Read a discussion paper led by The Hon. Frank Iacobucci on how having a relationship with Indigenous Peoples may provide a project with a number of benefits, including a competitive advantage.
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’ Indigenous 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 Indigenous 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, power, oil and gas, mining, infrastructure, environment, regulatory hearings, government relations and litigation and dispute resolution.
Our expertise with Indigenous law matters extends to
- advising on the Indigenous consultation duties that arise in proposed projects in a variety of industry sectors, including power, oil and gas, 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 Indigenous peoples, and on procedures for Indigenous consultation and participation,
- negotiating agreements that deal with land claims, self-government and other Indigenous rights issues,
- advising on the implementation of environmental assessments and management systems,
- representing clients in regulatory hearings involving Indigenous law,
- advising on mine closure and rehabilitation, including on related Indigenous consultation obligations,
- representing Indigenous peoples with respect to traditional and Indigenous rights, and
- assisting with joint ventures of projects involving Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners.
We have assisted a broad range of clients with Indigenous law matters, including project proponents, lenders, investors, buyers and sellers of assets and governments. These clients include Indigenous entities and groups, publicly traded and private-held corporations and governments. We work on some of the most significant and highly publicized Indigenous 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 Indigenous 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.