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Cree Quebec Judicial Advisory Committee

As per our agreements with the Province of Quebec, the Cree Quebec Judicial Advisory Committee was established to provide strategic counsel and recommendations to the Grand Council of the Crees and the Department of Justice and Correctional Services (DOJCS) of the Cree Nation Government, through the office of the Director of Justice and Correctional Services.

The Committee is responsible for identifying needs and making recommendations concerning the priorities and strategies relating to the administration of justice for the Crees, including annual budget allocations.

Established in 2007, the Committee consists of ten members, four representing the Crees of Eeyou Istchee and five representing the Province of Quebec. The Committee is led by a chairperson who holds a term of two years. 

As of July 1st 2017, the Cree Quebec Judicial Advisory Committee is composed of the following members:

  • Kenneth Gilpin
  • Daisy House, Chair
  • Rodney Mark
  • Denis Blanchette
  • Irene Neeposh
  • Jacques Pregent
  • Claude Turgeon
  • Frederic Desrosiers
  • Nathalie Ouimet
  • Hughes Tremblay

 

Director of Justice and Correctional Services

The day-to-day affairs of the DOJCS are led by the Director of Justice and Correctional Services, Mr. Donald Nicholls.

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Donald Nicholls, B.A., LL.B, B.C.L, LL.M

Donald Nicholls is the Director of the Cree Nation Government Department of Justice and Correctional Services since 2009.

Prior to becoming Director, Mr. Nicholls was the Interim Director where he assisted with preparatory work for the establishment of the Department, and was an inaugural Member of the Cree-Quebec Judicial Advisory Committee when established in 2007.  Mr. Nicholls stepped down from the Committee to become Director, and instead work closely with the Committee and CNG. Previously, from 2005-2009, Mr. Nicholls worked as Political Attaché with the Executive Office of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)/Cree Nation Government.

Mr. Nicholls comes from a strong background in law and Indigenous issues, having served as the first Coordinator of Justice for the CNG, worked with tribal courts, worked on Indigenous cases at mechanisms in the United Nations, Organization of American States, NAFTA, and in domestic court systems in Latin and North America. He also worked at various working groups, and was present at the Human Rights Council (Geneva), and General Assembly (New York) at the passing of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

At the same time, Mr. Nicholls was an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, where he lectured in the Tribal/Indigenous Peoples Clinic, co-developed with James Anaya a course on comparative Indigenous laws and systems, was a teaching assistant to Vine Deloria Jr. in teaching advanced treaty law, supervised student cooperative work and special projects, and on the program steering committee. During this time, he was also engaged as the Northern Tribes Initiative Coordinator for the University, where he coordinated outreach programs and activities to Native American tribes. The law school named Mr. Nicholls the first Vine Deloria Jr. Senior Fellow, a senior position for graduate level research and scholarship in the area of Indigenous issues and law at the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Nicholls worked as an Education Consultant with the Cree School Board, and was a successful entrepreneur establishing a partnership to develop commercial property in his home community. His innovation allowed for further development of businesses and enterprises, establishing a new financing model for collective held property. Mr. Nicholls has also worked with Indigenous groups from every continent on various issues, and worked with International bodies to establish better guidelines in working with Indigenous populations.

Mr. Nicholls has authored a number of publications, presentations and position papers addressing a wide array of issues related to Indigenous justice, ethics, Aboriginal Law and Indigenous Rights. He has also been appointed as an expert on various panels for national events on research, and has chaired national and international committees for the Government of Canada. Mr. Nicholls was recently the recipient of the prestigious Award of Merit by the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution for his work in the area of mediation and conflict resolution with vulnerable populations.

Donald Nicholls holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics (1993) from the University of Western Ontario, a Bachelor of Laws from University of Toronto Faculty of Law (1996), a Bachelor of Civil Law from the McGill University Faculty of Law (1998), and a Master of Laws from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law (2002).