Daniel Christmas was recently appointed as a non-partisan Senator by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Mr. Christmas is noted for being instrumental in the success of the Membertou First Nation community in Cape Breton, where he continues to serve as a senior adviser to the community’s band council. Mr. Christmas was awarded an honorary Doctors of Law degree from Dalhousie in 2005 and the National Excellence in Aboriginal Leadership Award from the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada in 2008.

ACPA is honoured to have Mr. Christmas contribute again, as he did to our workshop The Power of Collaboration in 2016.


Naiomi Metallic graduated from the Schulich School of Law in 2005 and from the University of Ottawa’s civil law program in 2006. She is a full-time tenure track professor with the Schulich School of Law. Ms. Metallic is from the Listuguj Mi'gmaq First Nation in Quebec and was the first Mi'gmaq person to be a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada in 2006. She is currently completing a Professional LLM from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. Metallic has served as a member of the Dalhousie University Board of Governors, the Halifax Aboriginal People’s Network, the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society Bar Council, and the Nova Scotia Legal Aid Commission, among other organizations.

She is a senior associate with Burchells LLP in Halifax and has been practicing there since 2008, after articling there. Her teaching and research interests include the very areas of a law in which she has practiced with Burchells since 2008: constitutional, Aboriginal, public, administrative, civil procedure, evidence, and labour and employment. She was named to the 2016 Best Lawyer in Canada list in the area of Aboriginal law.

Metallic is also passionate about how the law can be harnessed to promote the well-being of Indigenous peoples in Canada, and this drives her scholarly interests. Her many years in practice, working closely with First Nations in the region, has given her insight into legal areas badly in need of reform in this regard. This synergy between her practice and her research interests are the main reasons she wants to keep “a toe in practice” – to keep her connected with the realities facing Indigenous communities. 

Daniel Christmas 


Naiomi Metallic

Shyla O'Donnell
Executive Director

Jay Hartling

Bill Gould 

Solicitor, Legal Services 
Office of the Attorney General 

Bill Gould worked as a Millwright / Machinist and general industrial mechanic in Fort McMurray and Calgary, Alberta in the late 70s and early 80s.  He then returned to New Brunswick in 1982 and, following Arts and Education degrees, pursued various occupations including writing, acting and teaching Junior High and High School.  He then attended the University of New Brunswick Law School and was admitted to the New Brunswick Bar in 1993.

Bill worked in private law firms from 1993 until he joined public service in 2000.  For the past 17 years he has worked in the Office of the Attorney General, first in general litigation with an emphasis on Construction Law and more recently in the Constitutional Unit with an emphasis on Aboriginal Law.

Bill lives in Fredericton and spends his downtime skiing and motorcycling.

As Canada begins to forge a Nation to Nation relationship with Indigenous peoples, consultations become increasingly important. Knowing the proper protocol surrounding consultations is essential for public servants in all departments. However, once Nation to Nation relationships have been achieved, the nature and tenor of consultations may change. We will address both the present need to be aware of consultation protocols and the future of consultation in an evolving Canada.

Discussion Leaders

"Duty to Consult" 

Shyla O’Donnell is Executive Director of Wolastoqey Tribal Council, where she holds the dual position of Consultation Director. A Graduate of Forestry and Environmental Management at the University of New Brunswick and a Registered Professional Forester, Shyla is a tireless advocate of forest stewardship and environmental protection. Being proudly of Maliseet heritage, Shyla is equally passionate about Indigenous rights and culture. She has worked on biodiversity, entomology, climate change and forest management in several provinces, including BC, Newfoundland and New Brunswick, and she has been a key player on major treaty rights and consultation files with NB Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat and St. Mary’s First Nation. Shyla is a fitness enthusiast and new mother to a beautiful daughter, Charlotte.

Jay Hartling is a Canadian consultant currently based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, that specializes in issues related to indigenous consultation (the “duty to consult and accommodate” and “free, prior and informed consent”) and indigenous community relations in Canada and Latin America – particularly in extractive sectors.  Jay has more than 16 years’ experience providing advice to Canadian federal and provincial governments, international organizations, Latin American governments, indigenous communities and organizations, and the private sector; developing and implementing fair, transparent and consistent consultation policies, programs and practices for all sectors; as well as benefits agreements and corporate social responsibility programs for the private sector. 

Prior to consulting, Jay was Director of Consultation for the Province of Nova Scotia’s Office of Aboriginal Affairs. Before coming to Nova Scotia, Jay was the Head of the Consultation Secretariat at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region in Vancouver, BC. Over the last six years, Jay has worked for a number of international, regional and local governments and organizations, including the UN Development Program, International Labour Organization, Office of the UN High Commission for Human Rights, DFAIT and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in several Latin American countries to support the development of consultation legislation and the implementation of good consultation practice, including free, prior and informed consent. In Canada, Jay currently advises oil and gas, mining and other energy companies, and a number of governments in Canada on similar issues.  

Jay has a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Victoria and a Bachelor’s from Simon Fraser University in Communications and Latin American Studies.