Mark Stevenson has been named an Indspire Award recipient.

Valley lawyer wins prestigious indigenous professionals award

Mark Stevenson one of the recipients for the Indspire Awards

  • Oct. 7, 2015 11:00 a.m.

Erin Halueschak

Record staff

 

A former G.P. Vanier grad and chief negotiator for the K’ómoks First Nation is receiving the highest honour the indigenous community bestows upon its own achievers.

Born in the Comox Valley, Mark Stevenson’s work in truth and justice for indigenous people is what made him one of the recipients for the Indspire Awards, to be held in Vancouver in early 2016.

“It’s very humbling to be a part of (the awards),” said Stevenson from his law office in Victoria. “From the aboriginal community, it’s the highest award that the community is involved in.”

The awards were created in 1993 in conjunction with the United Nation’s International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

They recognize indigenous professionals and youth who demonstrate outstanding career achievement.

With a background in constitutional law, Stevenson began working for the Privy Council in Ottawa in 1982, focusing on indigenous constitution matters.

He was the chief treaty negotiator with the Government of British Columbia for seven years and part of the team for the Charlottetown Accord.

He has also negotiated a wide variety of agreements on behalf of Indigenous People including oil, gas and mineral revenue sharing agreements, pipeline, forestry and impact benefit agreements linked with hydro mega-projects.

Stevenson is also the founding director and past president of the Indigenous Bar Association and the founding director and former chair of the Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto.

In 2009, he received the Indigenous Peoples’ Counsel designation from the Indigenous Bar Association for his work.

He noted coming from a Metis family originally from Alberta, aboriginal issues – whether it is Inuit, Indian or Metis – are a constant in his life.

“There is an unfairness of settlement, and unfairness in the rights of Aboriginal Peoples.

“I knew treaty negotiations were a good venue to resolve (some of the issues) and a useful tool.”

As a negotiator for the K’ómoks First Nation, Stevenson said the treaty is complicated due to an earlier land grant from the E&N Railway.

In 1875, the Railway Act expropriated a large portion of KFN traditional territory and the land grant was completed without acknowledgment of their right or title to tradition territory, and failed to compensate KFN.

A lot of the land was given away to the mining and logging industries, added Stevenson.

“(Because of that) there is now a shortage of land and timber owned by the Crown and water too because BC Hydro has a lot of it.

“This makes a very big difference (in negotiations) without water and timber.”

There are 14 categories for Indspire Awards ranging from arts to health and sports. For more information on the awards, visit indspire.ca.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Comox Valley Stage 4 water restrictions lifted

Video explains planning and execution of repair

International paddle film festival coming to the Comox Valley

Naviguide Insurance & Employee Benefits along with Vanguard Intellectual are proud to… Continue reading

Applications being accepted for Courtenay Canada Day vendors

Canada Day celebrations in Courtenay are just around the corner and preparations… Continue reading

Courtenay Fish and Game members pitch in on annual spring cleaning effort

By Gail Eggiman Special to The Record Courtenay and District Fish and… Continue reading

People’s Party of Canada plan to have a candidate in the North Island-Powell River riding

Elections Canada formally recognized the North Island—Powell River PPC Association

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Pug life: B.C. town boasts waggish list of dog names

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered in White Rock

VIDEO: Duncan-Nanaimo’s Funkanometry bow out of ‘World of Dance’ with ‘After Hours’ routine

Judges praised them as entertainers, and urged them to work a bit more on their dancing

VIDEO: Fish farming company launches $30-million vessel to treat salmon for sea lice in B.C. waters

Freshwater treatment an improvement but fish farms should be removed from sea, says conservationist

Singh says childhood abuse steeled him for scrutiny and stress of politics

He recounts the assaults for the first time in his book Love & Courage

Despite five extra weeks’ parental leave in Canada, dads still face stigma: survey

One reason people said dads don’t need leave is because they can just bond with their kids at weekend

Most Read