Michael G. (Jerry) Wetzel holds a B.A. Honors College degree from Ohio University (1969) in Human Ecology. In 1993, Mr. Wetzel graduated from Dalhousie Law School with an LL.B degree.  He was called to the Newfoundland Bar in 1994.  He then entered the Master of Law program and received his LL.M (Master’s of Law) degree in 1996.  Mr. Wetzel was also called to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1995.  Mr. Wetzel has established his own Law Offices and is now a sole practitioner operating in Conne River and in Grand Falls-Windsor.

In 1972, Mr. Wetzel was engaged by the Native Council of Canada (now the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples) to organize and found a provincial aboriginal political organization.  He served as the interim president of the Native Association of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1972-73.  He currently is Chair of the Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Circle of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Between 1972-1990, Mr. Wetzel led a political lobbying effort that led to the negotiations to change Federal Indigenous Policy in Newfoundland and Labrador from non-recognition to recognition and funding.  In 1985, the lobbying effort culminated in the recognition of the Conne River (Miawpukek Band), the establishment of a reserve for the Band and the negotiation of several major agreements that have led to over $175 million in federal funding for Conne River since 1985 and over $700 million in federal funding for Indigenous communities in Newfoundland and Labrador due to the change in federal indigenous policy. 

Mr. Wetzel was a competitive swimmer and played organized baseball and basketball up to 2019. He also enjoys golf, swimming, water skiing, cross country skiing, weight training, running, and as much hunting and fishing as time allows.

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