Grand Chief Edward John is a Hereditary Chief of Tl’azt’en Nation located on the banks of the Nak’al Bun (Stuart Lake) in Northern BC. He is an Indigenous leader who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of social and economic justice for Canada’s Indigenous people, having worked as a leader in Indigenous politics, business and community development.
Chief John has been a lawyer for more than 30 years. He holds a B.A. from the University of Victoria, an LL.B from the University of British Columbia and an Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from the University of Northern British Columbia and the University of Victoria.
Chief John has served in many leadership roles at the local, provincial, national and international levels. Chief John is currently serving his eleventh consecutive term (June 2016 – June 2019) on the First Nations Summit Task Group (political executive), which is mandated to carry out specific tasks related to Aboriginal Title and Rights negotiations with British Columbia and Canada and other issues of common concern to First Nations in British Columbia. He is a former Co-Chair of the North American Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus and participated in the development of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2007. He recently concluded serving two terms as a North American Representative to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (January 2011 – December 2016). He also recently concluded his 14 month appointment as Special Advisor on Aboriginal Child Welfare to the BC Minister of Children and Families with the release of his final report entitled “Indigenous Resilience, Connectedness and Reunification – from Root Causes to Root Solutions: A Report on Indigenous Child Welfare in British Columbia”.