Hearing Bencher Lawyer
Etienne was born and raised in Thunder Bay. He is a member of the Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek (Rocky Bay First Nation). He was raised by his grandparents, who were both residential school survivors. Etienne graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2004. Since his call to the Bar in 2005, he has had the privilege of being exposed to many areas of civil litigation and business law. In 2012, he started the Esquega Law Office. Etienne routinely provides advice and representation to Indigenous communities, and organizations, on land claims, litigation, governance, and corporate/commercial matters. He has also acted for many clients in civil litigation matters before the Ontario Court of Justice, the Superior Court of Justice, the Federal Court of Canada, and the Federal Court of Appeal. He has acted for clients before various administrative tribunals including human rights tribunals, inquests, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, various labour tribunals, and the Ontario Energy Board. Notably, Etienne represented the Northern Nishnawbe Education Council and the Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School at the 7 First Nation Youth Inquest which concluded in June of 2016 in Thunder Bay. The inquest presided for over eight months, heard from 146 witnesses, and resulted in 145 recommendations aimed at student safety for First Nation youth who have to leave the north for their high school education. In 2019 Etienne was elected as the Northwest Regional bencher for the Law Society of Ontario. Before being elected as a bencher, Etienne was a co-chair of the Indigenous Advisory Group to the Law Society of Ontario. Etienne was also part of the steering committee that led to the development of the Certified Specialist designation for Indigenous Legal Issues at the Law Society of Ontario. Etienne is a member of the Indigenous Bar Association, the Canadian Bar Association, The Advocates’ Society, and the Thunder Bay Law Association.