Jean Teillet is called to the Bar in Ontario, BC, NWT, Manitoba and Yukon. She specializes in aboriginal rights litigation and negotiations and is currently the chief negotiator for the Stó:lo Xwexwilmexw >who are negotiating a treaty in the lower Fraser Valley in BC. >Ms. Teillet has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in ten cases. She maintains an active role as a public speaker and primarily speaks on aboriginal rights, access to justice, identity and equality issues. She is published in many journals and law books and is the author of the annually updated Métis Law in Canada. In addition to her aboriginal rights work, Ms. Teillet works in the field of reproductive rights. She is an adjunct professor at the UBC Faculty of Law.
Ms. Teillet was the first recipient of the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Lincoln Alexander Award. In 2011, Ms. Teillet was awarded the title “Indigenous Peoples’ Counsel” by the Indigenous Bar Association. In 2012, she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. She has been awarded two honorary doctorates: Guelph University (2014); Law Society of Upper Canada (2015).
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Ms. Teillet worked for twenty years as a writer, dancer, actor, choreographer, director and producer.
Jean has also been a visual artist for over thirty years. Her work is in private collections in the United States and Canada. One beaded piece, a replica of the “Two Row Wampum Belt” hangs in Flavelle Hall in the Law School of the University of Toronto as a symbol that two different peoples may embrace different legal regimes and still establish a working relationship if that relationship is built on respect and honesty. The University of Toronto Faculty of Law also holds three other replica wampum belts created by Ms. Teillet – the Covenant Chain Belt, the Micmac Vatican Belt and the Hiawatha Belt.
Ms. Teillet is the great grand niece of Louis Riel.