OUR PROJECT TEAM

Research Project by Prof. Larry Chartrand

B.Ed. (University of Alberta), LL.B. (Osgoode Hall Law School), LL.M. (Queen’s University), of the Bar of Ontario, Full Professor

Professor Larry Chartrand has been an active faculty member in the Common Law Section since 1994, assuming the role of Associate Professor in 2003.  He served as the Director of the Aboriginal Self-Government Program at the University of Winnipeg from 2004 to 2007.  In 1998, he served as the Métis Advisor to the Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples.  From 1991 to 1994, he was the Director of the Indigenous Law Program at the Faculty of Law, University of Alberta.

Prof. Chartrand’s research interests include Aboriginal law and Constitutional law, particularly Métis rights and Indigenous peoples’ laws.   He is currently the Principal Investigator for a major SSHRC grant to undertake research relating to Métis treaties in Canada.

Prof. Chartrand is the Treasurer, Adjudicator and Founding Member of the Indigenous Bar Association Scholarship Foundation.   He has also served as President of the Indigenous Bar Association (Aboriginal lawyers, Judges and law students).

He was born on the western plains and is a proud citizen of the Métis nation.  He has a son, Evan, who lives in Winnipeg and loves to play Lacrosse.  Prof. Chartrand now lives in Gatineau Quebec with his partner and best friend Christine.   He enjoys camping and fishing and cooking traditional Métis meals.

Research Project by Prof. Adam Gaudry

Adam Gaudry, Ph.D. is Metis and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Native Studies at the University of Saskatchewan.

Adam received his Ph.D. at the School of Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria, and his MA in Sociology and BAH in Political Studies from Queen’s University. For his doctoral research on historic Metis-Canada relations, Adam received the Henry Roe Cloud Dissertation Writing Fellowship at Yale University and a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

Adam’s research explores nineteenth-century Metis political thought, the formation of a Metis treaty-relationship with Canada in 1870, and the subsequent non-implementation of that agreement. This project argues the existence a “Manitoba treaty” between the Metis people and Canada necessitates the maintenance of a respectful and bilateral political relationship between the treaty partners, a relationship that does not, at present, exist. This work is being revised into a book for publication.

Adam has published articles in The Wicazo Sa Review, aboriginal policy studies, and the Canadian Journal of Native Education along with several chapters in edited collections on research ethics and methodology. Adam is currently on a panel of Metis history “experts” for the Rupertsland Centre for Metis Research’s fast response site “Metis in the Courts.”

Research Project by Prof. D’Arcy Vermette

D’Arcy Vermette (B.A., LL.B, LL.M, LL.D), joined the Faculty of Native Studies as an Assistant Professor in July 2015. He previously worked at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law, teaching constitutional and Aboriginal law and acting as faculty mentor to the Aboriginal Law Students Association.

Dr. Vermette began teaching in 2009 in the Native Studies Programme at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick and served as the Director of the Programme. He taught courses on Canadian Aboriginal Law, liberation and Métis issues. As Director, he was proud to oversee the addition of courses on Aboriginal law, lobbied for and attained departmental status and developed an Honours Programme. Prior to departing St. Thomas University, he was awarded tenure and promotion.

Originally from Saskatoon, and a member of the Métis nation, Dr. Vermette obtained his B.A. in Native Studies from the University of Saskatchewan. He received his LL.B from the University of Toronto, and spent part of his final year working as a research assistant with the Waitangi Tribunal in Wellington, New Zealand. He obtained his LL.M from Queen’s University where he examined ongoing colonialism within Canadian Aboriginal Rights jurisprudence.  In 2012 he successfully defended his doctoral dissertation, titled “Beyond Doctrines of Dominance: Conceptualizing a Path to Legal Recognition and Affirmation of the Manitoba Métis,” and received his LL.D from the University of Ottawa. His research continues to focus on Métis issues and the continuing colonial imposition of the Canadian law on Aboriginal people.

Dr. Vermette has been invited to present his research and speak at panels and symposiums across Canada, including the National Judicial Institute and Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. He has received research funding at all levels, including a St. Thomas University Major Research Grant.  In addition to the SSHRC funding with the Métis Treaties Project, he is also a team member with the Collaborative Research Network on Water Governance, Climate Change and the futures of Communities at the University of Alberta which received a three-year KULE Research Cluster Grant valued at $100,000.

Research Project by Prof. Catherine Bell

Catherine Bell is a Professor of Law at the University of Alberta specializing in Indigenous legal issues, cultural heritage law, and interdisciplinary collaborative community based legal research.   She has been a visiting professor and scholar at various national and international universities and has helped develop and deliver  Indigenous legal education programs including for the Program of Legal Studies for Native People (University of Saskatchewan), the Akitsiraq Law School for Inuit students (Nunavut, Canada), and the Banff Center for Management Aboriginal Leadership and Self-Government Program. She is the recipient of numerous major research grants and awards including the Canadian Bar Association’s (CBA) 2012 Ramon John Hnatyshyn Gold Medal for her contributions to law and legal education in Canada.

