Indigenous law and the exercise of inherent rights by Indigenous governments is a dynamic and ever-evolving legal area. It is crucial to have trusted legal advisors who are respectful of and thoroughly versed in issues relating to First Nation, Inuit and Métis governments, nations and organizations in Canada.
As Canada’s largest full-service law firm, we have a dedicated national indigenous group with lawyers across the country, which includes partners of Indigenous descent in each of our Québec, Toronto and Ottawa offices.
We assist our clients in navigating complex legal questions in Indigenous law and building relationships with Indigenous peoples. We advise Indigenous peoples, project proponents, key stakeholders and the Crown on permitting and approval issues when proposed projects may affect Aboriginal and/or Treaty rights, or where government-to-government relationships need development in order to further reconciliation objectives.
As a collaborative, multidisciplinary firm, we offer a range of services to federal, provincial, territorial and Indigenous governments, agencies, organizations and private entities. These services can include:
- constitutional questions;
- the duty to consult;
- the exercise of inherent rights by Indigenous peoples;
- strategic partnerships;
- procurement opportunities between industry and Indigenous groups;
- unresolved land claims and historic grievances;
- corporate entities and trusts;
- environmental approvals and permitting;
- financing on First Nation lands;
- interpreting treaties and applicable laws;
- exercising jurisdiction and authority by Indigenous groups;
- land and housing developments;
- cannabis projects; and
- economic development activities.
We have a growing practice providing commercial and transactional advice to Indigenous-owned businesses across all industry sectors – natural resource development, oil and gas, energy and transmission, infrastructure and construction, franchising, banking, and cannabis. Industry partners rely on us to assist in establishing strategic partnerships with Indigenous-owned businesses.
We are called on frequently to give legal advice to clients with interests in the northern and remote regions of Canada and have extensive experience with Northern Land Claims Agreements.
Our team includes active members and directors of various Indigenous organizations, such as the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business, Indigenous Bar Association, National Indigenous Trust Officers Association, Anishnawbe Health Foundation, Northwest Territories and Nunavut Chamber of Mines, the Tungasuvvingat Inuit Board and the Akitsiraq Law Society.
Our lawyers have well-established relationships and a reputation for excellence at Indigenous Services Canada and Crown-Indigenous Relations, as well as other provincial and territorial ministries and government agencies for Indigenous affairs, natural resources and energy. We offer government experience and close access for national organizations working with provincial and federal Crown entities.