Our lawyers have extensive experience working with Indigenous communities. That work includes:

GENERAL LEGAL COUNSEL

  • Provide general legal and strategic advice and being the “voice on the other end of the phone” at any time and on any matter 

STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

  • Design and implement multi-faceted advocacy strategies, including:

    • Legal

    • Government Relations

    • Nation-to-Nation processes 

    • Public Relations 

    • Alternative Dispute Resolution

  • Extensive experience in developing strategy with government and industry across sectors, including:

    • Fisheries

    • Forestry

    • Mining

    • Oil & Gas 

    • LNG 

    • Electricity Transmission

    • Independent Power, Renewable Energy & Biofuels

    • Tourism 

    • Gaming 

    • Community development and infrastructure

GOVERNANCE

  • Draft and provide a range of advice on laws, policies and governance documents, including:

    • Constitutions

    • Membership Codes

    • Land Code

    • Environmental Assessment Laws

    • Heritage Conservation & Management  

    • Election Codes 

    • Employment & Contractor Policies and Contracts

    • Consultation & Accommodation Policies

    • Corporate Governance

    • Bylaws

    • Housing

    • Commercial Development

  • Design and implement multiple community engagement and community planning processes

  • Act as Chief Electoral Officer in council elections and by-elections

  • Structure and establish societies, including development of by-laws

ABORIGINAL TITLE & RIGHTS 

  • Design and implement consultation and accommodation processes 

  • Develop legal opinions on Strength of Claim 

  • Represent clients in regulatory processes: 

    • British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office

    • British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission

    • British Columbia Utilities Commission

    • Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

    • National Energy Board

  • Litigation and Dispute Resolution – including mediations, arbitrations, injunction applications, judicial review and Supreme Court of Canada advocacy

  • Negotiate accommodation agreements with government

  • Negotiate revenue sharing and shared decision-making agreements with government

  • Negotiate and draft Impact Benefit Agreements with industry across sectors

TREATY NEGOTIATIONS AND RECONCILIATION AGREEMENTS

  • Lead negotiator and legal counsel for Indigenous Nations in advanced treaty negotiations 

  • Lead negotiator and legal counsel for Indigenous Nations in negotiation of reconciliation agreements with government outside of the treaty process 

  • Negotiation topics include:

    • Self-government

    • Lands

    • Forestry 

    • Wildlife and non-timber forest products

    • Fiscal relations

    • Fisheries

    • Collaborative decision making

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

  • Structure and establish various economic development business structures, including corporations, limited partnerships and joint ventures, trust agreements

  • Advise on best practices for relationship between Chief & Councils and Economic Development Corporations 

  • Advise on economic and community development plans 

  • Develop business relationships with industry across sectors 

  • Provide legal advice on land development issues, including negotiations with developers, zoning and servicing and government approvals

  • Negotiate commercial leases on reserve lands for individual CP Holders and Chief & Councils

  • Negotiate purchase and sale agreements and management agreements for First Nations assets

  • Negotiate consulting and contractor agreements

  • Banking and financing agreements, including various banking facilities, and member loans

  • Debt collection for member loans

SPECIFIC CLAIMS

  • Identify and investigate potential Specific Claims

  • Guide historical and legal research of Specific Claims 

  • Draft legal opinions, present clients legal options, and submit Specific Claims to Canada

  • Liaise with funding agencies 

  • Negotiate accepted claims with Canada 

  • Represent clients at the Specific Claims Tribunal on rejected claims

  • Claims involve: roads and rights of way, village pre-emption, reduction of reserves, failure to allot reserves, colonial reserves