James Michael is a Senior Associate of Mi’kma’ki All Points Services (MAPS) with the portfolio of Manager of Advisory Services and Public Relations.
James is a Mi’kmaq from the Shubenacadie First Nations in Nova Scotia. He holds a degree in Political Science from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and graduated from Dalhousie Law School and articled at a large Halifax Law Firm that practiced in many areas of the law. The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society honoured him as the First Mi’kmaq called to the Bar in the province by placing a portrait of him at the Law Courts in Halifax and hosting a gathering to commemorate the occasion that was attended by members from the Judiciary, as well as families and friends.
James has over 18 years of experience and has worked extensively on First Nation Issues. He was elected to two terms as a Councilor for the Shubenacadie Band when he first returned home to the Indian Brook Reserve after completing his education and being called to the Bar. During this time frame, he first started to work on the Aboriginal Title Project (ATP), a joint initiative of the Union of Nova Scotia Indians and the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq, as a historical researcher. He later became the Co-Manager of the ATP, serving also as the Manager of the province wide Traditional Use Study (TUS). Both the ATP and TUS were administered by the Treaty & Aboriginal Rights Research Centre of Nova Scotia (TARR Centre). He then became Director of the TARR Centre.
This experience has allowed him to develop skills that are reflective of the work that he has done, which includes such things as Project Management and Direction, historical research, Oral History, land use mapping, legal research, land claim negotiations, consultation and public relations. He serves as Legal Advisor to the Sante’ Mawio’mi (Grand Council)-Sikepne’ kati (Shubenacadie) District.
James has over 20 years of experience working with both the Native and non-Native communities and governments and views this as a positive attribute that more can be accomplished once barriers to open and meaningful communications are broken down.