Our Story

 
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Sage Legal

Our Purpose

Sage Legal exists to advance the rights, interests, and aspirations of our Indigenous clients.

Our Principles

  • The Lawyer, the Servant: we recognize that lawyers are servants, not saviors. We see each legal opinion, court case, and contract as an opportunity to support Indigenous leaders in service to their communities.
  • A Commitment to Cultural Learning: we are committed to continuous learning, and value opportunities to learn from Elders, Indigenous leaders, and other community members.
  • Technology Embraced: we use cloud-based software and other mobile platforms to make ourselves more available to clients and to deliver services efficiently.
  • Networks, not Pyramids: more "legal team" than traditional law firm, we draw from an extensive network of professionals to provide services that are comprehensive, specialized, and affordable.

 

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Tim Thielmann

Founder, Principal

Tim's clients see him as a trustworthy advisor, a loyal ally, and an effective advocate. That might be because practicing law was never something Tim sought out as an end in itself. His work is motivated by a lifelong commitment to social justice, and the satisfaction he finds working with Indigenous leaders to improve the lives of those who, for too long, have lived in the shadows of a settled Canada.   

Tim's experience as a lawyer spans a wide range of practice areas, including negotiation, business development, consultation and regulatory processes, litigation, employment, and Indigenous governance matters. He has acted for Indigenous peoples in precedent-setting cases, including in West Moberly First Nations v. British Columbia (Chief Inspector of Mines) 2011 BCCA 247 which some consider to be the high-water mark for consultation cases within a Treaty context. Tim has negotiated comprehensive government-to-government agreements, as well as numerous agreements related to projects of all sizes across many resource sectors. 

After growing up in Mission, British Columbia, Tim earned Bachelor's degrees in Theology and Philosophy in southern Alberta. Tim received his law degree from the University of Victoria in 2008 and was called to the bar in 2009. Before founding Sage Legal in 2017, Tim practiced at a boutique aboriginal law firm in British Columbia.

In his off-time, you'll find Tim fueling competing addictions to current affairs and tournament Scrabble (yes, really), or walking along Dallas Road with his wife and daughter.

Professional and Community Organizations

  • Canadian Bar Association, Aboriginal Law Section (Vancouver Island): Vice Chair (2016 - present), Chair (2010 - 2016)

  • Fellow, University of Victoria Environmental Law Centre: 2011 - present

  • Director, Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team Society: 2012 - 2016

  • Director, Sierra Club BC: 2011 - 2015