Jack Woodward lawyer is a teacher, lawyer, businessman, farmer, author, and beekeeper. He is known for writing the first draft of Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. Mr. Woodward founded the law firm of Woodward and Company, which is recognized as one of Canada’s leading aboriginal law firms. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2012. Mr. Woodward has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Law and was the recipient of the 1995 Dean’s Cup for outstanding service to the faculty. He has also been a guest lecturer at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University. Mr. Woodward is a frequent speaker and writer on the subject of aboriginal law. Mr. Woodward’s text Native Law has been relied upon by the Canadian courts as authoritative on numerous occasions. Mr. Woodward was the 2015 Keynote Speaker for the Canadian Bar Association’s National Aboriginal Law Section. In 2016, Mr. Woodward was an Invited Speaker at the Assembly of First Nations annual convention. Throughout his career, Mr. Woodward has worked on a number of significant Supreme Court of Canada cases. Mr. Woodward is a member of the British Columbia Bar and presently practices as a sole practitioner in Campbell River.


  • Known for writing the first draft of Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 – see: Box of Treasures or Empty Box? Twenty Years of Section 35, edited by Ardith Walkem and Halie Bruce, 2003 Theytus Books Ltd., at page 18.
  • Fully insured member of the British Columbia Bar, practicing in Campbell River, BC, Canada.
  • Appointed Queen’s Counsel 2012
  • Awarded the Dean’s Cup, 1995 for outstanding service to the University of Victoria Faculty of Law
  • Sitting member of the Islands Trust Zoning Board of Variance for Salt Spring Island and other Gulf Islands.
  • Author, teacher, lawyer, businessman, farmer, beekeeper

Current Publications:

  • Native Law, by Jack Woodward, Q.C., 2 volume loose-leaf and electronic, approx. 3,000 pages, 6 supplements per year, 1989 – current, Carswell, Thomson/Reuters, Toronto.
  • Consolidated Native Law Statutes, Regulations and Treaties. Jack Woodward Q.C. (editor), paperback updated annually, 2002 to 2016 and continuing, Carswell, Toronto.
  • Aboriginal Law title in Bullen & Leake, Carswell, Thomson/Reuters, Toronto (2016 and ongoing looseleaf and electronic edition).
  • Aboriginal Law Since Delgamuukw, 2009 Canada Law Book, co-author of Chapter 11.
  • Sechanalyagh, A Book of Gratitude, with Chief Roger William, 2007, Reynolds Works Inc.


  • 1985 to 2001 – Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Victoria, Faculty of Law.
  • 2012 to 2017 – Guest lecturer at University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law.
  • 2016, 2017 – Guest lecturer at Simon Fraser University M.A.A.L.S. course for Notaries Public.

Public speaking and writing:

Woodward is a frequent speaker and writer on aboriginal law. Recent writing and appearances include:

  • UBC Law Review, Vol. 48, No. 3, Oct. 2015, page 943 “The Tsilhqot’in Case: The Recognition and Affirmation of Aboriginal Title in Canada” by David Rosenberg QC and Jack Woodward QC (peer reviewed).
  • 2016 Invited Speaker, Assembly of First Nations annual convention, Niagara Falls, Ontario, July 13, 2016.
  • 2015 Keynote Speaker, Canadian Bar Association, National Aboriginal Law Section, Fortress Louisberg, N.S., June 11, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRlgvwAZXgQ  [2016 keynote speaker will be Hon. Madam Justice McLaughlin, Chief Justice of Canada].
  • Speaker at the Dr. David Suzuki Blue Dot Tour Finale, Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver, Nov. 9, 2014.
  • Guest Speaker at the Vancouver Round Table, 2015.
  • Guest Speaker at the Strathmere Group, 2015.
  • The real anniversary of Canada’s founding, by Jack Woodward, National Post, October 7, 2013.
  • Speaking engagements in Manchester, London and Edinburgh, 2009 and 2010, at the invitation of the Co-operative Bank (the world’s largest credit union).

Notable Cases and related legal work:

  • 1980 – filed the Northern Pipeline case concerning the “pre-building” of the Alaska natural gas pipeline based on the export of Alberta natural gas. Waddell v. Governor in Council (1983), 5 DLR (4th) 254.
  • 1980 – filed comprehensive claims for the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation and the Haida Nation under Canada’s Comprehensive Land Claims Policy.
  • 1981 – prepared the first draft of what would eventually become s. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
  • 1983 – counsel on the Peters case, the first Canadian aboriginal rights case after the 1982 Constitution came into effect. Peters v. British Columbia (1983), 42 BCLR 373.
  • 1984 — filed the Meares Island proceedings, and was successful in obtaining the historic injunction against logging on Meares Island in March, 1985. MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. v. Mullin, [1985] 3 WWR 577, 61 BCLR 145.
  • 1989 — filed the Tsilhqot’in proceedings, a 25 year legal project which eventually resulted in the Supreme Court of Canada’s Tsilhqot’in decision of June 26, 2014. Counsel at trial: 2007 BCSC 1700.
  • 1997 – Intervention in Delgamuukw v. The Queen, [1997] 3 SCR 1010, 1997 CanLII 302 (SCC).
  • 1997 – Opetchesaht Indian Band v. Canada, [1997] 2 SCR 119, 1997 CanLII 344 (SCC)
  • 1999 – Westbank First Nation v. British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority, [1999] 3 SCR 134, 1999 CanLII 655 (SCC).
  • 2002 – Kitkatla Band v. British Columbia (Minister of Small Business, Tourism and Culture), [2002] 2 SCR 146, 2002 SCC 31.
  • 2011 – Lameman v. Alberta, 2011 ABQB 532 and related cases concerning the Alberta tar sands.
  • 2014 – Tsilhqot’in Nation v. Canada, 2014 SCC 44.       Instructing solicitor; co-author of Appellant’s Factum.

Reliance by the Courts on Native Law:

Woodward’s text Native Law has been relied upon by the courts in Canada as authoritative on many occasions, including:

  • The Supreme Court of Canada in:
    • Chippewas of the Thames First Nation v. Enbridge Pipelines Inc., 2017 SCC 41, at paragraph 42.
    • Behn v. Moulton Contracting, [2013] 2 SCR 227, 2013 SCC 26;
    • Rio Tinto v. Carrier Sekani, [2010] 2 SCR 650, 2010 SCC 43;
    • Ross River v. Canada, [2002] 2 SCR 816, 2002 SCC 54;
    • Mitchell v. M.N.R., [2001] 1 SCR 911, 2001 SCC 33;
  • The Courts of Appeal for British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan.
  • More than 50 other decisions of the superior courts of Canada

Formal Education and Background:

Woodward graduated from Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary School in 1969. BA (hons), 1974 University of British Columbia. LL.B (now called J.D.) 1978, University of Victoria.

Historical Trivia: Woodward lived in Surrey, British Columbia, on a portion of his great, great, great, grandfather William Woodward’s farm. Woodward’s great great aunt, Elizabeth Woodward was married to John Oliver, the 19th Premier of British Columbia. Woodward’s great great uncle was doctor, historian and publisher Mark Sweeten Wade.

Business experience:

Woodward founded the law firm of Woodward and Company in Victoria BC, Canada, one of Canada’s leading aboriginal law firms. He left the firm in 2015 to become a sole practitioner in Campbell River.

Woodward was the owner of the Harbour House Hotel, Restaurant and Organic Farm on Salt Spring Island until late 2016.



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