Edward John

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Edward John
Minister of Children and Families of British Columbia
In office
November 1, 2000 – June 5, 2001
PremierUjjal Dosanjh
Preceded byGretchen Brewin
Succeeded byGordon Hogg
Personal details
Born (1949-07-08) July 8, 1949 (age 70)
Tl'azt'en Nation, British Columbia
Political partyBritish Columbia New Democratic Party

Edward John (born July 8, 1949) is a prominent First Nations political leader in Canada. The son of Louis and Amelia John, he was born in the Carrier village of Tache, along the north shore of Stuart Lake, about 60 km from Fort St. James, British Columbia. He holds the name 'Ukailch'oh (Carrier Linguistic Committee spelling, often spelled Akile Ch'oh) in the Lusilyoo clan. He has three grown children from his first marriage. He is currently married to former Musqueam chief Wendy Grant-John.

He attended Lejac Residential School, Prince George College, and Notre Dame University College in Nelson, B.C. before receiving a B.A. in sociology (with distinction) from the University of Victoria in 1974 and an LL.B. from the University of British Columbia in 1979. He practiced law as a solo practitioner in Prince George, British Columbia from 1981 to 1993. In 2004 he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Northern British Columbia.[1]

John served as an elected Councillor of Tl'azt'en Nation from 1974 to 1990 and as elected Chief from 1990 to 1992. From 1984 to 1988 he was Chief of the Carrier-Sekani Tribal Council. From 1992 until 1999 he was Chief Treaty Negotiator for the Carrier-Sekani Tribal Council, a position he resumed in 2006. He is also chairman of the board of Tanizul Timber and Teeslee Forest Products, companies owned by Tl'azt'en Nation. For his service to Tl'azt'en Nation he was awarded the title of Grand Chief of Tl'azt'en Nation.

A fluent speaker of Carrier and one of the few people considered eloquent public speakers in Carrier, John was the founding President of the Yinka Dene Language Institute. He was also involved in establishing the University of Northern British Columbia. He played a prominent role in the Interior University Society, the regional organization whose pressure led to the creation of UNBC, and subsequently served on the Implementation Council and the Interim Governing Council, the predecessor to the Board of Governors.

John was the First Nations representative to the First Ministers Conference on aboriginal constitutional rights from 1983 to 1987. In 1991, along with the late Squamish Chief Joe Matthias, he helped to create the First Nations Summit, the organization representing the British Columbia First Nations involved in treaty negotiations with Canada and British Columbia. This group produced the tripartite Task Force Report that led to the current British Columbia Treaty Process.

In June 2016 John was elected to his eleventh term on the Task Group (political executive) of the First Nations Summit, of which he has been a member almost continuously since 1993.[2]His position on the Task Group ended in June 2019 when he chose not to run again. From June through mid-November 2019 he served as an adviser to the First Nations Summit.[3]

On November 1, 2000 he was appointed to the provincial cabinet as Minister for Children and Families, serving until the change of government in June 2001. In the election of May 16, 2001 he ran unsuccessfully as the New Democratic Party candidate for Member of the Legislative Assembly from the Prince George-Omineca riding.

John also plays a prominent role at the national level in the Assembly of First Nations. In October 2005 he represented the AFN at the Second Indigenous Peoples' Summit of the Americas in Buenos Aires. In January 2011 he began a three-year term as the North American Representative to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.,[4] of which he became Chair in May 2012.[5] He was appointed to a second three-year term effective January 2014[6] and served until the end of his membership in the Forum in January 2017.

In 2012 John received a Indspire Award in the area of Politics.[7] and an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Victoria.[8] In May 2918 he received the Alumni Award of Distinction from the Allard Law Alumni Association of the University of British Columbia School of Law.[9]

On November 14, 2019 John was charged with four counts of having sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent. The alleged criminal acts date to 1974 and involve the same woman.[10]The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council issued a statement indicating that as the matter is before the courts it would have no comment.[11]

Electoral Results[edit]

2001 British Columbia general election: Prince George–Omineca
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
Liberal Paul Nettleton 10,469 61.65 $58,110
New Democratic Edward John 3,156 18.58 $22,087
Unity Eldon Matte 1,685 9.92 $27,420
Green David Usher 1,026 6.04 $1,144
Marijuana Will DeWolf 646 3.81 $924
Total valid votes 16,982 100.00
Total rejected ballots 84 0.49
Turnout 17,066 73.70


  1. ^ http://www.unbc.ca/releases/2004/03_18honorary.html
  2. ^ http://fns.bc.ca/about/executive-staff
  3. ^ https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-first-nations-chief-ed-john-charged-with-sex-offences B.C. First Nations chief Ed John charged with sex assault
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 23, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/05/07/grand-chief-edward-john-elected-chair-of-united-nations-permanent-forum-on-indigenous-issues-by-acclamation-111795
  6. ^ http://nationtalk.ca/story/national-chief-atleo-congratulates-grand-chief-edward-john-on-re-appointment-to-the-united-nations-permanent-forum-on-indigenous-issues/
  7. ^ http://www.ammsa.com/publications/windspeaker/2012-recipients-national-aboriginal-achievement-awards-announced
  8. ^ http://web.uvic.ca/ceremony/convocation/hdr.php#section0-1
  9. ^ https://historyproject.allard.ubc.ca/law-history-project/profile/grand-chief-edward-john Allard Award
  10. ^ https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/grand-chief-ed-john-charges-sex-assault-1.5359517 Grand Chief Ed John charged in B.C. with 4 counts of historic sex assault.
  11. ^ http://www.carriersekani.ca/carrier-sekani-tribal-council-statement-to-former-tribal-chief-edward-john Carrier Sekani Tribal Council statement regarding former Tribal Chief Edward John, criminal charges

External links[edit]

British Columbia Provincial Government of Ujjal Dosanjh
Cabinet post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Gretchen Brewin Minister of Children and Families
November 1, 2000 – June 5, 2001
Gordon Hogg