Our firm’s Indigenous Practice Group brings with it a depth of experience in advising Indigenous clients on a broad range of matters, including setting up effective business structures that facilitate the expansion of the community’s economic development; aboriginal and treaty rights advocacy; and consultations with government and industry.

Our team of lawyers have developed innovative legal structures and frameworks for, and successfully represented, groups of Indigenous communities across the country who wish to work together to pursue business opportunities, including through limited partnerships, joint ventures, corporations and trusts. We help our Indigenous clients manage existing and incoming assets, and offer advice and guidance on governance models that reflect and respond to our clients’ priorities.

First Nations across the country turn to us for strategic guidance on:

  • setting up economic development corporations and business structures that facilitate the expansion of Indigenous communities’ economic activities, including joint ventures and partnerships with respect to various industries, including energy, construction and transportation;
  • drafting governance policies for boards of directors of economic development corporations and providing guidance on the application of governance policies;
  • advice to Councils and communities on the development of laws and policies based on inherent jurisdiction, recognition agreements such as the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management and statutes such as the First Nations Fiscal Management Act and the Indian Act, and the design and operation of the self-governance institutions which will implement those laws and policies;
  • advice regarding and where necessary litigation of treaty and Indigenous rights issues;
  • collaboration with Indigenous clients on the joint presentation of information at community consultation and information update meetings; and
  • consultation advice and the negotiation of impact benefit and community benefit and cooperation agreements with government and industries.

We also help First Nations throughout Ontario and across Canada in negotiating and completing transactions in a variety of industries, including energy and infrastructure, construction, real estate (including additions to reserve), agriculture, mining, transportation and logistics.

We strive at all times to identify our clients’ objectives and we respond accordingly by helping our clients overcome their challenges and achieve their goals. The Indigenous Practice Group understands the unique circumstances and complexities of Indigenous affairs and the dynamic relation between the various parties. We anticipate potential problems, employ techniques to avoid them and find creative solutions to overcome them.

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