John D. Weston to deliver Mel Smith lecture on Aboriginal self-governance

Langley, B.C.— Trinity Western University invites the public to attend its sixth annual Mel Smith lecture featuring guest speaker John D. Weston, a leading expert on Canadian-native issues. The lecture, entitled “Aboriginal Self-Government: The Ethical Imperative for all Canadians to be Involved”, will look at how Canadians can play a role in resolving the dilemma between accountability and self-government.

“The lecture will focus on three broken promises,” says Nick Loenen, Chair of TWU’s Mel Smith Lecture committee. “Our government’s commitment to subject the Nisga’a Treaty’s vision to court scrutiny, the government’s denial of access to justice for penniless aboriginal leaders who dare to challenge the reigning orthodoxy, and the breach of our duty to future Canadians in promoting the notion of sovereignty for aboriginal bands without honestly confronting the consequences.”

John Weston’s career in Canadian politics involved him in constitutional and native issues for decades. An alumnus of Harvard University and Osgood Hall Law at York University, Weston worked with Mel Smith when Smith was the Deputy Minister of Constitutional Affairs, the Quebec Ministry responsible for the Constitution, and with Canada’s top constitutional lawyers in representing various aboriginal groups.

Today, Weston has an aboriginal law practice in association with several other lawyers at the Access Law Group in Vancouver. He also practises estates and international law.

Weston’s lecture will be followed by a response from Bruce Shelvey, PhD, associate professor of history and political science at TWU. The $2000 Mel Smith Scholarship will also be awarded to a student whose exceptional scholastic achievement holds promise for future leadership.

Event: Sixth Annual Mel Smith Lecture
Date: Thursday, February 12, 2004
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Northwest Auditorium at Trinity Western University (7600 Glover Rd
Langley, BC)
Admission: Free
Contact: Inga Warnock (604) 513-2033 or

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a not-for-profit Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,500 students this year. With a broad based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 38 major areas of study ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 13 other graduate degrees including counselling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.

Last Updated: 2015-07-20
Author: Keela Keeping