The Supreme Court of Canada’s recognition of Aboriginal rights in the 1973 Calder decision was a turning point in Law, but for years the relationship between Aboriginal Peoples and the Crown remained a challenge and dependant on litigation. In 2014, the Tsilhqot’in decision forced the Crown to recognize the existence of Aboriginal title and to return to the table to negotiate with First Nations, Inuit and Métis as equals.
Over the years, our lawyers have continuously worked to ensure that the Crown’s actions respect indigenous self-government and rights and that Indigenous Peoples are heard. Presenting the Indigenous perspective with insight and understanding at a table of treaty partners goes to the heart of our practice.
Whether we are needed in complex federal negotiations for the settlement of treaty rights, for establishing clarity on provincial harvesting policies or for threshing out inter-jurisdictional matters on and off reserve, our team is relies on a keen understanding of history, the common law, the Constitution, and statutes. We have extensive experience in treaty negotiation and implementation, having worked with the Cree communities in Northern Québec, consulting and advising them during the negotiation and implementation of the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement (JBNQA) and subsequent Complementary Agreements.
Treaty implementation and agreements are developed through ongoing consultations with community negotiators and during public meetings with community members. We work directly with community members in preparing plain language documents and making presentations to ensure that they have an understanding of all issues at stake, which ultimately allows them to make well informed decisions.