With many of Canada’s leading lawyers in all areas of Aboriginal law, Miller Thomson’s Aboriginal Law Group provides a national platform for sophisticated and strategic advice to industry, Indigenous peoples, crown entities and governments on a full suite of legal services. Our clients recognize the critical role that Indigenous peoples will play as drivers of our economy in the years to come.
In facilitating project development, we advise on all matters involving Aboriginal consultation and accommodation, including negotiating participation and benefit agreements, environmental assessments, permitting and other regulatory approvals. We provide in depth knowledge and expertise in matters involving Aboriginal and treaty rights, as they relate to reserve land development, land claims, treaty land entitlement claims, past grievances, First Nations Land Management and governance.
Our team appreciates the unique and challenging issues at stake and can draw upon both our national platform and regional strengths providing advice that is particular to the legal landscape and unique Aboriginal or treaty rights present in each jurisdiction.
We offer cross sector experience and seamless advice in representing businesses and aboriginal peoples in a wide range of matters, including:
- Aboriginal and treaty rights and the duty to consult
- Consultation and Accommodation
- Facilitation and negotiation of Resource Development Agreements on Aboriginal lands subject to Title Claims, Aboriginal and treaty rights and Land Management Codes
- Specific and Comprehensive Land Claims
- Breach of fiduciary duty claims and Past Grievance resolution
- Environmental Assessments, Regulatory Approvals and Interventions
- Business Advice
- Advice to Aboriginal communities on governance matters including the facilitation and drafting of related Policies
- Corporate Structuring
- Financing and Taxation
- Partnerships and Strategic Alliances
- Health, child welfare and education
- Program transfers
- Negotiated and drafted a number of Project Related Agreements, including Impact Benefit Agreements in the Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador
- Provided legal and strategic business advice to aboriginal and industry representatives in the Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador in natural resource and real estate development sectors
- Acted as counsel negotiating specific land claims in Alberta
- Provided advice to provincial governments with respect to comprehensive land claims
- Acquired Provincial Crown Land for the provision of lumber stocks in British Columbia and Alberta
- Negotiated provincial claims focused on natural resources
- Negotiated joint venture agreements and partnership agreements in relation to renewable and non-renewable projects in the British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario and the Northwest Territories
- Represented First Nations on environmental issues arising in the context of the forestry and mining industries
- Represents large hydro companies on past grievance negotiations and negotiations of settlement agreements;
- Represents a number of small to international mining companies with respect to the negotiation of Impact and Benefit Agreements
- Advised several Métis settlements on the implications of provincial legislation including the minimization or elimination of tax, structuring and negotiating joint venture and other participatory agreements
- Represented parties in litigation with respect to leasing issues, the Crown’s fiduciary duties, past project liabilities, treaty litigation, trespass and nuisance on reserve lands
- Assisted with the provision of conventional funding for First Nation and Aboriginal institutions faced with difficulties in raising funds to put forth claims or for business development
- Developed a joint venture agreement for a number of aboriginal groups for the establishment of a communications network
- Advised many boards on legal requirements for project development on treaty and unresolved Aboriginal title lands
Miller Thomson lawyers recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada 2017
126 Miller Thomson lawyers from across the country and in numerous areas of law have been recognized for their expertise in the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada. This result is up from 122 lawyers ranked last year....
Success at Federal Court of Appeal
In Reynold Dickie v. Her Majesty to Queen (2012 TCC 242), the Tax Court of Canada ruled that income from Mr. Dickie’s sole proprietorship was business income earned by an Indian under the Indian Act that is situate on reserve,...
Miller Thomson lawyers obtain $90,000 award in Tax Court of Canada.
Sarah Hansen and Kelsey Thompson of Miller Thomson Vancouver and co-counsel Robert Janes of JFK Law Corporation successfully obtained a $90,000 lump sum cost award representing 60% of the client’s solicitor and client costs that far exceeded the tariff rate...
Miller Thomson Successful on Appeal of Reassessment of Tax under the Income Tax Act for an Aboriginal Business on Reserve.
Sarah Hansen, Partner at Miller Thomson’s Vancouver office, and co-counsel Robert Janes of Janes Freedman Kyle Law Corporation, successfully appealed a reassessment that business income earned by an Indian under the Indian Act that is situated on reserve is exempt...
Prominent First Nations Negotiator Joins Miller Thomson’s Growing Saskatchewan Presence
TORONTO, March 16, 2012 – Canadian business leaders must adopt a policy of respect, transparency and consensus in order to engage in meaningful consultation with First Nations communities across Canada, according to W. Thomas Molloy, one of Canada’s most prominent...
W. Thomas Molloy, O.C., Q.C. receives the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal
Miller Thomson Saskatchewan is proud to announce that on Monday, February 6, 2012, Tom Molloy of the Saskatoon office will be honoured at a ceremony being held at Government House in Regina by receiving the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal from the Saskatchewan...
W. Thomas Molloy, O.C., Q.C. has joined the Saskatoon office as counsel.
Tom Molloy was called to the Saskatchewan bar in 1965. Tom practices primarily in the areas of Aboriginal and Business law. Over the four decades that Tom has been practicing law, he has been instrumental in numerous Aboriginal claims settlements across...
Miller Thomson lawyers are featured authors in the recently released “2012 Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada” detailing key developments in a number of practice areas.
In the just released 2012 Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada, a group of Miller Thomson practitioners were asked to share their insights into significant developments impacting the areas of Aboriginal law, Energy and Natural Resources,...
