Jean Teillet is a senior counsel with national law firm Pape Salter Teillet dealing with Indigenous rights law. She is also a published author of the monumental History of the Métis Nation in Canada, The North-West Is Our Mother. Her book is a gripping and very readable and meticulously researched history and has won the Carol Shields History Award among other accolades.
In addition to these accomplishments, I will be speaking to Jean about her early career and her decision to turn to the law. A direct descendent of Louis Riel’s brother, Jean’s advocacy has advanced Métis rights. She was lead counsel in the landmark Powley decision of the Supreme Court of Canada that established the legal basis for Métis Aboriginal rights under the Canadian Constitution. We speak about the Indian Act the adversarial legal process, which is long and costly for First Nations, and yet the Government of Canada persists in dragging Indigenous people into Court to prove their rights.
In this day of “pretendians” it is refreshing to speak to someone who is proud to speak about her Métis ancestry and the community that claims her.