Over the past several decades, there has been a growing recognition of the significant contributions of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada to the economic and social fabric of the country. After a long history of systematic neglect and forced assimilation, as a Nation, we have reached a turning point in history. Indigenous Peoples now have unprecedented opportunities to achieve fiscal and cultural independence as they utilize their lands, skills and rights to participate more fully in the economy.

Clark Wilson’s Indigenous Law Group possesses a unique perspective into BC’s history, culture, industry and relationships with Indigenous Peoples. With over 60 years of cumulative experience, we act as a vital resource for both industry and Indigenous Nation clients across BC and Canada to effectively and efficiently build relationships and businesses. Our team includes Indigenous and non-Indigenous lawyers who have strong community ties, extensive experience and are dedicated to developing practical business solutions in the Indigenous businesses context. We provide sophisticated advice that serves business interests and contributes to sustainable Indigenous economic development.

As one of the first regional law firms in Canada to conduct Indigenous Cultural Competency Training for all of our lawyers in early 2019, we are deepening our understanding by acknowledging the past and working to develop stronger partnerships with Indigenous Peoples. This enhanced perspective allows us to provide effective guidance and strong advocacy for each clients’ specific needs.

Our commitment to assisting businesses and Indigenous Peoples in bringing reconciliation through business solutions is reflected in Clark Wilson’s Statement of Reconciliation.

AREAS OF FOCUS

Major Projects:
  • Mining, Forestry, Oil & Gas, Pipeline, Energy and Infrastructure Projects
  • Duty to Consult and Accommodate
  • Treaty Rights and Aboriginal Rights, including Title
  • Environmental Assessments
  • Permitting, Licensing, Leasing and Approvals
  • Regulatory Management/Risk Assessment
  • Impact Benefit Agreements/Project Agreements
  • Business Procurement and Joint Ventures/LPs
  • Wealth Management/Trusts
Commercial Real Estate on Indigenous Lands:
  • Fee Simple Land Acquisition and Development by Indigenous Nations
  • Treaty Settlement Lands Development
  • Reserve Land Development (On- Reserve and Land Code Developments)
  • Leasing and Sublease Structuring
  • Environmental Reviews and Permitting
  • Jurisdictional Reviews and Advice
  • Municipal Services Agreements
  • Strata Development, without a Condominium Act
Governments and their Businesses:
  • Self-Government Advisory
  • HR Advisory and Employment Law
  • Policy and Legislative Advisory
  • Land Codes and Other Land Regimes
  • Procurement
  • Structuring Businesses
  • Taxation Agreements
  • Management of Traditional Lands
  • Advising Indigenous Institutions and Societies (Fisheries, Housing, Child & Family, Health)
  • Litigation Support
  • Specific Claims
  • Indigenous Intellectual and Cultural Property
  • Heritage Resources
Indigenous Entrepreneurship:
  • Structuring Businesses
  • Tax and Estate Planning
  • Joint Ventures
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Employment Law
  • Succession
  • Financing
  • Family Law

We are focused on fostering successful businesses and business relations for the long term and are uniquely equipped to advance modern-day reconciliation in the business context.

Chair
Michael McDonald, Q.C. mmcdonald@cwilson.com 604 891 7730
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MST Development Corporation and the First Nations it represents (Musqueam Indian Band, Squamish Nation and Tsleil-Waututh Nation)
  • Advising in connection with the acquisition of the Jericho Lands from the Province of British Columbia and associated development and land use issues
Musqueam Capital Corp.
  • Advising in relation to the management of assets that are owned and developed for the benefit of Musqueam Indian Band, including the 21.4 acre development known as “Block F” in the University Endowment Lands area of Vancouver
Coastal First Nations
  • Governance issues/constitution and by-laws
  • Intellectual property rights regarding “Great Bear”
  • Shellfish/scallop fish farm venture
  • Carbon credits
  • Employment matters
  • General commercial matters
Impact Benefit Agreements
  • Negotiated numerous Impact Benefit Agreements between clients and First Nations for resource developments
  • Appointed as Contract Monitor to resolve disputes relating to a comprehensive Impact Benefit Agreement for the $700 million Forrest Kerr hydroelectric project
Numerous Universities
  • Advice regarding land dispositions and land use that respects and reflects the duty of the Crown to consult with and accommodate affected First Nations
Attawapiskat First Nation
  • Advised on the Victor Diamond Mine (all aspects from exploration, feasibility and mine development), including negotiation and implementation of Impact Benefit Agreements with DeBeers Canada, Attawapiskat Trust and numerous Attawapiskat Resources Inc. joint ventures
Tahltan Central Council
  • Negotiated and structured the Participation Agreement on the Galore Creek Mine Project with NovaGold
Simpcw First Nation
  • TMX 1 Anchor Loop Pipeline Project with Kinder Morgan
  • Negotiated and implemented Impact Benefit Agreements for the Bone Creek, Serpentine and Clemina Hydro Projects with Canadian Hydro
Kwakiutl Band Council
  • Negotiated the Impact Benefit Agreement for the Orca Sand & Gravel Project with Polaris Minerals
  • Songhees Creek Hydro Project Impact Benefit Agreement
Kanaka Bar Indian Band
  • Negotiated and structured the 50 MegaWatt Kwoiek Creek Hydro Project with Innergex
Deton Cho Corporation
  • Numerous joint ventures, management agreements and related partnership agreements in NWT (camp and catering services, winter road, tunnelling and underground mining, earthworks, aviation services, helicopter services and site safety services)
Pacific Trails Pipeline
  • Advised 15 First Nations on project agreement
Coastal GasLink Pipeline
  • Impact Benefit Agreement for Burns Lake Band
South Beach Casino
  • Advised shareholder First Nations on joint ownership, financing and management issues
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