Neil joined Ackroyd LLP in 2011 as an associate, becoming a partner in 2014. He brings a variety of expertise from his time with the Government of Alberta from 1986 to 2007, including serving as Assistant Deputy Minister of Land and Resources Issues for Alberta Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development from 2005 to 2007. His tenure with the Government of Canada from 2007 to 2009 was as Special Advisor to the Senior Deputy Minister of Claims and Indian Governance with Indian Affairs Northern Development (INAC). His primary role was to design changes to the assessment of specific claims to allow INAC to meet the new statutory time frame of three years to respond to claims filed by First Nations. His work was reflected in the Specific Claims Tribunal Act, which was enacted by Parliament in 2008.
Neil’s practice at Ackroyd LLP focuses solely on Aboriginal Law, representing First Nations on all aspects of the Specific Claims Policy from preparation through to implementation, with a particular emphasis on cases before the Specific Claims Tribunal. Neil also advises and represents First Nations and Metis Settlements and communities in the areas of economic development, harvesting/consultation, and government relations.
Neil is currently working on his PhD in Law at the University of Alberta, to be completed by the autumn of 2018. When he is not working or studying, Neil can be found at spring training as he is an avid baseball fan, particularly of his beloved Chicago Cubs.
Preferred Areas of Practice
Education & Background
- Called to the Alberta Bar, 1981
- PhD student, University of Alberta, 2010 – Present
- LLB, University of Calgary, 1980
- MA (History), University of Calgary, 1977
- BA (History, with Distinction), University of Calgary), 1975
Professional Associations & Other Activities
- Member, Law Society of Alberta
- Member, Canadian Bar Association (Alberta)
- Banff Centre, Aboriginal Leadership and Management Program, Specific Claims in the Twenty-first Century, Faculty Member, 1994-2001 (Co-chair 1999-2001)
- Ukkusiksalik National Park, representative of the federal Department of Environment on the Park Management Committee, 2009-2013