The lawyers of Cassels Brock bring extensive expertise and a multi-disciplinary approach to their work with industry, government and Aboriginal peoples (including First Nations, Metis, Inuit and Innu) in connection with business transactions and public policy decisions affected by Aboriginal issues and Aboriginal law.
Known for our extensive client base in the mining and energy sectors, which puts us in front of Aboriginal (First Nations) issues on a regular basis, our lawyers have been and continue to be involved in many significant matters involving Aboriginal rights and interests. Cassels Brock lawyers have experience advising clients in consultation matters, including negotiating and drafting memoranda of understanding, consultation agreements, access agreements, impact/benefit agreements, participation agreements, treaty land entitlement agreements, exploration agreements and other documentation related to activities involving Aboriginal peoples.
Cassels Brock is also well known for the work done by The Honourable David Peterson, a former Premier of Ontario and a senior partner of the firm widely respected for his support of reconciliation and strong relationships and high standing with governmental, industry and Aboriginal leaders.
- Acting as Chief Negotiator for the Government of Canada in respect of the transfer of legislative authority over lands and resources in the Northwest Territories to the Government of the Northwest Territories. This included negotiating and settling an Agreement in Principle with the GNWT and the NWT Aboriginal Summit (Inuvialuit, G’witchin, Sahtu, Deh Cho, Akaitcho, Tlicho and South Slave Metis) for the transfer of legislative authority, resource revenue sharing, transfer of assets, governance forums, environmental panels and related obligations, and integration of land and water boards, all in furtherance of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline development.
- Acting as Chief Negotiator for the Province of Ontario in the negotiation of gaming revenue sharing and other related financial arrangements with 133 First Nations in Ontario.
- Acting as the Chief Negotiator for the Province of Ontario representing the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, to end a standoff related to a longstanding dispute over a 40-hectacre tract of land in Southwestern Ontario which pitted a First Nations community against local residents and businesses.
- Acting in respect of First Nations consultations related to natural resources development in Ontario, including the negotiation of interim measures agreements, memoranda of understanding and impact and benefits agreements.
- Acting for major and junior mining companies in respect of matters related to mine exploration, development and operations in several jurisdictions around the world, involving Aboriginal lands or lands subject to Aboriginal land claims or traditional use rights.
- Acting for financial institutions in the provision and enforcement of credit facilities to First Nations.
- Acting in respect of the negotiation of hydro transmission line easements on certain First Nations lands in Ontario.
- Acting in respect of the transfer of the local electrical distribution systems to certain First Nations in Ontario.
- Defending the Government of Canada against a First Nations class action claim involving fiduciary duties extending to the protection of First Nation property situated on a First Nation Reserve, Section 87 of the Indian Act and Section 35 of the Constitution Act.