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Chris has extensive experience representing business, government, and First Nations organizations on a range of partnerships, commercial arrangements, and governance matters.
As the western regional lead for our Indigenous Law Group, Chris works to build strategic and durable relationships between government, industry and Indigenous organizations.
Prior to joining BLG, Chris served as the Director General for the western negotiations branch of Crown-Indigenous Relations. In that role, he led a large team of federal negotiators at more than 60 sets of tables across British Columbia and the Yukon.
From 2014 to 2018 Chris was a senior counsel at BC Hydro, leading many different aspects of their First Nations engagement. From 2001 to 2014 Chris was in private practice where he represented dozens of Indigenous organizations on a range of matters including treaty negotiations, governance, lands and economic development, aboriginal rights and title, consultation & accommodation, and specific claims.
Western Forest Products – Advised and drafted agreements to re-invigorate a limited partnership with a British Columbia First Nation
Advising on indigenous relations matters across western Canada, including consultation & accommodation and the formation or implementation of business arrangements with indigenous groups.
Advising private and public developers on the creation and implementation of structures to allow First Nations to participate in ownership and development of significant ($500M+) real estate development projects on private, public and First Nation lands.
Advising on the creation of regulations and associated agreements pursuant to the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act in the context of a major ($2B+) real estate
development project on First Nation lands.
Advised a private developer on the creation of a limited partnership with a First Nation for a solar energy project ($100M+) in Alberta.
Provided advisory support to the Government of the Northwest Territories on policy intentions in support of the Mineral Resources Act.
Advised major licencees in the forestry sector on indigenous relations strategies, protocols, and business relationships, including the formation of limited partnerships and joint ventures.
Advised proponents and First Nations on environmental assessments, impact benefit agreements, and consultation/engagement matters in the context of multiple mining projects across Canada.
Supported the establishment and administration of Indigenous-led institutions in the education and cultural sectors.
Advised multiple crown corporations, utilities, and government agencies across Canada on indigenous relations matters.
Led federal teams in high profile negotiations under the BC Treaty process and other reconciliation initiatives.
Negotiated and drafted agreements and advised on multiple Indigenous issues for BC Hydro.
Represented a Vancouver Island First Nation in establishing a limited partnership and acquiring a major forestry tenure and related assets.
Represented a lower mainland First Nation in negotiating impact benefit agreements and associated commercial ventures for multiple major infrastructure projects.
Represented more than a dozen First Nations in establishing or updating bylaws, constitutions, and related governance matters
Advised Indigenous Groups and provincial crown corporations on the acquisition and management of tenures on First Nation lands.