Frank A. Meness, M.A., J.D.
Frank was called to the Bar in Ontario in September 2013. He practices in Ontario and regularly obtains approval from the Quebec Bar to appear in court on specific matters in that province. He practices in the areas of Indigenous law, Wills, Estates and Trust Law, Taxation and Corporate Law, Elder Law and recently, Mediation.
He has an undergraduate degree with a concentration in Political Science (B.Sci.Soc.) from Ottawa University (1993) and a Master of Arts Degree (M.A.) from Carleton
University (2006). Frank completed his Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) at Ottawa University (2012).
From 1997-2007, Frank worked as a specific claims researcher, writer and assistant negotiator for his community, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg. He was part of a team that successfully negotiated and implemented four specific claims, which involved the participation of the federal, provincial and municipal governments. Frank has been involved in all aspects of aboriginal land claims in Canada at the local and national levels and on both sides of the table (government and First Nation) since the mid-1990s. He also submitted over 30 specific claims to Canada on behalf of his community. Many of these claims are now settled.
From 2008-2012, Frank worked as a specific claims federal negotiator for the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (AANDC) at the Specific Claims Branch (SCB). During this time, he worked on specific claim files from Ontario First Nations communities. He successfully negotiated over ten specific claims involving 13 First Nations. Some of these claims are among Canada’s largest specific claim settlements in terms of financial compensation. Frank spent much of his time negotiating directly with First Nation negotiation teams and worked collaboratively with different levels of government to achieve successful resolution of these long-standing grievances. He is especially proud of his ability to reach settlement while at the same time respecting all parties’ interests and goals.
Frank served on elected Council as Vice Grand Chief of the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council (AANTC) from 2001-2005. He also was an elected band councillor from 2001-2006. During this time, he worked diligently to improve the social well-being of his community and Nation. It required fostering relationships with various stakeholders who could assist in realizing important initiatives and projects.
During his spare time, Frank pursues traditional cultural activities including hunting, trapping and fishing. He also likes tanning and smoking hides for artisanal crafts and regalia. He enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. Frank is an active member of his First Nation community