Jerome has practiced law for more than 34 years, providing a broad range of legal advice to over 50 First Nations in Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, and the Northwest Territories.
Prior to pursuing a legal career, Jerome worked for the Indian Association of Alberta and as a socio-economic consultant for numerous Aboriginal communities, industry, and government from 1972 to 1979.
Jerome acts as legal counsel to First Nations on the research, filing, litigation, negotiation and settlement of outstanding Treaty entitlements and specific claims against the Crown. He has appeared before the Indian Specific Claims Commission (predecessor to the Specific Claim Tribunal) on five occasions.
He has been counsel on the settlement of more than 25 specific claims, including 15 Treaty Land Entitlement settlements in AB, Saskatchewan and the NWT. Most recently while acting for 5 Treaty 8 First Nations, he led the negotiations over a 25 year period leading to settlement framework for “stand alone” Treaty 8 agricultural benefits claims. This will result in compensation eventually being paid to Treaty 8 First Nations of over $1.3B.
With a team of lawyers at Ackroyd, he is currently acting on behalf of 9 Treaty 6 First Nations on the development of a non-binding settlement framework for Treaty 6 Agricultural benefit claims. As well, he is counsel on three active Treaty Land Entitlement settlement negotiations and advising on other specific claim negotiations.
The firm also works with First Nations in developing settlement financial plans and designing trust agreement for their implementation .
With Richard Price, Dean of the Faculty of Native studies at U of A. Jerome designed and for 17 years taught the course at the Banff Centre Indigenous Leadership program on “First Nation/Crown Negotiations” which was attended by over 800 indigenous leaders. The course taught a principle based approach to negotiations based on concepts developed by the Harvard Law school.
The specific claim settlements on which he has worked have a net present value for compensation exceeding $2.5B.
Jerome is widely known as a leading practitioner in the area of specific claims. He presented numerous papers and speeches on claims policy and practise at conferences and seminars.
He has appeared before the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Indian and Aboriginal Affairs on two occasions, and before the Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs regarding specific claims legislation and policy, and Indian Act elections regulations on four occasions.
Jerome has also been counsel and led the negotiations on over 20 Industrial Benefit Agreements between First Nations and various corporations in a variety of industries. He also initiated and assisted in the negotiation of the Indian Residential School settlement between the Anglican Church of Canada and the government of Canada.
Jerome also assists in the organization and structuring of corporations and limited partnerships for numerous Aboriginal businesses of all sizes across all industries. He has also provided legal advice on environmental and administrative law matters before various administrative tribunals, including the Alberta Utilities Commission, and the Natural Resources Conservation Board.
The Slavik Family Foundation provides annual funding to a wide variety of organizations serving indigenous and other vulnerable communities .
In his spare time, Jerome enjoys travelling the world with his wife, golfing and spending time with his grandchildren.
Education & Background
- Called to the Alberta Bar, 1984
- Graduate, Introductory and Advanced courses on Negotiation, Harvard Law School
- LLB, University of Alberta, 1983
- MA, University of Toronto, 1971
- BA (Honours), University of Alberta, 1970
Professional Associations & Other Activities
- Member, Law Society of Alberta
- Member, Canadian Bar Association (Alberta)
- Author, “Negotiating Reconciliation and Accommodation – The Duty to Consult in Action”
- Author, “A Framework and Principles for Reconciliation of Crown and First Nation Interests through Negotiation”
- Author, “First Nation Trust”
- Faculty Leader, Negotiation Skills Training program for the Aboriginal Leadership Program area at the Banff Centre