Professor Bell is published widely on Métis and First Nation legal and policy issues and has acted as an advisor to and in collaboration with First Nation, Inuit, Métis, federal and provincial governments, museums and inter-governmental organizations.  She is one of Canada’s leading experts on Métis constitutional rights and the Alberta Metis settlements. She is the author of numerous publications on Métis rights and several books including Contemporary Métis Justice: The Settlement WayAlberta Métis Settlements Legislation:  An Overview of Ownership and Management of Settlement Lands; Intercultural Dispute Resolution in Aboriginal Contexts (with Dr. D. Kahane); First Nations’ Cultural Heritage and Law: Case Studies, Voices and Perspectives (with Dr. V. Napoleon); and First Nations’ Cultural Heritage and Law: Reconciliation and Reform (with Robert K. Paterson).  Current research includes, for this project, research on the constitutional rights of Alberta Métis and Metis settlement members. She is also engaged in collaborative legal research on Indigenous cultural heritage with Yukon First Nations and is on the Steering Committee for an international interdisciplinary research project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada on “Intellectual Property in Cultural Heritage” with particular emphasis on indigenous peoples and the products of archaeological research.

Research Project by Prof. Brenda Gunn

Brenda L. Gunn, Associate Professor Robson Hall Faculty of Law. She has a B.A. from the University of Manitoba and a J.D. from the University of Toronto.  She completed her LL.M. in Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy at the University of Arizona. She articled with Sierra Legal Defence Fund (now Ecojustice Canada). She was called to the bars of Law Society of Upper Canada and Manitoba. Brenda also worked at a community legal clinic in Rabinal, Guatemala on a case of genocide submitted to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights. She has also worked with First Nations on Aboriginal and treaty rights issues in Manitoba. As a proud Metis woman she continues to combine her academic research with her activism pushing for greater recognition of Indigenous peoples’ inherent rights as determined by Indigenous peoples’ own legal traditions. Her current research focuses on promoting greater conformity between international law on the rights of Indigenous peoples and domestic law.  She continues to be actively involved in the international Indigenous peoples’ movement, regularly attending international meetings, including the review of Canada before CERD.  She provided technical assistance to the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the analysis and drafting of the report summarizing the responses on the survey on implementing the UN Declaration.   She developed a handbook on understanding and implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that is quickly becoming one of the main resources in Canada on the UN Declaration and has delivered workshops on the Declaration across Canada and internationally.  In 2013, she participated in the UNITAR Training Programme to Enhance the Conflict Prevention and Peacemaking Capacities of Indigenous Peoples’ Representatives, which continues to impact her research.

Research Project by Prof. Darren O’Toole

Professor O’Toole teaches Aboriginal Law, Indigenous Legal Philosophy, and Philosophy of Law. Throughout his studies in Political Science, Professor O’Toole maintained an interest in Canadian Politics, the History of Political Ideas, Political Economy, Methodology and Epistemology. A descendant of the Bois-Brûlé (Wiisakodewininiwag) of the White Horse Plains in Manitoba, who in 1870 foisted upon the nascent Dominion of Canada the first French common law jurisdiction in the British Empire, Professor O’Toole studied the common law in French at the Université de Moncton. After completing his law degree, Professor O’Toole completed a Ph.D. dissertation involving an analysis of the “discourse” of the Métis Resistance in 1869-70 that reveals republican conventions both in both speech and act.

Professor O’Toole’s published research has focused on the land claims of his Métis ancestors that led to the Manitoba Métis Federation v. Canada and Manitoba case. His current research explores the Anishinabek legal order, for which he received Grant from University of Ottawa’s Research Development Programme in 2012-2013. His work on Indigenous law, notably in terms of relations with the land and self-determination, has led to an interest in legal anthropology and legal pluralism

Professor O’Toole is a member of the Indigenous Bar Association.

Paul L.A.H. Chartrand, I.P.C. (Indigenous Peoples’ Counsel) of Canada’s Indigenous Bar Association

Teach.Cert.(MB), B.A.(Hons) Wpg, LL.B. (Hons) QUT. (Australia), LL.M. Sask. formerly Professor of Law, is retired from university and practising law.

Born in 1943, one of twelve children in a Metis trapper’s family, he lives in his home community of St Laurent along Lake Manitoba, on lands that were originally allotted to his great-grandfather under section 31 of the Manitoba Act 1870, which granted lands to Manitoba Metis to extinguish their Indian title. His family was one of the founding families of one of the old Michif communities outside the immediate Red River region. He received his elementary and high school education with the Franciscan missionary nuns in St Laurent except for one year at an Oblate residential school.    

