LITIGATION + DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Representation of Indigenous Nations + Organizations
Our Indigenous Advocacy and Reconciliation Team assists clients in the areas of Indigenous law, Aboriginal rights and title, governance, election disputes, reserve land issues, impact-benefit agreement interpretation, implementation and enforcement, resource and land rights, regulatory matters, and the development of strategic approaches to the participation of Indigenous Nations in consultation and negotiation with the Crown and industry.
Our experience in Indigenous law includes working with Indigenous legal orders, oral traditional evidence, and traditional ecological knowledge and reconciling Western legal structures with Indigenous laws and knowledge.
We also represent our Indigenous clients in complex civil litigation involving contractual and commercial disputes. In supporting our clients, we work to gain an in-depth understanding of their traditional territories and ecological knowledge, Indigenous legal orders, oral traditional evidence, and short- and long-term objectives. This ensures that we can develop overall strategies tailored to align with our clients' values and achieve our clients' objectives.
- Acted for Indigenous youth and family members across Canada in related class actions commenced in the Federal Court against the Government of Canada for its discriminatory treatment of First Nations youth in Xavier Moushoom et al v. The Attorney General of Canada, FC File Nos. T-402-19/T-141-20 and Assembly of First Nations and Zacheus Joseph Trout v. The Attorney General of Canada, FC File No.T-1120-21.
- Acted for Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe in its judicial review of the Crown’s first approval of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project in Tsleil-Waututh Nation v. Canada (Attorney General), 2018 FCA 153, which resulted in the Federal Court of Appeal overturning the Crown’s approval of the pipeline project after finding that the Crown had failed to discharge its constitutional duty to consult the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe.
- Acted for Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe in Coldwater First Nation v. Canada (Attorney General), 2020 FCA 34, a subsequent judicial review of the Crown’s second approval of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, which included an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada on the issue of the degree of consultation owed to established rightsholders (the application was later discontinued).
- Acted for several Stó꞉lō communities as interveners before the National Energy Board in its reconsideration hearing which resulted from the above-noted Federal Court of Appeal’s quashing of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project approval in Tsleil-Waututh Nation v. Canada (Attorney General), 2018 FCA 153, including leading oral traditional evidence and evidence concerning traditional ecological knowledge.
- Acted for the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations, in its recent and successful application to obtain intervener status before the Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Stewart v. Prince George (City), a Charter case involving encampments of unhoused persons and the interaction between city by-laws and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. The appeal was subsequently abandoned by the City of Prince George.
- Acted for Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, in its successful application to obtain intervener status before the Court of Appeal for British Columbia, as well as in the appeal proceedings, in Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v. Canada (Attorney General), a groundbreaking Aboriginal rights case involving the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation’s right to fish commercially, as well as in the appeal proceedings.
- Acted for Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, in its intervention before the Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Servatius v. Alberni School District No. 70, a Charter case involving the interplay between religious rights and Indigenous cultural representation and student safety in public schools.
- Acted for Tahltan Central Government in its successful application to obtain intervener status in a statutory appeal before the Supreme Court of British Columbia, as well as in the appeal proceedings, in Skeena Resources Ltd. v Mill, a case involving the ownership of waste rock and tailings dumped in Tahltan Territory.