Aboriginal Law

The legal framework to which the First Nations of Quebec and Canada are subject and the special status of the lands on which Aboriginal communities are located often raise a number of legal issues for First Nations members and organizations, and for those who do business with them or who want to develop projects in Aboriginal communities, on ancestral lands, or on lands subject to treaty rights.

While Aboriginal law cases continue to be prominent in courts across Canada, we have noted over the past few years that reconciliation, negotiation, and compromise are often favoured and are generally the approaches that should be prioritized.

The Langlois lawyers team has sound legal and technical knowledge of this unique area of law. Some of our professionals have developed a meaningful understanding of the legal, economic, and social realities of First Nations. We have represented First Nations clients and their business partners. There are also First Nations members on our team of professionals.

We have been entrusted with many diverse cases over the years involving:

  • business and electoral litigation;
  • assisting with and advising on real estate transactions and the development of tourist and economic potential;
  • assisting with and advising on the negotiation of various agreements and business partnerships with other First Nations;
  • assisting at various Band Council meetings and public meetings of First Nations members, including consultations and referendums on various topics of interest pertaining to general First Nations affairs;
  • expertise on the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act;
  • expertise on estates under the Indian Act and Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act;
  • expertise on Aboriginal taxation;
  • expertise on the exemption from seizure of property on reserve;
  • creating trusts;
  • negotiating and drafting reserve land occupation permits granted to non-Aboriginal businesses in accordance with the Indian Act;
  • various opinions on the interpretation or application of the Indian Act and its regulations;
  • various opinions on the administrative regulatory powers of First Nations under the Indian Act and drafting or amending regulations and administrative policies pertaining to various topics;
  • opinions and advice on various claims (land claims, expansion of reserve lands, financial claims for loss of reserve lands, and so on);
  • various opinions on the application of provincial laws in First Nations communities;
  • organizing referendums and drafting referendum rules;
  • reviewing traditional electoral codes;
  • drafting and reviewing pieces of legislation passed by First Nations in accordance with their inherent powers;
  • providing support and advice to certain advisory or decision-making bodies within First Nations;
  • drafting contracts and resolutions involving First Nations Band Councils and Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal businesses.

Our Aboriginal law and statutory Indian law practice has shown us that carefully and actively listening to the needs of the clients we represent in this area is essential.

Aboriginal law continues to flourish despite the turmoil of recent decades; there is still a power imbalance and solutions have yet to be created. Open and constructive dialogue with our clients is therefore imperative. We therefore have to be open to unconventional legal solutions. Our team has the experience to tackle this challenge. Before we even take on a case, we apply our interdisciplinary approach to earn your trust and ensure that your goals are reached.