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 earns top rankings in Chambers Canada 2019
Miller Thomson earned a top “Band 1” ranking for two practice areas in the 2019 Chambers Canada Guide. Our Charities and Not-For-Profit group is regarded as being “leaders in the charitable sector,” and praised for their ability to “help find solutions in complex situations.” Our Agribusiness group...
Miller Thomson lawyers recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada 2019
In the just released 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada, 144 Miller Thomson lawyers from across the country have been recognized for their expertise in 47 areas of law. This includes 6 lawyers who were awarded “Lawyer of the Year” in...
Miller Thomson recognized in 2018 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
In the recently released 2018 edition of the Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory, 90 Miller Thomson lawyers across 35 areas of law have been recognized for their industry-leading advisory expertise. These rankings are the culmination of an extensive annual peer review process...
Miller Thomson ranked in 2018 edition of Chambers Global
Miller Thomson has once again been ranked among leading firms for Labour & Employment in the 2018 edition of Chambers Global – The World’s Leading Business Lawyers. Each year, Chambers & Partners conducts extensive research of legal markets around the world...
Miller Thomson recognized in Chambers Global 2017
Miller Thomson’s national Labour & Employment group has been named in the 2017 edition of Chambers Global, a ranking of the world’s leading lawyers and law firms. Chambers & Partners conducts extensive annual research of legal markets to identify the leading firms...
New edition of Essential Law for Social Work Practice in Canada
Miller Thomson’s National Health Industry Group is pleased to announce the third edition of Essential Law for Social Work Practice in Canada. Individuals who need social work services have problems that are complex and multifaceted. To best serve their clients,...
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...
Sandra Gogal chairs “The 2018 Legal and Practical Guide to Consultation with Indigenous Peoples”
Sandra Gogal is the faculty chair at Osgoode Hall Law School’s Professional Development program on the topic of “Legal and Practical Guide to Consultation with Indigenous Peoples”
Gerald Chipeur presents at the FNHMA Annual National Conference
Gerry Chipeur presents at the First Nations Health Management Association National Conference on the topic of “The Right to Health Care Under the Medicine Chest Provisions of Treaties with the Crown: Historical Origins and Meaning Today”.
Sarah Hansen speaks on Indigenous Laws & the Future of Environmental Assessments
Sarah Hansen is a speaker at the CBA (BC Branch) Environmental Law & Aboriginal Law-Vancouver Joint Section Meeting. The discussion will focus on experiences, perspectives, and lessons learned on indigenous-led independent environmental assessment processes.
Sandra Gogal speaks on Fundamentals of Indigenous Peoples and Canadian Law
Sandra Gogal is Program Director of the Osgoode Certificate in Fundamentals of Indigenous Peoples and Canadian Law on “The Duty to Consult and Accommodate”.
Amyn Lalji speaks at Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association conference
Amyn Lalji is a presenter on the Legal Panel at the Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association Conference.
Gerald Chipeur, Q.C. speaks on the duty to consult Indigenous Peoples: How has the landscape changed?
Gerald Chipeur, Q.C. speaks on the duty to consult Indigenous Peoples, how the landscape has changed and a discussion on the impact of the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent Clyde River and Chippewas decisions on Monday, August 21, 2017.
Sandra Gogal speaks on Legal and Practical Guide to Consultation with Indigenous Peoples
Sandra Gogal is Program Chair of the 2017 Legal and Practical Guide to Consultation with Indigenous Peoples on “Introduction to Consultation: Who, What and Why”.
Sandra Gogal speaks at the Canadian Mining Symposium
Sandra Gogal will be presenting on “Opportunities with Aboriginal Communities” at the Canadian Mining Symposium in London, England.
Sandra Gogal speaks at the CBA Environment, Energy & Resources Law Summit
Sandra Gogal is presenting on “Recent Developments in the Law and Practice of Aboriginal Consultation” at the CBA Environment, Energy & Resources Law Summit.
Miller Thomson Aboriginal group speaks at PBLI conference
Sandra Gogal and Amyn Lalji co-chair Pacific Business & Law Institute’s conference on “Key Agreements between Industry and First Nations: Achieving Certainty & Fairness”. Our lawyers will also be presenting: Building Relationships between First Nations and Industry (Sandra Gogal) Drafting...
Miller Thomson 2018 Saskatoon Construction Law Conference
Please join us on Friday, April 13, 2018, for a half day conference intended for all construction and real estate sector stakeholders and keep apprised of the most recent developments in your industry. Our speakers will discuss related industry topics...
Miller Thomson 2018 Regina Construction Law Conference
Please join us on Thursday, April 12, 2018, for a daylong conference intended for all construction and real estate sector stakeholders and keep apprised of the most recent developments in your industry. Our speakers will discuss related industry topics which...
Project Development: Environmental and Indigenous Considerations – Montreal
Le développement de tout projet d’envergure peut générer de nombreux enjeux en matière environnementale que ce soit au niveau de l’obtention des permis requis, de l’acceptabilité sociale, de la gestion des risques dans les contrats d’approvisionnement ou du financement. Le...
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 :
Indigenous Laws and Perspectives in Environmental Assessments
Environmental Law & Aboriginal Law-Vancouver Joint Section Meeting, CBA (BC Branch)
Supreme Court of Canada underlines the need for Diligence in the Negotiation and Implementation of Modern Treaties
The Supreme Court of Canada’s recent judgment in First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun v Yukon, 2017 SCC 58 (Nach Nyak Dun), has outlined the appropriate role of the Court in resolving modern treaty disputes. The judgment indicates that the...
Ktunaxa Case Summary
The Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Ktunaxa Nation v. British Columbia (Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations) 2017 SCC 54, last year on November 2. The decision clarifies that religious freedom does not include protection of the...
First Nations Land Management – Project Development and Compliance with First Nations Laws
Since 1999, First Nation communities in Canada have had the opportunity to assume management and control of their reserve lands and resources from the Government of Canada. As a result, in addition to any applicable laws enacted by federal or...
Supreme Court of Canada Provides Guidance on Regulatory Bodies Ability to Fulfill Duty to Consult
Overview On July 26, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) released the companion decisions of Clyde River (Hamlet) v. Petroleum Geo-Services Inc. (“Clyde River”) and Chippewas of the Thames First Nation v. Enbridge Pipelines Inc. (“Chippewas”). The SCC in...
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...
Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services expands services with transfer of 263 housing units
Counsel to Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services
Schedule I bank arranges credit facilities for First Nation to finance land claims against Canadian federal government
Counsel to the bank
Schedule I bank provides credit facilities to First Nation limited partnership
Counsel to the bank