Jennifer Spencer re-appointed Chair of Canadian Bar Association’s Aboriginal Law Section (BC Branch).
Mike Nienhuis moderates First Nations panel at real estate forum
Mike Nienhuis moderates the session on “Working with First Nations: Land Development in Metro Vancouver” at the 23rd annual Vancouver Real Estate Forum.
Sandra Gogal speaks on Fundamentals of Aboriginal Law
Sandra Gogal is Program Chair of the Osgoode Certificate in Fundamentals of Aboriginal Law on “The Duty to Consult and Accommodate”.
Sandra Gogal speaks at Aboriginal Consultation & Engagement conference
Sandra Gogal speaks at the Canadian Institute’s Aboriginal Consultation & Engagement conference in Toronto. She speaks on May 17 on the subject of “Implementing the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act” as well as hosting a workshop on May 18 on the...
Sandra Gogal speaks on UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Sandra Gogal is part of a legal panel at the National Aboriginal Business Opportunities Conference discussing the implications of implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Sandra Gogal speaks at Insight Aboriginal conference
Sandra Gogal presents “Addressing Conflicts in Linear Projects that Touch on Multiple Aboriginal Interests” at Insight’s Unlocking Aboriginal Potential Conference.
Chad Eggerman presents Aboriginal case law update
Chad Eggerman speaks on “Aboriginal Case Law Update for Electrical Utilities” for the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) Task Group. His presentation focuses on recent case law and other developments related to Indigenous people.
Sandra Gogal presents on Aboriginal relations in Canada
Sandra Gogal speaks to the Council on Corporate Aboriginal Relations on current court cases and legal developments that are shaping Aboriginal relations in Canada.
Amyn Lalji leads Aboriginal taxation course
Amyn Lalji is course leader at the 4th Aboriginal Taxation course, presented by Federated Press.
Sandra Gogal speaks at Aboriginal resource development forum
Sandra Gogal presents on “Creative Funding for Consultations: Crown and Industry” at the Resource Development on Aboriginal Lands forum hosted by PBLI.
Amyn Lalji speaks at Aboriginal resource management conference
Amyn Lalji presents “Negotiate or Litigate – When and How to Get Involved” at Insight’s Western Canadian Aboriginal Land Resource Management Forum.
The Shifting Sands of Yukon’s Legal Landscape: Are You Prepared?
Legal certainty is a cornerstone to a healthy investment culture. In the last few years Yukon has seen a significant shift in its legal landscape with the introduction Bill S-6, numerous court challenges and unresolved Aboriginal land claims. There is...
Emerging Issues in Aboriginal Law as it Relates to Resource Development Activities
In recognition of Saskatchewan Mining Week 2014 we are pleased to present a seminar on “Emerging Issues in Aboriginal Law as it Relates to Resource Development Activities.” Our session focuses on understanding the legal risks and trends in case law...
Miller Thomson’s Saskatoon office hosts a Mining Workshop.
Miller Thomson is hosting a seminar on “Understanding Aboriginal & Environmental Issues in Project Development” on Nov. 26 in Waterloo
Breakfast Seminar :
Case Commentary: Gitxaala Nation v. Canada, 2016 FCA 187
Introduction The Northern Gateway Pipeline Project, which has been in the works since 2005, received a major setback on June 23 with the federal court of appeal’s judgment in Gitxaala Nation v. Canada. The court quashed Canada’s approval of the...
Case Commentary: Coastal First Nations v. British Columbia (Environment), 2016 BCSC 34
On January 13, 2016, the Coastal First Nations, an alliance of eight First Nations on British Columbia’s North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii, received a favourable decision from the British Columbia Supreme Court in Coastal First Nations v. British...
The New New Relationship
Aboriginal Marketplace, Vol. 4, Issue 1, January/March 2015
Legal, Political and Business Implications of the Tsilhqot’in Decision. Click here to read the article.
SCC Affirms Ontario’s Jurisdiction to “Take Up” Lands in Treaty 3
On July 11, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) released its unanimous decision in Grassy Narrows First Nation v. Ontario (Natural Resources), 2014 SCC 48. The question before the SCC was whether the Province of Ontario or the Federal...
SCC Ruling on Aboriginal Title: Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia, 2014 SCC 44 and Significant Changes to the Legal Landscape
On June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) released its landmark decision in Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia. At the heart of this decision, the SCC was confronted with the question of Aboriginal title and what constitutes a...
The Indian Act Tax Exemption & Commercial Fishing Income
Introduction Section 87 of the Indian Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. I-5 can exempt the property of First Nation individuals and bands from taxation. For obvious reasons, this exemption can provide very valuable benefits to First Nation individuals, bands, and their...
R. v. Dickie – Income Earned on Reserve
PBLI Conference: The Latest Developments in First Nation Taxation
Tax Court of Canada Rules on Location of Business Income for the Purpose of Tax Exemption Under the Indian Act
On July 10, 2012, the Tax Court of Canada released its judgment in Dickie v. The Queen, 2012 TCC 242, wherein Miller Thomson, and co-counsel Robert Janes of JFK Law Corporation, were successful on an appeal of a reassessment made...
Injunctions Issued Against Companies for Lack of Aboriginal Consultation
Two recent decisions in Ontario and British Columbia provide examples of the courts temporarily restraining commercial development for a lack of adequate consultation with affected Aboriginal groups. Wahgoshig First Nation v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario et...
The Implications of the Decision in Keewatin v. Minister of Natural Resources
The 2012 Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada