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Hereditary Chief, Lawyer jointly awarded Andrew Thompson Award

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Vancouver, Coast Salish Territory.  West Coast Environmental Law congratulates the winners of the 2014 Andrew Thompson Award: Glen Williams/Malii, Gitanyow Hereditary Chief, and Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson/gid7ahl-gudsllaay, lawyer and member of the Haida Nation.

The 2014 Andrew Thompson Award, which was awarded at West Coast Environmental Law’s 40th Anniversary event this week, included a judge’s choice – awarded by a panel of judges to Mr. Williams – and a people’s choice selected by over 6000 votes cast on-line – awarded to Ms. Williams-Davidson.

Glen Williams, Malii, President and Chief Negotiator for the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs, has spent decades fighting for the preservation and implementation of Gitanyow laws, successfully litigating and negotiating long-term protection for the Gitanyow lax’yip (territory).

Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, gid7ahl-gudsllaay, is a lawyer and citizen of the Haida Nation. The founding Executive Director of EAGLE (Environmental-Aboriginal Guardianship through Law and Education), she has devoted her entire career to protecting ecological and cultural rights,  including as the lead lawyer in the Haida’s successful 2004 Supreme Court of Canada challenge to protect old-growth forests and the resulting reconciliation over Haida Gwaii.

The Andrew Thompson award was established in 2002 by West Coast Environmental Law and the Thompson family as a legacy to the late Dr. Andrew Thompson, a pioneer in the fields of environmental and natural resource law.  The 2014 award recognized individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the fields of environmental and Aboriginal law or to the revitalization, recognition and/or enforcement of Indigenous environmental law

“Glen and Terri-Lynn, and indeed all our finalists, demonstrate the transformative potential when First Nations take action, grounded in their own laws, and backed up by Canadian constitutional law, to protect the land and resources of their territories,” said Jessica Clogg, Executive Director & Senior Counsel of West Coast Environmental Law.

The other finalists in the award, who were also honoured at the 40th Anniversary, included Grand Chief Bob Pasco (Chair, Nlaka'pamux Nation Tribal Council), Ardith Wal’petko We’dalx Walkem (lawyer to the Union of BC Indian Chiefs) and Chief Roger William (Xeni Gwet’in First Nation). 

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For more information contact:

Jessica Clogg, Executive Director & Staff Counsel, West Coast Environmental Law, 604-601-2501

Backgrounder on the award and finalists:

Click here for a pdf of this media release.