Year called to bar: 2001 (BC); 2001 (ON); 2002 (YT)
Merle is a member and hereditary chief of Kitasoo Xai x’ais First Nation. He is celebrated for his contributions to Indigenous reconciliation, the advancement of Indigenous lawyers and students, and his leadership in Indigenous law. His practice focuses on Indigenous resource law and legal reform initiatives, empowering nations through title and rights affirmation, sustainable economic development, and environmental conservation. Merle assists with negotiations of all stages of impact benefit agreements, joint ventures, regulatory engagement, and traditional knowledge collection and supports emerging government-to-government negotiations in all resource areas, including mining, oil & gas, forestry, pipelines, run-of-river, and hydro projects, adapting his solicitor experience and skills to the needs of Indigenous clients. As a member of the co-development team for the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act in BC, his practice involves the ongoing legislative implementation of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in BC and Canada. He is a recognized Leader in Law – Indigenous Rights by Business in Vancouver’s BC500 and a leading practitioner in Aboriginal and mining law by Lexpert and Chambers Canada.