John Paul Murdoch, chairman
John Paul Murdoch is a partner and the founder of the law firm Murdoch Archambault Avocats. Member of the Cree Nation of Quebec, Me John Paul Murdoch became the first of his nation to be called to the Quebec Bar. Since his admission in 2001, he has learned to weave the lessons and values of his native ancestry into his legal practice in Northern Quebec. He presently holds the position of Secretary of the Cree Nation Government. He acted as an ambassador for his people and community to the European Parliament, the United Nations Organization and the National Assembly of Quebec. Me John Paul Murdoch speaks cree, english, french and spanish. His practice is located in Wemindji, James Bay.
In addition to Aboriginal law, he practices corporate and administrative law. He acts as a legal advisor for several aboriginal organizations. He has conducted major negotiations involving hydroelectric, mining, wind energy and forestry developments. In 2002, he participated in negotiations that led to the Agreement Respecting a New Relationship Between the Cree Nation and the Government of Quebec (known as the Paix des Braves), managing the hydroelectricity component of the talks.
He was the president of a major aboriginal financial consortium which awarded over 600 million dollars in construction contracts. Me Murdoch was responsible for establishing the Niskamoon Corporation, which organizes concrete development activities in Northern Quebec and plays an important role in environmental monitoring programs for hydroelectric projects.
He also contributed to successful conclusion of a collaboration agreement between the Cree Nation of Wemindji, the Cree Nation Government and the mining company Goldcorp, following negotiations concerning the development of the Eleonore project in Wemindji.
Me Murdoch works to promote conciliation among different groups. He founded a partnership between the Cree and the Ngöbé-Buglé people of Panama through a solar energy project.
He collaborated with the World Bank to improve its internal regulations regarding Aboriginal peoples. He also engaged in discussions with the Inter-American Development Bank. Finally, Me Murdoch recently participated in improving a community development program in the context of a large-scale oil project in the Sakhalin Islands in Russia.
In the summer of 2007, Me Murdoch taught the course “Aboriginal Law on Cree Territory” for the Civil Law Section of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law. This summer course focused on the Cree Nation’s internal laws, how these modern government laws manifest themselves and how relationships are developed with respect to them.
Outside of his law practice, John Paul Murdoch is a professional artist, known for his large portraits and murals. His most recent works of art are on display in the conference room of his Montreal office, as well as in the Aboriginal Peoples Committee Room of the Senate of Canada in Ottawa.