Forensic Document Review Project

Forensic Document Review Project

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (the National Inquiry) has established a Forensic Document Review Team as permitted by section 11 of the federal Inquiries Act.

The federal terms of reference and those of several other jurisdictions direct the National Inquiry to take into account that the Inquiry process is intended, to the extent possible, to be trauma-informed and respect the persons, families and communities concerned. This includes a trauma-informed, respectful approach to the handling of personal information.

The work of the Forensic Document Review Team is governed by the federal, provincial and territorial legislation,  common law, terms of reference, the National Inquiry’s Legal Path: Rules of Respectful Practice and the principles set out in this Transparency Statement.

FDRT Members

Under the supervision of the National Inquiry’s Director of Research, Dr. Karine Duhamel, the team consists of:

Steven M. Kelliher – Team Lead, Counsel
Leah Mack – Consultant
Declan C. Redman – Deputy Team Lead
William MacDonald – Investigator
Marie-Audrey Girard – National Inquiry Counsel, Quebec Team
Daniel Sioui – Investigator
Claudine Pelltier-Paquin – Researcher
Natacha Tanguay – Researcher

In addition to these members, the National Inquiry’s Research team has been crucial to the FDRT’s work. Members of the National Family Advisory Circle and Grandmother Advisors are also advisory members to the FDRT so that the team can receive input from family, survivors and Elders.

Steven M. Kelliher – Team Lead

Steven Kelliher was called to the British Columbia Bar in 1978-1979. He is in private practice in Victoria, and has been lead counsel on more than 100 cases. Martindale-Hubbell has ranked him as ‘Distinguished’ for the past 19 years. He has practiced before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and is licensed to practice before the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

Mr. Kelliher’s experience with legal issues affecting Indigenous people is extensive, starting with working as a Development Officer / Settlement Manager, in Fort Resolution, Northwest Territories in 1971-1972. Mr. Kelliher acted as counsel for the family of Frank Paul and for the First Nations Leadership Council during the Davies Commission of Inquiry in the death of Frank Paul and for the Aboriginal Aquaculture Association in the Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the decline of sockeye salmon in the Fraser River.

Leah Mack – Consultant

Leah Mack is a First Nations woman from Toquaht Nation, in good standing with the Law Society of British Columbia with over 10 years of experience in policy development, law reform and justice transformation. She has particular expertise in the areas of band governance, on-reserve administration and land use.

Ms. Mack graduated from St. Francis Xavier University with a Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) in 2003. She attended York University and graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor of Laws from Osgoode Hall Law School. She worked as a research assistant to Professor Kent McNeil, a leading academic in the field of Indigenous rights.

In 2006, Ms. Mack participated in the Aboriginal Intensive Program in Lands, Resources and the Environment, and spent a semester in New Zealand working with a Maori group, the Tainui, on their claim to the Waikato River, the longest river in New Zealand. She was selected as the primary researcher for 2005 updates to Canadian Charter material in Richard Clayton and Hugh Tomlinson’s The Law of Human Rights (Oxford University Press).

Declan C. Redman – Deputy Team Lead

Declan Redman is called to the B.C. Bar. He has assisted Mr. Kelliher in the preparation of his cases since 2012 particularly in connection to research, writing and the IT part of those work pieces. He has experience in research, identifying, obtaining, and review thousands of historical documents. Mr. Redman is very familiar with use of electronic database of documents created for the litigation.

William MacDonald – Investigator

Mr. Bill MacDonald is an experienced professional with more than 30 years of investigative experience. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise in the obtaining, reviewing and analysis of police investigation files. He has worked for 30 years as an investigator and civilian police oversight consultant.

Mr. MacDonald completed a criminology degree at Camosun College in 1982, and since then he has obtained further education and certifications in areas including Statement Analysis Certification, Major Case Management and Forensic Interrogation, Professional Standard and Internal affairs Certification; Security Programs Inspector Certification; Instructor Certification.

Mr. MacDonald was Senior Investigative Analyst with the British Columbia Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner between 1998-2012. He prepared reports identifying deficiencies in police investigations, and recommended courses of action; including, further investigation; assignment of file to external agencies; and where there was sufficient evidence of misconduct, recommend a public hearing or public inquiry. He was the primary investigative analyst on significant high-profile files including but not limited to: files of police corruption and discreditable conduct involving gang unit officers; criminal assaults and conspiracy involving six police officers; investigative neglect of duty associated with serial killer Robert Pickton and the murder of women missing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside; and the death of Frank Paul.

Between 2012 and 2016, Mr. MacDonald worked as a Police Oversight Consultant with the Office of the Nova Scotia Police Complaints Commissioner. Pursuant to the Nova Scotia Police Act, he was appointed by the Nova Scotia Police Complaints Commissioner to conduct independent investigations into allegations of police misconduct, including, excessive force; corrupt practice; deceit; abuse of authority; neglect of duty; discreditable conduct; and conduct constituting an offence.

Marie-Audrey Girard – National Inquiry Counsel, Quebec Team

Marie-Audrey Girard is a lawyer working in the field of international law and human rights with vast experience in the investigation and prosecution of international crimes.

Ms. Girard has previously worked as legal advisor for Lawyers without Borders Canada for several years on the investigation and the prosecution of international crimes in Guatemala and Colombia. She has provided training and education on the investigating and prosecution of international crimes in countries around the world, including Mali, Colombia, Tunisia and Guatemala. Ms. Girard completed a Law degree at Laval University and a Master of Arts Degree at the Hautes Études Internationales. She is called to the Quebec Bar.

FDRT Advisory Group

Ceejai Julian
Melanie Morrison
Pauline Muskego
Darlene Osborne
Gladys Radek
Blu Waters
Bernie Williams
Charlotte Wolfrey