INDIGENOUS LAW

  Led by nationally recognized counsel, we offer experience, knowledge and respect.

RIGHTS, TITLE AND CONSULTATION

We regularly advise clients on the significance of Indigenous title and rights and the Crown's duty to consult.  We have acted as lead counsel in major challenges to pipeline projects and other natural resource decisions.  We also assist clients in moving towards recognition of their title and rights in all natural resource decisions. 

 

Our lead counsel Jana McLean represented a group of Stó:lo communities who successfully challenged the Trans Mountain Expansion Project before the Federal Court of Appeal.

GOVERNMENT TO GOVERNMENT

We assist and represent Indigenous governments in engagement with the Crown and natural resource companies on the duty to consult, assertion of rights and title, and management (including co-management) of natural resources.  

 

We appreciate the importance of Indigenous communities participating in natural resource decision-making, not as interested parties but as decision-makers.  We have experience with UNDRIP and FPIC in the Canadian context.

INDIAN RESERVES AND BAND GOVERNANCE

We advise on issues arising under the Indian Act, including the surrender of reserve land, certificates of possession and Indian band governance.

 We also acted as counsel in litigation involving election disputes under the Indian Act and in disputes concerning the role of hereditary chiefs and Indigenous laws in the context of treaty negotiations.  

SPECIFIC CLAIMS

We have acted for Indigenous claimants before the Specific Claims Tribunal, seeking to remedy the wrongful historic taking of Indian reserve land.  Specific Claims is in a transition period currently, with the federal government increasing its efforts to negotiate, rather than litigate, these claims.   

RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

We regularly advise on the issue of natural resource management, whether it be in the context of environmental assessments, permitting or protections afforded to areas under the Heritage Conservation Act.  We have experience assisting clients seeking to participate in natural resource decisions and, where necessary, challenging them.  We also have been counsel in a major blockade case.  

CONTAMINATED SITES

On-reserve contamination is a real issue facing some Indigenous governments in Canada.  We have experience dealing with both the provincial contaminated sites regime, as well as the evolving federal regime.  An understanding of both is necessary when advising in this area.  We also assist bands in pursuing cost recovery against the polluter.

Have questions about our services?  Get in touch to learn more.