In 1983, Louise was one of the founding partners of Mandell Pinder, a law firm specializing in Aboriginal and treaty rights law. In 2011, Louise moved out of the day-to-day practice of law but remains connected in the esteemed capacity of Counsel to the firm.
On behalf of her many First Nations clients, Louise has devoted her professional life to the advancement of their Aboriginal Title and Rights and Treaty Rights. She was brought into the area of AboriginalAboriginal law when it was in its infancy, working under the direction of the late Grand Chief George Manuel, President of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs and the World Council of Indigenous Peoples. Acting for UBCIC, Louise was legal counsel in their fight against the patriation of the Constitution. Since then, she has devoted her efforts to implementing constitutional change, including through advancing alongside one or more of her Mandell Pinder colleagues many of the leading cases, such as: Guerin, Sparrow, Van der Peet, Delgamuukw, Haida, Bartleman, Saanichton Marina, Morris and Olsen, Osoyoos, the historic costs order decision in Jules and Wilson and she was intervenor counsel in the Tsilhqot’in case.
Louise received a Degree in Education at UBC before graduating from Law School, and was selected by UBC Faculty of Law as one of the two outstanding alumni from each decade (UBC Alumni Magazine: “Selecting the Twelve”, Fall 2005, pp. 16 – 29 at p. 23).
Louise was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1997 and, in 2001, was awarded the Georges Goyer Q.C. Memorial Award for exceptional contribution to the development of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights jurisprudence across the country. In 2013, the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs recognized and honoured her by creating The Louise Mandell Legal Research Collection.
In June, 2012, Louise received an Honourary Doctor of Laws from Simon Fraser University. And in October, 2014, was appointed as the second Chancellor of Vancouver Island University.
Louise was called to the BC bar in 1976 and today she remains connected in the esteemed capacity of Counsel to the firm.
LL.B, University of British Columbia (1975)
B.Ed., University of British Columbia (1971)
Presentations to Standing Committees of the House of Commons.
Speaker on every aspect of native rights at over twenty conferences sponsored by the Pacific Business and Law Institute, The Canadian Institute, Continuing Legal Education Society, Insight Information, Banff Centre for Management, Australian Racism Conference, and more.
In addition to litigating major cases contouring the dynamics of Aboriginal/Crown relations, she provides legal options, presents claims to government, and negotiates settlements on behalf of Aboriginal peoples.
Georges Goyer Q.C. Memorial Award for exceptional contribution to the development of Aboriginal and treaty rights jurisprudence across the country (2001)
Retired Member, Law Society of Alberta (1984)
Member, Law Society of B.C. (1976)
“Latest Developments in Aboriginal Rights Litigation” (with Robert Ratcliffe and Bruce Elwood), for Constitutional Litigation in Civil Matters Conference, June, 2004.
“Consultation: Haida Nation v. B.C. and Weyerhaeuser: What the Case Means”, for Canadian Aboriginal Law Conference, December, 2002.
“The Delgamuukw Decision”: Native Title in Perspective: Selected Papers from the Native Title Research Unit 1998 – 2000, Lisa Strelein and Kado Muir (eds), (Aboriginal Studies Press), pp. 199 – 220.
“Gitksan-Wet’suwet’en Land Title Action”, Canadian Current Law, Issue 8807.
“Birth of the White Buffalo”, prepared for the Native Investment and Trade Association and the Ontario Bar Association, 1996.
“The Treaty Commission”, prepared for the Pacific Business and Law Institute, April 22, 1994.
“Fisheries Law: 1991, Sparrow, Gitksan and Related Decisions”, prepared for the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, May, 1991.
“Native Culture on Trial, Equality and Judicial Neutrality”: S.L. Martin & K.E. Mahoney (eds), Introduction to Legal Studies, 3e, Canadian Legal Studies Series (Toronto, Carswell, 1987), pp. 358-365.
“The Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs Fight Patriation”, Socialist Studies/Etudes Socialistes: A Canadian Annual No. 2, 1984.
Engaging public speaker, committed to passing on her knowledge through her involvement in continuing legal education workshops and forums.