Michael is the senior lawyer and principal of Jerch Law. We are a firm of three lawyers with significant experience working with clients seeking change and working towards their aspirations, including in Court when necessary.
Michael does general counsel work for First Nations governments working on laws and policies, governance and self-determination including laws, contracts, agreements. He also litigates matters that require creative, principled and thorough analysis, representation and advocacy. Working with Chiefs and councilors, chief executive officers, and managers Michael has practiced in the area of Aboriginal law for First Nations for over 25 years.
“Aboriginal law” means assisting First Nations governments creating structures and institutions, navigating through colonial Canadian laws, revitalizing Indigenous laws, resisting colonial interference and working towards economic and political sovereignty.
Michael’s background includes business and environmental studies, chair and executive member of the Aboriginal law section of the bar association, and work for tribal councils and Metis organizations prior to attending law school.
Michael has appeared in court including the Supreme Court of Canada, all Manitoba courts, the Federal Court, and in Alberta courts.
Michael also works on drafting intergovernmental agreements and arrangements and laws – including drafting environmental laws, citizenship laws, financial policies and arrangements and advising on elections governance.
Michael was also at one time in-house counsel to Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, and prior to the last two decades of practice Michael began his career as an associate in a boutique Aboriginal law firm in the 1990s. Michael has worked closely with Aboriginal law scholars, Grand Chiefs and many Chiefs.
Michael also contributed towards the revitalization of the Robson Hall Moot Court Room with the donation of one of the three amazing works of art by painter Linus Woods.
Michael believes in paying it forward and articled many law students between 2003 and 2017.
Michael also co-chaired (with two amazing co-chairs and two talented articling students) the most recent 2017 Canadian Bar Association Aboriginal Law Conference in Winnipeg “Canada’s Commitment to a Renewed Nation-to-Nation Relationship with Indigenous People”.
The rest of the time Michael enjoys time with his family at home and basically tries to get out into the woods and chop wood here and there.
Michael’s accomplishments include the following:
- Environmental management and protection laws for the regulation of Indigenous Peoples lands;
- Litigation involving the right to control citizenship.
- Financial administration and regulation, policies and laws.
- Elections laws.
- Land rights and land codes.
- Intergovernmental arrangements and agreements.
- Policing, health care and other advice, policies and governance.
- General counsel matters.
- Treaty land entitlements.
- Historical claims.
- Self-determination laws and arrangements.