Indigenous Business

Often in the form of joint partnerships, Indigenous-led economic development projects play a larger role in Canada’s economy and range from renewable energy partnerships to energy efficiency procurement projects to biomass projects to community development initiatives. While offering unique opportunities, these projects face challenges that other businesses do not, requiring the assistance of Indigenous Legal Issues lawyers with extensive experience working with and for Indigenous businesses of all types.

Indigenous business expertise

We help Indigenous communities develop corporate structures for joint ventures and limited partnerships often made possible by Impact Benefit Agreements (IBAs). We also provide advice to Indigenous business leaders about transactions involving land and businesses, and corporate governance.

Our lawyers assist Indigenous communities and businesses in the areas of:

  • annual general meetings (AGMs)
  • by-laws and incorporation
  • corporate governance
  • planning for economic development including assistance with participating in Canada’s First Nations Land Management regime
  • seizing growth opportunities through resource development, renewable energy, infrastructure financing, development projects, and economic and institutional strengthening
  • developing and structuring partnerships and joint ventures, including First Nations limited partnerships and tax-driven partnerships
  • supporting private equity investments for First Nations projects
  • developing trusts
  • establishing First Nations economic development corporations
  • assisting Indigenous not-for-profit corporations with navigating the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act.

Joint Ventures

Our Indigenous Legal Issues lawyers help Indigenous communities develop corporate structures for partnerships and joint ventures in energy and natural resource projects, including the establishment of corporations and limited partnership investment vehicles. Our lawyers assist Indigenous communities with capacity building and training needs to help increase business and employment opportunities, knowledge about businesses, and structures, and also to enhance and support environmental monitoring of natural resources.

First Nations Land Management regime support

Our lawyers help Indigenous communities participate in the federal First Nations Land Management regime, which supports sustainable economic development on reserve land. Our Indigenous Legal Issues lawyers:

  • help develop Indigenous governance and communication policies, prepare for economic readiness, and ramp up land management experience
  • ensure that Indigenous community land codes will assist the community in being an effective land management authority
  • help clients create environmental enhancement frameworks to suit each community’s specific needs.

Corporate governance unique to Indigenous business

We advise senior staff, boards of directors, and band councils about corporate governance unique to Indigenous businesses. Our lawyers help Indigenous businesses develop corporate structures for joint ventures and limited partnerships often made possible by Impact Benefit Agreements. We also provide advice about all aspects of purchasing, selling, and financing land and business transactions.

Commercial agreements

Our lawyers provide advice about the preparation, review, and negotiation of commercial agreements for a wide range of projects including renewable energy partnerships, energy efficiency procurement projects, biomass projects, and more.

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.