell, Q.C.

In 1983, Louise was one of the founding partners of Mandell Pinder, a law firm specializing in Aboriginal and treaty rights law. In 2011, she moved out of the day-to-day practice of law but remains connected in the esteemed capacity "of counsel" to the firm.

On behalf of her many First Nations clients, Louise has devoted her professional life to the advancement of their Aboriginal Title and Rights and Treaty Rights. She was brought into the area of aboriginal law when it was in its infancy, working under the direction of the late Grand Chief George Manuel, President of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs ("UBCIC") and the World Council of Indigenous Peoples. Acting for UBCIC, Louise was legal counsel in their fight against the patriation of the Constitution. Since then, she has devoted her efforts to implementing constitutional change, including through advancing alongside one or more of her Mandell Pinder colleagues many of the leading cases, such as: Guerin(1), Sparrow(2), Van der Peet(3), Delgamuukw(4), Haida(5), Bartleman(6), Saanichton Marina(7), Morris and Olsen(8), Osoyoos(9) and the historic costs order decision in Jules and Wilson(10).

Louise was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1997 and, in 2001, was awarded the Georges Goyer Q.C. Memorial Award for exceptional contribution to the development of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights jurisprudence across the country.

(1) Guerin v. The Queen, [1984] 2 S.C.R. 335; (2) Regina v. Sparrow, [1990] 1 S.C.R. 1075; (3) Regina v. Van der Peet, [1996] 2 S.C.R. 507; (4) Delgamuukw v. The Queen, [1997] 3 S.C.R. 1010; (5) Haida Nation v. B.C. (Minister of Forests), [2004] 3 S.C.R. 511; (6) R. v. Bartleman, [1984] 55 B.C.L.R. 78 (B.C.C.A.); (7) Saanichton Marina Ltd. v. Claxton, (1988) 1 W.W.R. 540 (B.C.S.C.); affirmed 36 B.C.L.R. (2d) 79 (C.A.); (8) R. v. Morris, [2006] 2 S.C.R. 915; (9) Osoyoos Indian Band v. Oliver (Town), [2001] 3 S.C.R. 746; (10) British Columbia (Minister of Forests) v. Okanagan Indian Band, [2003] 3 S.C.R. 371.

 
 
 
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senior Legal Counsel  I  Professor

Michael Jackson, L.L.B., L.L.M., Q.C.

Professor Jackson has specialized and published widely in the areas of Correctional Law and Penal Policy and Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. He has been involved as a researcher or counsel in many of the Aboriginal rights cases that have come before the Supreme Court of Canada over the past 25 years. He is a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Judicature (UK), a Member of the Bar of British Columbia, and a Professor of Law at the University of British Columbia. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1999.

Professor Jackson was co-counsel in the Haida Nation litigation in which the Supreme Court affirmed a Crown duty to consult and accommodate First Nations in relation to resource development decisions affecting lands to which they have asserted Aboriginal rights and title. He was also co-counsel in the Gitksan Wet'suwet'en land claims case, Delgamuukw v. The Attorney-General of British Columbia.

Professor Jackson also served in as a consultant to the Law Reform Commission of Canada and authored In Search of the Pathways to Justice: Alternative Dispute Resolution in Aboriginal Communities. He has also authored two major reports, Justice Behind the Walls and Locking Up Natives in Canada. Professor Jackson also published Prisoners of Isolation: Solitary Confinement in Canada, as well as Sentences That Never End.

Professor Jackson received a Bachelor of Laws from Kings College, London and a Master of Laws from Yale Law School.

 
 
 
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David Paterson

David’s career has focussed on the representation of Indigenous peoples and First Nations since 1985 when he became involved with the Haida Nation’s defence of Athlii Gwaii (Lyell Island). He has argued cases across Canada and at all levels of Courts.  He was co-counsel in the landmark Delgamuukw case.

David was also involved in the fight over Indian Residential Schools, appearing before both a Parliamentary Committee and the Supreme Court of Canada.  He was co-counsel in the Baxter national class action and took part in settlement negotiations including helping to draft the injury compensation process (the IAP) and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) mandates.  Following the settlement, he was (and remains) a member of the Oversight Committee supervising the IAP, and the Parties’ Advisory Committee to the TRC, as well as representing many individual claimants.

David has lectured widely and served, from 2000 to 2006, as Vice Chair and Chair of the Indigenous Peoples and the Law Committee of the International Bar Association.  He is a former Chair of the South Fraser Regional Health Board and the Health Association of BC and presently serves as Board Secretary for Reconciliation Canada. 

He is a graduate of McGill Law School, a former law clerk to the BC Court of Appeal, and was called to the Bar in 1984.

 

 

Litigation Support & Administration

 
 
Stephen Currie, B.A, J.D.  - Litigation Support & Operations Manager

Stephen Currie, B.A, J.D. - Litigation Support & Operations Manager

Lori Fuglem  - Database and Document Technician

Lori Fuglem - Database and Document Technician

 
Marina La Salle  - Litigation Support, Researcher (Contractor)

Marina La Salle - Litigation Support, Researcher (Contractor)

Eva Streitz, B.A.  - Receptionist, Researcher & Document Clerk

Eva Streitz, B.A. - Receptionist, Researcher & Document Clerk

Wanda Bernacka - Database and Document Technician

Wanda Bernacka- Database and Document Technician

Tajinder Bhatti  - Accountant

Tajinder Bhatti - Accountant