Joan Jack (Aanishinaabe Ikwe) of Berens River First Nation is a lawyer and specialist in Aboriginal and treaty rights. Jack was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1996 and worked as Lands and Resources director with the Taku River Tlingit First Nation. She taught business and native studies at the Northern Lights College in Atlin, BC. In 2003, Jack returned to Manitoba and opened the Joan Jack Law Office. In January 2012, she was elected councilor in Berens River. She is leading a class action lawsuit seeking $15 billion in damages on behalf of “Indian day school” survivors.
During the Assembly of First Nations 2012 leadership race, Jack was one of four women in the running for national chief. She was known for her use of social media, commenting frequently on Twitter and Facebook. On July 12, in an interview with the Aboriginal People’s Television Network (APTN), she decried sexist comments and jokes made by rival male candidates and their supporters. She did not, however, describe the comments, nor did she identify the offending candidates.
Jack received 20 votes in the first ballot, placing her second to last ahead of George Stanley, which caused her to be dropped from the second ballot. She did not continue into further rounds nor officially throw her support to any other candidate, though she did indicate support for Atleo and critiqued Palmater’s campaign for attacking the incumbent.
Further Reading & Resources
Joan Jack Website. http://www.joanjack.ca
Day School Class Action. http://joanjack.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/MDSCA-QA-+-ICF-05.01.11.pdf
Methodist Indian Day Schools and Indian Communities in Northern Manitoba, 1890-1925. http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/mb_history/30/methodistdayschools.shtml