James A. Michael, K.C.

Jim advises First Nation clients in a broad range of matters including Indigenous governance, Aboriginal and Treaty rights, consultation and negotiation of land claims, natural resource development and litigation.

Jim is a member of Sipekne’katik and has dedicated his career to furthering the rights and interests of First Nation communities. With more than 25 years’ experience practicing Aboriginal law, Jim has become a trusted resource on First Nation legal issues.

Jim served as Director of the Treaty and Aboriginal Rights Research Centre in Sipekne’katik from 1996 to 2003. Prior to that role, he was manager of the province-wide Traditional Use Study and co-manager of the Aboriginal Title Project (ATP), a joint initiative of the Union of Nova Scotia Indians and the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq.

He was also elected to two terms on the Sipekne’katik Band Council.

Jim has presented on treaties and land claims on the national level, including to the Canadian Polar Commission and the Algonquin Conference. Jim was a member of the Chiefs’ Committee on Claims from 1996 to 2003 (now the Chiefs Committee on Lands, Territories and Resources), an Advisory Committee of the Assembly of First Nations.

When he was called to the bar in 1993, Jim became the first Mi’kmaq lawyer in Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Barrister’s Society honoured Jim for this landmark in 2008, commissioning his portrait to hang in the Law Courts in Halifax.

Jim lives in Sipekne’katik with his wife, who transferred in to Sipekne’katik from her band in New Brunswick when they married.

Year of Call
Nova Scotia, 1993

Law School
LL.B., Dalhousie University, 1992

B.A. (Political Science), Dalhousie University, 1988

First Nations