Throughout Michelle’s career, she has worked for First Nations to achieve their goals, including the recognition and protection of their rights and greater self-governance. Michelle’s practice spans assisting First Nations with governance matters; drafting and implementing laws and policies; specific claims; consultation with industry and government; and litigation.
Michelle obtained a Bachelor of Arts in International Development and English with distinction from McGill University. She then went on to attend law school at the University of New South Wales, graduating with honours. She was called to the bar in British Columbia in 2013 and the Yukon Bar in 2020.
Prior to joining Woodward & Company in 2020, Michelle practiced at a leading Aboriginal law firm for 8 years, clerked at the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales, and served as the editor for the Australian Indigenous Law Review. She has appeared in all three levels of court in British Columbia, the Federal Courts, the Supreme Court of Canada and various administrative tribunals, including the National Energy Board and the Specific Claims Tribunal.
Michelle was born in Rossland, B.C. and in her spare time enjoys getting out in nature as often as possible.
Tsleil-Waututh Nation v. Canada (AG), 2018 FCA 153 – establishing that Canada failed to fulfil its obligations to consult and accommodate the Squamish Nation prior to approving the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.
Blueberry River First Nation v. British Columbia, 2018 BCSC 278 – securing a stay of Blueberry River First Nations’ obligation to pay court hearing fees for a treaty rights trial.
Coldwater Indian Band v. Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, 2017 FCA 199 – establishing that Canada breached its fiduciary duty to the Coldwater Indian Band in failing to act in the Band’s best interests and consenting to an outdated pipeline easement through the reserve.
Doig River First Nation and Blueberry River First Nation v. HMTQ, 2015 SCTC 6 – establishing that Canada breached its fiduciary duty to Blueberry River First Nations and Doig River First Nation when government officials failed to notice that British Columbia had reserved subsurface rights in replacement reserves set aside for the First Nations’ benefit.
Assistant: Shannon Rasmussen
Member, Law Society of B.C.