Madelaine Mackenzie
Available in: English Français
Madelaine’s practice focuses on complex constitutional matters. She has a particular interest in Aboriginal law, education law, and language rights.
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Madelaine represents First Nations and First Nation organizations in court and negotiations with government and industry on matters relating to Aboriginal rights and title, the duty to consult and accommodate, and governance. She also advises First Nations on language and cultural rights. Her constitutional litigation experience has also involved extensive work on the largest and most complex education rights case since the adoption of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Madelaine has appeared before the British Columbia Court of Appeal, the British Columbia Supreme Court and the British Columbia Provincial Court, as well as the Federal Court of Canada. She has also assisted with files in the Supreme Court of Canada. Her experience includes developing litigation strategies, drafting pleadings, preparing lay and expert witnesses, reviewing extensive evidentiary records, and drafting closing arguments and factums (trial and appellate).

As a complement to her litigation practice, Madelaine also advises clients on how to achieve results through public policy reform, including by proposing legislative amendments and making submissions before parliamentary and other committees.

Madelaine also represents clients on a range of civil disputes in all levels of court.

Madelaine practices primarily in English. She is conversant in French and continues to study and improve her French-language skills.

Law Societies

  • Ontario
  • British Columbia
  • Northwest Territories


  • J.D. with Honours (University of Ottawa – 2014)
  • B.A. Criminology, concentration in Psychology with highest Honours (Carleton University – 2010)
  • Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples (APPA),The subject matter of those elements contained in Divisions 10 and 31 of Part 4 of Bill C-30, May 14, 2021 (for the Acho Dene Koe First Nation)

  • “Distinctively Canadian: Litigating the Constitutional Rights of Canada’s Protected Linguistic, Denominational and Indigenous Communities”, Annual Review of Civil Litigation 2020, Carswell (2020), (with J. Klinck and C. Rusko)

  • Presentation: “Collective Rights under Canada’s Constitution”, Webinar for The Canadian Bar Association, June 6, 2018 (with Mark Power)

  • Presentation: “Limits to Expressing Personally Held Beliefs in the School Context”, Canadian Association for the Practical Study of Law in Education, 2015 National Conference, Kelowna, May 2015 (with Mark Power, Justin Dubois and David Taylor)

  • Presentation: “The Canada-China Investment Issues Seminar for the Canada-China Chamber of Commerce”, June 2013 (co-author)

  • Bertrand v Acho Dene Koe First Nation, 2021 FC 287 (First Nation custom elections, validity of federal regulations)

  • Bertrand v Acho Dene Koe First Nation, 2021 FC 257 (interim injunction, First Nation custom elections)


  • Redhead v Miles et al, 2019 FC 1605 (band council elections, jurisdiction of electoral officers pursuant to band custom)

  • Malii v British Columbia (Attorney General), 2019 BCSC 2060 (application to disqualify counsel, conflicts of interest)

  • R. v. Comeau, 2018 SCC 15

  • Gitanyow First Nations v. British Columbia (Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations)

  • Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique, Fédération des parents francophones de Colombie-Britannique et al v British Columbia (Education), 2016 BCSC 1764 (equivalency challenge to ministerial decisions as they relate to school funding)

  • Estate of Janet Wisser v Jadwiga Makarewicz coba JM Import Company et al, 2016 BCPC (Vancouver Registry, File No 14-48236) (estate litigation, constructive trusts, contracts)

  • Gauthier v City of Lethbridge, 2015 ABQB (Lethbridge Registry, File No RVQ15GAUTHIERY) (standard of review, duty of care)

  • Before joining Power Law as an articling student, Madelaine worked as a summer student in the Ottawa office of a national law firm.

  • During law school, Madelaine participated in the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association’s trial moot, undertook research work as a member of the Refugee Law Research Team and as a Research Assistant in the area of constitutional law (minority religious education), served as a Teaching Assistant for Legal Research and a Legal Writing Peer Mentor, and volunteered with the Women’s Legal Mentorship Program. Madelaine was also awarded a Dean’s Research and Writing Fellowship, a Legal Writing Academy Fellowship, and an Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program Laureate Award from the University of Ottawa.

  • Madelaine has completed a number of internships focused on access to justice and human rights, including with the Mental Health Court division of the Crown Attorney’s Office in Ottawa, and with the Access to Justice Department of the Community Legal Education Centre in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

  • During her undergraduate studies, Madelaine participated in a six-month exchange program at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. While there, she travelled through much of southern Africa and summited Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

  • Association des juristes d’expression française de Colombie-Britannique

  • Canadian Bar Association

  • Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia

  • Ontario Bar Association

Madelaine In the News

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