 After teaching in his home community he went to Australia in 1974 and returned in 1982 having taught school, earned a law degree and taught law in Brisbane, Queensland. His expertise as a legal scholar focused on the law and policy of states as they apply to indigenous people. He is the author of numerous publications including over twenty on Metis issues, including the seminal book Manitoba’s Metis Settlement Scheme of 1870. He has taught a range of university courses including legal and history courses on Metis issues and has had university appointments in Canada, the USA, Australia and New Zealand.

He was a senior advisor to the Metis National Council in the national First Ministers’ Conferences on Aboriginal Constitutional Reform in the 1980s and was later appointed Metis Nation Ambassador to the United Nations where he participated in the process leading to the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007. He has also been an advisor to Metis and First Nation organisations at the provincial and national levels. A noted public speaker he has given numerous lectures and keynote addresses in Canada and abroad.

His public service appointments include membership on Canada’s Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1991-96), Manitoba’s Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission, and Canada’s Aboriginal Healing Foundation.

Paul Chartrand, a member of Manitoba’s Baseball Hall of Fame and Saskatoon’s Sports Hall of Fame is now a great-grandfather who enjoys the game of golf in the short Manitoba summers.

Research Project by Prof. Nathalie Kermoal

Nathalie Kermoal is of Breton descent (a people living on the West coast of France). She is a full professor in the Faculty of Native Studies. She is a bilingual specialist (French and English) in Canadian history and more specifically in Métis history. She did her M.A in Contemporary History at the University of Nantes (France) and her Ph.D. in Canadian History at the University of Ottawa. She has published two books as well as numerous articles on the Métis, Urban Aboriginal issues, Contemporary Aboriginal Art as well as the Calgary School. Her areas of research interests are Métis issues (Historical and Contemporary), Aboriginal Constitutional Issues, Urban Aboriginal history, Contemporary Aboriginal Art and Aboriginal Women’s Issues. In 2011-2012, she served as Interim Dean of the Faculty of Native Studies.

In 2013 and 2014, she was special advisor on Aboriginal academic programs with the Provost’s office of the University of Alberta. From 2009 to June 30, 2015, Professor Kermoal was the Associate-Dean Academic of the Faculty of Native Studies.

Research Project by Prof. Sebastien Grammond

Sébastien Grammond has been a professor at the Civil Law Section of the University of Ottawa since 2004. He has taught Obligations (contract law), Aboriginal Peoples and the Law, Civil Procedure and Business Organizations.  He became full professor in 2011.  He was Vice-Dean, Research from 2005 to 2008, Acting Dean from 2008 to 2009 and Dean from 2009 to 2014.  He also participated in the creation of a summer course on indigenous legal traditions taught in certain Cree communities of northern Quebec.

Sébastien Grammond’s main research interests pertain to indigenous peoples and the law and, more generally, to the legal treatment of minority issues.  He authored three books and several published papers on those subjects. Aménager la coexistence : les peuples autochtones et le droit canadien, published in 2003, is a comprehensive textbook on indigenous peoples and the law in Canada and received the Quebec Bar Foundation prize. An English updated version was published in 2013 under the title Terms of Coexistence: Indigenous Peoples and Canadian Law.  Another book, Identity Captured by Law: Membership in Canada’s Indigenous Peoples and Linguistic Minorities (2009) provides an in-depth analysis of how legal definitions of membership in indigenous communities and linguistic groups may be compatible with human rights and the autonomy of the groups concerned.  Sébastien Grammond’s current research projects focus on the recognition of indigenous groups, in particular those who assert a Métis identity.

After studies in engineering, Sébastien Grammond obtained a bachelor of law (1992) and a masters of law (1994) from the Université de Montréal.  He began his career as a law clerk to Chief Justice Antonio Lamer of the Supreme Court of Canada.  He practised law for several years at the firm Dentons in Montreal, in particular in the fields of native law, constitutional and administrative law, business law and construction law.  Leaving full-time practice aside in 2001, he obtained a Masters in Legal Research (2002) and a Doctorate in Law (2004) from the University of Oxford.  As a member of the Quebec (1994) and Ontario (2007) bars, he has frequently argued cases before the Quebec Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. He was recently involved in the Caron and Boutet case, which deals with legislative bilingualism in Alberta, in which he made arguments based on promises made by Canada to the Métis of Red River in 1869-70.

Sébastien Grammond’s achievements have been recognized by several prizes and distinctions.  He presented the results of his research not only before Canadian audiences, but also in France, Belgium, Spain and Chile.  He also offered training to judges and public service lawyers. He frequently appears in the media, commenting upon subjects with a legal dimension.  The Quebec Bar awarded him the title of advocatus emeritus (Ad.E.) in 2012 and its Merit Award in 2014.

In addition, from time to time, a number of graduate students from
law, history and Native studies may be involved as research assistants.

Research AssistantCynthia Smith – University of Ottawa