Read a discussion paper led by The Hon. Frank Iacobucci on how Canada can build a better relationship with Indigenous peoples.
Strong and productive relationships: our team is dedicated to building the bonds crucial to effective partnerships among businesses, governments, and members of First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.
Torys’ Aboriginal Law Practice is recognized for its expertise in matters involving First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada. What sets us apart is our combination of our ability to develop productive relationships, our deep expertise in the framework governing Aboriginal law matters and our exceptionally strong project development, finance and commercial expertise.
We know that successful outcomes require understanding, nuance and experience. We offer an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on our expertise in business, energy, mining, infrastructure, environment, regulatory hearings, government relations and litigation and dispute resolution.
Our expertise with Aboriginal law matters extends to
- advising on the Aboriginal consultation duties that arise in proposed projects in a variety of industry sectors, including energy, mining and infrastructure,
- undertaking transactions with or representing First Nations, including addressing project finance and development issues,
- advising governments on their responsibility to consult with and accommodate Aboriginal Peoples, and on procedures for Aboriginal consultation and participation,
- negotiating agreements that deal with land claims, self-government and other Aboriginal rights issues,
- advising on the implementation of environmental assessments and management systems,
- representing clients in regulatory hearings involving Aboriginal law,
- advising on mine closure and rehabilitation, including on related Aboriginal consultation obligations,
- representing Aboriginal Peoples with respect to traditional and Aboriginal rights, and
- assisting with joint ventures of projects involving Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal partners.
We have assisted a broad range of clients with Aboriginal law matters, including project proponents, lenders, investors, buyers and sellers of assets and governments. These clients include Aboriginal entities and groups, publicly traded and private-held corporations and governments. We work on some of the most significant and highly publicized Aboriginal law matters in Canada. For example, we have represented Five Nations Energy (one of only four transmitters operating in Ontario) with respect to the development of a 270-km transmission line along western James Bay to remote Aboriginal communities; our involvement included strategic advice on the project financing and management, corporate structuring and documentation, and regulatory issues. We have also represented the Government of Canada (with a Torys team led by the former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Frank Iacobucci) in resolving approximately 15,000 Indian Residential Schools claims and more than 20 class actions commenced in virtually all Canadian provinces and territories; the settlement was the largest and most complex class action settlement in Canadian history.