Treaty and Aboriginal Rights

A large part of our practice concerns the protection and advancement of Treaty and Aboriginal rights. This can arise in a number of contexts, but frequently concerns representing individuals who have been charged with hunting or fishing in violation of their Treaty and Aboriginal rights. These cases often serve as important test cases, so our clients retain us to make constitutional arguments about Treaty and Aboriginal rights to ensure that their members are able to continue to exercise their rights and that they are not eroded by provincial prosecutors. Often these cases are fought on consultation grounds, as the First Nations have not been consulted about the restrictions on their rights that have been placed in the regulations.

The protection of Treaty and Aboriginal rights is also at issue in cases we have litigated concerning the provision of reserve lands and resources pursuant to Treaty and the impact of resource development, including oil and gas, forestry and hydro-electric development, on traditional lands. We have also appeared before the Alberta Energy and Utility Board, the National Energy Board and the British Columbia Environmental Appeal Board on behalf of First Nations and First Nations' Organizations who are challenging approvals of resource development issued without adequate consultation.

Our negotiation experience includes negotiating resource management and consultation agreements with governments on behalf of our First Nations clients, negotiating consultation and economic development agreements with various oil and gas companies and providing legal advice on consultation agreements with forestry companies.