Merrell-Ann Phare - Canadian Commissioner

Merrell-Ann Phare is a lawyer, writer, strategist, negotiator and relationship-builder who worked extensively in and with indigenous organizations on environmental, land, water, rights and governance issues. She, along with 10 First Nation Chiefs, was the founding Executive Director of the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER), a national First Nation charitable environmental organisation.

As Chief Negotiator for the Government of the Northwest Territories, Ms. Phare lead the negotiation of transboundary water agreements in the Mackenzie River Basin and the creation of Thaidene Nene, a national and territorial park in the east arm of Great Slave Lake.

She is the author of the book “Denying the Source: the Crisis of First Nations Water Rights” and co-author of “Ethical Water”. She is a member of the Forum for Leadership on Water, Smart Prosperity's Leadership Council, and is a recipient of Canada's Clean 50 Award. She served as legal counsel and advisor to a number of First Nation and Metis governments and organizations. 

Ms. Phare holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics (Environmental) Bachelor of Laws, Master of Law (Aboriginal Water Rights and International Trade Law) from the University of Manitoba a Master of Fine Arts (Creative Writing) from University of British Columbia.   She resides in Winnipeg, Manitoba.