General Counsel

First Nations Financial Management Board
Nov 20, 2020
First Nations Financial Management Board
Areas of Practice:
General, Corporate Governance
Position Type:
General Counsel
West Vancouver
10+ years


The First Nations Financial Management Board (The FMB) is Canada’s only legislated body that develops and publishes First Nations Financial Management and Financial Performance Standards and upon request certifies First Nations compliance to those standards. The FMB is an Aboriginal institution that provides a suite of financial management tools and services to First Nations governments seeking to strengthen their fiscal stewardship and accountability regime and develop necessary capacity to meet their expanding fiscal and financial management requirements.

The FMB is one of the First Nation institutions created through the First Nations Fiscal Management Act (FMA). This federal legislation is designed primarily to provide participating First Nations with the tools and capacity needed to facilitate their participation in long-term pooled borrowing through the Capital Markets – on a similar basis as other governments in Canada – to support their social and economic development objectives.

Position Overview

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the General Counsel is responsible for providing legal advice and guidance on corporate and administrative issues. Assisting with both strategic development and daily legal administration, this position ensures internal strategic plans align with legislative requirements and the intentions of the First Nations Financial Management Board (FMB) Board of Directors.

The General Counsel liaises and builds relationships with various stakeholders, partners, organizations and individuals including the Federal Government, outside counsel, governing bodies, other FMA institutions and the FMB Team.

The General Counsel ensures the integrity of the governance framework and ensures compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements and implements related decisions made by the Board.

In collaboration with all business lines, the General Counsel is responsible for the governance and legal aspects of the FMB.



  • Provides input into strategic planning, budgeting and FMB’s policies, procedures and operations;

  • Negotiates pertinent agreements, oversees external legal counsel, third party contractors and suppliers to ensure delivery of professional and applicable business line services;
  • Promotes and maintains a workplace culture that encourages ethical practices, individual integrity and economic and social responsibility;
  • Provides strong, effective and highly visible team leadership, ensuring all staff are motivated to contribute fully to the realization of FMB’s vision, mission and objectives;
  • Monitors business line performance to ensure goals and objectives are met;
  • Coordinates and collaborates with all FMB business lines;
  • Contributes to the development and implementation of FMB strategic plans, corporate plans and budgets.

General Counsel Responsibilities

  • Acts as Corporate General Counsel to the Board in accordance with Board policy and in compliance with the FMA;
  • Collaborates with Executive Board Coordinator to manage Board meetings, agendas, materials and minutes;
  • Implements decisions of the Board;
  • Coordinates board orientation and onboarding of new Directors;
  • Provides expert and strategic legal advice to ensure compliance with all legal requirements;
  • Anticipates legal issues and assesses legal and operational risks, identifying proactive solutions which will eliminate or mitigate such risks;
  • Remains current on legislation and regulations which may impact FMB and makes recommendations to remain in compliance;
  • Handles complex, significant matters that cut across legal and operational areas;
  • Drafts agreements, contracts, commercial arrangements, insurance coverage, policies and conducts legal reviews of all FMB documents making recommendations as necessary;
  • Collaborates with the Market Development, Laws and Stakeholder Relations (MLS) legal team to ensure provision of consistent documents, opinions and processes;
  • Liaises with auditors, external legal counsel and other pertinent professionals on governance and legal issues;
  • Assists provincial and territorial governments with their legislation agreements and amendments if required;
  • Represents FMB in legal consultations involving proposed revisions to the FMA, legislative amendments and adaption regulations;
  • Represents FMB in legal proceedings and negotiations;
  • Represents FMB before the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, the Information Commissioner of Canada, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and all other parties who have an interest in the FMB’s Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) program;
  • Accountable for monitoring and ensuring compliance with legislation and regulations and reviewing policies, procedures, agreements and contracts to mitigate legal risk;
  • Accountable for providing legal advice regarding investigations, claims, legal proceedings and potential conflicts with other institutions regulations;
  • Reviews and advises on changes to FAL templates for approval by the Board through the Standards and Certification (SAC) Committee;
  • Reviews and advises on Financial Administrative Law (FAL) reviews conducted by MLS for sign-off by the CEO and approval by the Board through the SAC Committee.

The General Counsel performs other duties as assigned.


  • A Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or Juris Doctor (JD);
  • Must be a practicing member in good standing with the Law Society of BC; or eligibility to transfer from another Canadian jurisdiction;
  • A minimum of 10 years’ experience:
    • Working in a regulatory organization, law firm or General Counsel setting;
    • Working with Federal Government organizations and representatives;
    • Working with Indigenous Governments, organizations and communities;
  • Certification through a professional organization such as the Governance Professionals of Canada is an asset;
  • Must have a strong background in corporate governance;
  • Experience in legislative drafting a strong asset;
  • Experience preparing and presenting material for senior decision makers;
  • An understanding of public policies, Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) and Employment law;
  • An understanding of the Indian Act, modern day treaties and Financial Management Act (FMA);
  • An understanding of Accounting and capital markets and how they pertain to Indigenous Businesses;
  • An awareness and appreciation of Indigenous culture and history and a willingness to participate in ongoing education and training for the role including Indigenous studies;
  • Fluent in English (spoken and written); fluency in French is considered an asset.

Equivalent or relevant education and/or experience may be considered.



  • Sought out as an expert in their field to provide advice and solutions;
  • Provides support, coaching and direction to a wide range of individuals to accomplish organizational goals and strategies;
  • Follows FMB’s policies and guidelines, professional standards, regulations and principles demonstrating reliability, integrity and confidentiality.

Relationship Building/Interpersonal

  • Builds and maintains Indigenous relationships and generating mutually beneficial long-term opportunities and outcomes;
  • Builds constructive, professional relationships and networks of key contacts including Government, First Nations and non-government organizations;
  • Consistently displays professionalism and confidence, creating a positive impression as an individual and representative of FMB;
  • Ability to adapt and respond to changing conditions, priorities, technologies and requirements.


  • Conveys information, both verbally and written, with confidence, consistency and clarity, using active listening techniques in order to effectively understand provided feedback, summarizing information according to the audience in order to promote engagement and increase understanding;
  • Ability to explain legal or complex concepts to non-legal audiences.


  • Plans work and carries out tasks without detailed instructions; makes constructive suggestions; prepares for problems or opportunities in advance; responds to situations as they arise with minimal supervision and creates novel solutions to problems;
  • Anticipates the implications and consequences of situations and takes appropriate action;
  • Thinks creatively to challenge conventional practices and create potential novel solutions to existing issues or concerns.


  • Identifies information needed to clarify a situation by seeking information from appropriate sources and analyzing all possibilities to come up with an effective solution;
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively manage multiple priorities.

Working Conditions

  • This position is based in West Vancouver, British Columbia;
  • Requires national travel;
  • Evening and weekend work may be required.



Contact Name Jennifer Tetrault

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