Leanna Farr, Fred Bellefeuille, and Linda Newhook.

For those who do not know about the Anishinabek Nation Legal Department, we would like to take some time to introduce our staff and to provide a brief overview of the services our Department provides. Additionally, with the revitalization of the Anishinabek News, our Department is aiming to share public legal education information with Anishinabek News readers on a quarterly basis. The information shared will be focused on legal information relevant to Indigenous peoples and communities. We are hopeful that some of the general legal information that our Department will share may help Anishinabek Nation citizens become more familiar with various legal issues and our Department.

Our Department team consists of Fred Bellefeuille, Legal Counsel and Legal Department Director; Linda Newhook, Legal Coordinator; and Leanna Farr, Legal Counsel. Our Department provides legal services and support to the Anishinabek Nation and its related corporate entities (i.e., Union of Ontario Indians, and the Anishinabek Nation 7th Generation Charity).

Our Department has experience assisting with diverse legal matters such as treaty and aboriginal rights, residential school matters, taxation, matrimonial real property, corporate matters, governance and restoration of jurisdiction, elections, employment matters, child welfare, public inquiries, and public legal education, to name a few. We are able to provide legal assistance to our various Anishinabek Nation departments and our member First Nations on a fee for service basis. For more information on our fees and services, please contact: Linda Newhook, Legal Coordinator, at the Anishinabek Nation Head Office at 705-497-9127.

In addition to the above, our Department oversees the Anishinabek Nation Tribunal & Commission which provides mediation services to assist with dispute resolution on a fee for service basis. This service is available to individual Anishinabek Nation members and/or groups or organizations. For further information on this particular service, contact Linda Newhook.

If you are seeking legal representation that is beyond our mandate, please consider the following services:

The Law Society Referral Service (LSRS) at https://lsrs.lsuc.on.ca/lsrs/ or by telephone at 1-855-947-5255 or 416-947-5255 (within the GTA), Monday – Friday between 9 am – 5 pm.

If you are under the age of 18 or are homeless and under the age of 25, and you need a lawyer or have questions about your legal rights, you may call Justice for Children and Youth, or visit the website at: http://jfcy.org/.

If you are under the age of 18 and have questions about custody and access, child protection, civil litigation or estates and trusts matters, you may visit the Office of the Children’s Lawyer website at: http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/family/ocl/faq/default.asp.

Chi Miigwetch! We look forward to sharing with Anishinabek News readers in future issues!

– The Anishinabek Nation Legal Department