0    Resume:   Bill Henderson  


On January 1, 1996 I hung out my shingle on the Internet and now work as a sole practitioner. A great deal of my work is done on behalf of Aboriginal groups, mostly First Nations and mostly in Ontario.

I came to this work somewhat circuitously. My home town is Niagara Falls, Ontario but I only moved to Toronto (about 40 miles across Lake Ontario) after completing law school at the University of Ottawa. And I had been in many parts of Canada before moving there. In Ontario, lawyers must article with a firm for one year after graduation and then complete the Bar Admission Course which, when I did it in 1981-2, took nearly 6 months. I have practiced in Toronto ever since and my legal experience is very briefly described below. When not otherwise engaged, I can sometimes be found online, working to keep the links on these pages up to date. I do enjoy writing and have also listed several publications which relate to my work.

Legal Experience

My work with aboriginal communities has occupied much of the past 25 years, first as an employee of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, subsequently as a contract consultant while attending law school and, since 1982, as a legal advisor to First Nations and Aboriginal Associations.

I have acted as counsel in several Aboriginal and Treaty rights cases such as the R. v. Agawa (Ont. C.A. 1988), R. v. Howard (S.C.C. 1994), R. v. Commanda (Ont. Dist. Ct. 1990), R. v. Fox, R. v. Jackson and R. v. Monague, all cases in Ontario Provincial Court. In the Bear Island Foundation v. A.G. I represented an intervenor before the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada . On behalf of Ontario Aboriginal associations, I participated in formulating the AFN/NIB interventions before the Supreme Court of Canada in the leading cases of Guerin v. The Queen and R. v. Sparrow.

My involvement has extended to major policy issues such as land claims, status and membership, taxation, self-government and general legal and business advice to First Nations and Associations. I have negotiated land claims on behalf of several First Nations and was general counsel to the Indian Specific Claims Commission (Canada), 1991-93.


1994: Survey of Aboriginal Land Claims
(with Derek Ground) 26 Ottawa Law Review 187

1993: Indian Reserve Land Management
(paper prepared for Insight Conference)

1991: Evidentiary Problems in Aboriginal Title Cases,
[1991] L.S.U.C. Special Lectures 165

1989: Child Welfare Proceedings: Indian Band Reps Practice Manual
(prepared for Union of Ontario Indians)

1988: Indians and Taxation (Chiefs of Ontario)

1986: Problems of Proving Aboriginal and Treaty Rights
in "Practicing Law for a Native Clientele"
(C.B.A. (Ont.) Annual Institutes)

1985: The Canadian Encyclopedia (1st ed.):

"Native People, Law",
"Indian Act",
"Indian Treaties",
"Aboriginal Rights"

1985: Litigating Native Claims,
19 L.S.U.C. Gazette 174

1985: Canadian Judicial and Legal Philosophies
on the Doctrine of Aboriginal Rights

in (Menno & Boldt, eds.) "The Quest for Justice" (U. of T. Press)

1984: Constitutional Affirmation of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights,
in "Current Issues in Aboriginal and Treaty Rights"
(C.B.A. (Ont.) Conference; Ottawa)

1981: Canada's Indian Reserves: Jurisdiction (DIAND)

1980: Canada's Indian Reserves: The Usufruct in our Constitution,
12 Ottawa Law Review 167

1980: Canada's Indian Reserves: Pre-Confederaton (DIAND)

1979: Land Tenure in Indian Reserves (DIAND)

L.S.U.C. = Law Society of Upper Canada
DIAND = Dept. of Indian Affairs & Northern Development  


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