Indigenous Legal Issues (also referred to as Aboriginal Law) often entail consultation, negotiation, and accommodation. Each of these are critical elements of successful natural resource and infrastructure projects and can foster strong relationships between Indigenous peoples and project proponents.

Indigenous legal issues expertise

Our Indigenous Legal Issues lawyers help clients bridge complex, culturally sensitive matters to achieve effective, practical, and long-term solutions. We advise Indigenous communities, industry, municipalities, conservation authorities, and governments about legal frameworks and requirements to satisfy Indigenous consultation and accommodation.

We assist Indigenous communities with building internal capacity for governance, strategic direction, and project development, and to address regulatory, corporate/commercial, governance and policy-setting matters.

Our team of Indigenous Legal Issues lawyers supports clients in the areas of:

  • archaeology, cultural heritage, and Indigenous knowledge
  • consultation plans and protocols
  • consultation process and funding agreements
  • duty to accommodate
  • duty to consult
  • environmental Impacts
  • environmental permit applications
  • First Nations Land Management Act
  • impact benefit agreements
  • Indigenous business
  • Indigenous commercial agreements
  • Indigenous consultation
  • Indigenous corporate governance
  • Indigenous joint ventures
  • Indigenous led impact assessments
  • land and resources management
  • land claims
  • land codes and environmental laws
  • litigation and dispute resolution
  • negotiation, drafting, and implementing agreements
  • safe drinking water standards and due diligence
  • use and occupancy of reserves.

Duty to consult and duty to accommodate

Our lawyers advise clients about the duty to consult and the duty to accommodate Indigenous peoples arising from decisions that affect Indigenous peoples and their rights. Our team’s recognised depth in environmental law and Indigenous Legal Issues uniquely positions our lawyers to advise about the duty to consult on environmental permit studies and applications.

Learn more about how we can help clients in matters concerning the duty to consult.

Impact benefit agreements

Impact benefit agreements seek to provide certainty to project proponents while offering important social, economic, and environmental benefits including environmental oversight to affected Indigenous communities. Our Indigenous Legal Issues lawyers are experienced at negotiating, drafting, and implementing impact benefit agreements and, when necessary, resolving disputes through mediation, arbitration, or litigation.

Learn more about how we can help with impact benefit agreements.

Indigenous business

Our lawyers assist Indigenous communities in developing corporate structures for joint ventures and limited partnerships and provide legal advice to Indigenous governments about business transactions and governance.

Learn more about how we can help with Indigenous businesses.

Land and resources management

Our legal team advises Indigenous communities about land and resource management, including drafting land codes and environmental laws through the First Nations Land Management Act.  Our team advises about agreements and permits for the use and occupancy of reserve land. Our lawyers also advise First Nation governments about safe drinking water standards and delivery of potable drinking water.

Learn more about how we can help with land and resources management.

Contact our Indigenous legal issues lawyers today

Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers has offices in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, and Yellowknife. Our lawyers are called to the Bar in Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Ontario.

To speak with an Indigenous Legal Issues lawyer, contact us today.