Co-Chairs

Sandra A. Gogal, Partner, Miller Thomson LLP, Toronto, ON. Sandra Gogal has been nationally recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in Canada for Aboriginal and Environmental Law, as well as Lexpert Leading Lawyers for Aboriginal and Global Mining. Her practice focuses on natural resource development, primarily in the mining and hydro sectors, providing both strategic business and legal advice to clients in developing projects on treaty and Aboriginal claimed lands. Sandra has negotiated many agreements with Aboriginal peoples to facilitate development, including impact and benefit agreements and partnerships between industry and aboriginal peoples across North America. She has acted as counsel for industry in litigation matters involving Aboriginal and treaty rights and has successfully negotiated many settlements with First Nations in excess of $100 million.

   

Amyn F. Lalji, Partner, Miller Thomson LLP, Vancouver, B.C. Amyn is Co-Chair of the National Aboriginal Law group at Miller Thomson. Amyn has represented First Nations across Canada in the negotiation and implementation of regulatory process funding agreements, negotiation agreements, traditional ecological knowledge confidentiality agreements, impact benefit agreements, and other comparable agreements across numerous resource sectors. Amyn also advises the boards of First Nations development corporations on their roles, responsibilities, and potential liabilities. Amyn is called to the bars of British Columbia, Alberta, and the Yukon, and is recognized in the Canadian Lexpert Legal Directory of Leading Lawyers for Aboriginal Law (2014 and 2015), Lexpert’s Leading Canadian Lawyers in Global Mining (2015/2016 edition), and Lexpert’s Special Edition of Canada’s Leading Energy Lawyers (2014 and 2015).

 

 

Faculty

   

Bill Adsit, Vancouver, BC. Bill Adsit is a member of the Tahltan Nation and was the President and CEO of the Tahltan Nation Development Corporation (TNDC) from 2004 to September 2013. He continues to work as a Business Advisor for TNDC in Dease Lake and Vancouver. After serving 37 years with the Federal Government in the Canadian Military, Transport Canada, and Revenue Canada as an Income Tax Auditor and Aboriginal Business Canada in Internal Audit, Mr. Adsit retired in 2004.

   

Christopher Devlin, Director, Devlin Gailus Watson Law Corporation, Victoria, BC. Christopher’s practice focuses on Aboriginal and Treaty law on behalf of First Nations, tribal councils, Métis groups and other Indigenous organizations. Christopher works with Indigenous peoples throughout Western Canada, as a litigator, negotiator, and strategic advisor. He has appeared as counsel at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as before administrative tribunals and regulatory panels. He has negotiated multi-party agreements on behalf of Indigenous clients, including specific claim settlements, consultation process agreements and Impact Benefit Agreements. Christopher has been recognized as a leading lawyer in the area of Aboriginal Law in 2012 through 2016 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory.

   

Lee Francoeur, Lawyer, Eagle Law Group, Tsuu T’ina, Alberta. Lee is of First Nations ancestry (Taku River Tlingit – Northwest British Columbia) and works primarily with First Nations in Western and Northern Canada towards the reconciliation of Aboriginal and Treaty rights. With 18 years of experience, Lee has provided legal counsel to First Nation governments, businesses, and organizations, as well as businesses that work with First Nations. Lee has worked with various First Nations to effectively protect and enhance environmental monitoring and enforcement in mining and other resource development areas. He works closely with Environmental Engineers to ensure that First Nation lands and interests (including lands returned to the First Nation) are environmentally sound. In addition to project specific legal support, Lee also provides general administrative legal support for many First Nations. He has been chair of the Yukon Human Rights Tribunal and a member of the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

   

Brenda E. Gaertner, Partner, Mandell Pinder LLP, Vancouver, BC. Ms. Gaertner advises First Nation governments on Aboriginal title and rights, modern (self) government, natural resource management, and economic development. She was called to the B.C. bar in 1984 and has been with Mandell Pinder almost since its inception. She is committed to the path of respect and reconciliation. Ms. Gaertner has assisted in various types of negotiated agreements and settlements, including on- and off-reserve projects and developments, modern self-governance and resource management, Impact Benefit Agreements, economic development, government to government agreements, and specific claim settlements. She was senior counsel for the First Nations Coalition in the Cohen Inquiry on Fraser River Sockeye and has represented First Nation clients before the National Energy Board and Joint Federal and Provincial Review Panels.

 
 

Holly Johnson-Rattlesnake, Consultation Committee Chair, Samson Cree Nation, Maskwac, AB.

   

Dean Louis, Business Development Officer, Consultation Office, Samson Cree Nation, Maskwac, AB. Dean Louis is a Samson Cree Nation member who has worked with First Nations, Tribal Governments and Aboriginal Communities for over 30 years. Dean has held Senior Advisor positions with Major Pipelines and principal positions with conventional Oil Companies. Dean has negotiated on both sides between Industry and Aboriginal communities.

 

Rob Miller, Partner, Miller Titerle + Company LLP, Vancouver, B.C. Rob is a founding and managing partner of Miller Titerle, a group of forward-thinking professionals who are building a new kind of law firm based on a more passionate and more personal way of practising law. His practice includes providing advice on development of, and investment in, large resource and infrastructure projects; industry and government-to-government negotiations; structuring and governance of economic development groups; and consultation and accommodation. Rob has represented a number of high-profile First Nations in negotiations with government and industry regarding large resource projects. He has also provided advice to large resource companies on social licence, Aboriginal law, and project development. Rob is recognized in the 2014 Lexpert Directory in the area of Aboriginal law, the 2014 Lexpert Special Edition Canada’s Leading Energy Lawyers, the 2014 Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada, and the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Best Lawyers in Canada in the areas of Aboriginal law and natural resource law.

   

Kennedy A. Bear Robe, Associate, Miller Thomson LLP, Vancouver, B.C. Kennedy advises First Nations throughout British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan on Aboriginal and Treaty rights-related matters including participation in environmental assessments and consultation processes and negotiation and drafting of accommodation and access agreements. He also provides advice to First Nations’ economic development corporations and businesses on the operational side of such agreements, general corporate/commercial matters, negotiation and formation of joint ventures and partnerships, procurement processes, and business and asset acquisitions transactions. Kennedy also represents First Nations in Aboriginal law litigation matters, including proceedings in the Federal Court of Appeal.

   

Colin Salter, Partner, Pape Salter Teillet LLP, Toronto, ON. Colin specializes in Aboriginal rights law, with a focus on assisting his clients in ensuring they fully participate in and generate wealth from the fiscal and business opportunities available to them in their territories. In Ontario, this work has included representing First Nation and Métis clients in negotiating equity positions and becoming true partners in large scale resource development and infrastructure, including, both generation (hydro and solar) and transmission projects. For these projects, Colin also assisted his clients in arranging necessary project financing valued at over 250 million, including, accessing Ontario’s Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Program. Colin is also negotiating and has concluded impacts and benefits agreements for his Aboriginal clients with mining, forestry and energy companies. Colin is “repeatedly recommended” as a leading practitioner in the field of Aboriginal law by Lexpert.

   

Tim Thielmann, Lawyer, Devlin Gailus Watson Law Corporation, Victoria, BC. Tim has extensive experience with consultation in the context of oil and gas, mining, renewable energy, and other resource development sectors. He has negotiated benefits sharing agreements, participated in planning and cumulative effects management processes, and represented First Nations in court and regulatory proceedings. Another significant part of Tim’s practice is advising First Nations on economic development opportunities, including partnerships and joint ventures, commercial transactions, and taxation.