Aboriginal Law

Aboriginal Law

The legal framework which Indigenous peoples in Québec and Canada are subject and the special status of their lands often raise legal issues for Indigenous communities, and for those who do business with them or want to develop projects with Indigenous partners or on traditional or treaty lands.

Our Aboriginal Law team has robust legal and technical knowledge of this unique area and has developed a meaningful understanding of the legal, economic, social and cultural realities of Indigenous communities. Over the years, our lawyers have represented Indigenous governments, organizations and businesses, as well as non-Indigenous corporations working in partnership with them.

Aboriginal law is evolving rapidly and according to its own legal concepts. This calls not only for cutting-edge expertise in step with the latest developments, but also for sensitivity to the values and realities of our clients and our Indigenous partners—very often in combination with creativity and innovation.

Our team has the experience to tackle this challenge. We pay close attention to clients’ needs to provide services tailored to the particularities of each mandate. We apply an interdisciplinary approach and strive to build long-term trust relationship with each client.

Our lawyers can help you with a wide range of mandates, including:

  • Advice and representation on human rights and discrimination issues, including systemic discrimination
  • Advice and support for the preservation, development and promotion of Indigenous cultures, cultural practices and artistic expressions
  • Advice on estates under the Indian Act and the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act
  • Advice on membership codes and residency and occupation rights on reserve or Category I lands
  • Advice on security interests and exemption from seizure of property on reserves
  • Advice on the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act
  • Advice regarding the general affairs of Indigenous governments
  • Assistance in drafting and implementing laws, regulations and administrative, judicial and quasi-judicial processes adopted by Indigenous governments under their inherent powers
  • Electoral matters and litigation
  • Expertise on claims (e.g., land claims, additions to reserve lands, financial claims for loss of reserve lands, etc.) and treaty negotiations (e.g., amendments, application of provincial implementation legislation)
  • Implementation of land codes and advice on the application of the First Nations Land Management Act
  • Intellectual property issues
  • Negotiation of agreements to ensure the recognition of the right of self-government, and co-management in land use and protection of ancestral lands
  • Negotiation of business agreements or partnerships between Indigenous governments (Nation-to-Nation) or between an Indigenous government and the federal or provincial government
  • Negotiation of royalty or Impact and Benefit agreements for economic development projects
  • Negotiation of socio-economic development, and natural resource development and management agreements
  • Negotiations in relation to treaty implementation
  • Operation and governance of corporations and organizations, whether Indigenous owned or operating on ancestral or treaty lands
  • Opinions on the application of provincial laws in Indigenous communities and on conflicts of laws
  • Opinions on the interpretation and application of treaties
  • Opinions on the interpretation or application of the Indian Act and its regulations
  • Opinions on the legislative and regulatory powers of Indigenous governments and drafting or amending administrative regulations or policies on various subject-matters
  • Organization of referendums and drafting of referendum rules
  • Real estate transactions and developing tourism and economic projects
  • Representation in litigation regarding access to or funding of services for Indigenous persons and communities
  • Representation in litigation regarding breaches of Aboriginal or treaty rights
  • Review of and support with respect to the implementation of electoral codes and codes of ethics for elected officials, managers and employees of Indigenous governments
  • Support and advice to Indigenous advisory or decision-making bodies
  • Support for non-Indigenous corporations and organizations in relations with their Indigenous partners and contacts
  • Taxation matters