Sara Mainville

Board Member

Sara Mainville is a Partner at JFK Law LLP.

Sara works with First Nations and is one of the few practicing lawyers that works as much within Indigenous legal systems as within Aboriginal law and Canada.

Sara Mainville has a Bachelor of Management from the University of Lethbridge and a LL.B. from Queen’s University and Sara chose to article at Ecojustice Canada. In addition to her legal practice, Sara has earned a LL.M from the University of Toronto and was awarded the June Callwood bursary for graduate studies in 2006-2007. Sara Mainville’s thesis, “An Anishinaabe Perspective of Treaty #3” was the beginning of a lifetime of study by her regarding Treaty #3 and Indigenous jurisdiction’s important place in reconciling Indigenous sovereignty in Canada.

In 2014, Sara was elected Chief of Couchiching First Nation after the sudden death of her friend and mentor, Chief Chuck McPherson. During that term she ensured that the First Nation has strong policy going forward, a good social media presence to engage the many off-reserve members in community affairs and she started the Wasaw group of companies. Sara uses this experience to help leadership work past difficult issues, help with internal dispute resolution, and walk the community through processes to encourage discourse and grassroots solutions to long-held problems.

Sara Mainville is very proud of her participation in the negotiations that led to the creation of the First Nation Sovereign Wealth LP (FNSWLP), a partnership of 129 First Nations in Ontario. Directed by a Chiefs’ Committee on Energy, Sara was active in the negotiations that resulted in the commercial transaction between the Province of Ontario and the FNSWLP of 14 million Hydro One shares and $29 million in seed capital to facilitate long-term wealth creation for the partnering First Nations. The lengthy discussions to transaction closing were completed between October, 2015 to the final days of December, 2017.

Sara has completed advanced negotiations training at Harvard University and dispute resolution, legislative drafting, and mediation training at professional institutes in order to advance her clients’ long held goals for self-determination and truer treaty partnerships in Canada.

Last updated: August 11, 2022

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