Co-Chairs

Andrea East, Partner, Pushor Mitchell LLP, Kelowna, BC. Ms. East assists First Nations and the organizations that do business with them to navigate the regulatory systems governing their economic and real estate development projects. Ms. East also provides advice on the liability and governance considerations of various business structures, and prepares and reviews the associated agreements. Ms. East has been involved in numerous successful on-reserve real estate developments in British Columbia.

   

Michael Nienhuis, Associate, Kornfeld LLP, Vancouver, BC. Mike Nienhuis practises primarily in the areas of commercial real estate and Indigenous law. Prior to joining the legal profession, Mike worked as an executive with companies in Vancouver, San Diego and Seattle, with responsibility for sales and operations in North America, Europe and Asia. He frequently draws on that experience to develop an understanding of his clients’ businesses and transactions, which span a range of industry sectors and areas of law. Mike has developed a strong understanding of First Nations land issues in particular. He regularly advises clients – both First Nations and their partners in the larger business community – on transactions involving First Nations lands and other Indigenous law matters.

   

Faculty

Bruce Davies, Partner, Waterstone Law Group LLP, Chilliwack, BC. Bruce practises in the area of business law with a particular emphasis on commercial lending. With his expertise in real estate and personal property security, Bruce frequently represents lenders in a wide array of loan transactions, ranging from traditional construction and term financing to multi-jurisdictional transactions. His clients include numerous institutional and private lenders. In addition to his commercial lending practice, Bruce also represents businesses in a wide range of sectors including agriculture, residential and commercial real estate development, industrial and service professionals. Bruce has recently developed expertise in developing First Nations lands, acting primarily for proponents of development, although he also represents several First Nations Bands. Bruce also has experience in commercial real estate development from a developer’s perspective, and currently acts in the capacity as property manager for several commercial developments.

   

Brett Horton, Counsel, Stewart Title, Vancouver, BC. Brett Horton was called to the bar in British Columbia in 2004. He attended McGill University for his undergraduate degree in philosophy and then attended UBC law. Prior to joining Stewart Title in 2013, Brett operated his own firm providing commercial and real estate services, and prior to that Brett worked with TELUS, Chicago Title Insurance Company and a high volume residential real estate firm. Brett is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia, Canadian Bar Association and a licensed member of the Insurance Council of BC. Brett is currently on the executive of the Canadian Bar Association Vancouver Real Estate Section, and is an active member of the Edmonton and Calgary Real Estate Sections. He is also a former board member of the MIABC.

   

Rosemary John, Partner, Clark Wilson LLP, Vancouver, BC. Rosemary’s work includes structuring, negotiating and drafting agreements. Rosemary prides herself on being an approachable, efficient and highly technical lawyer. She has spent a number of years overseas working on highly complex multi-jurisdictional transactions. That experience has greatly helped to expand her knowledge of financial products, as well as provided her with the ability to successfully navigate intricate and multi-faceted debt finance structures.

   

Kevin Kingston, Legal Counsel, Westbank First Nation, Kelowna, BC. Kevin began as WFN’s Legal Counsel / Council Secretariat, January 2014, after 23 years as a private sector lawyer in BC. He works with Westbank First Nation’s Chief, Council and all departments to provide WFN with a practical, efficient and creative perspective towards its government’s legal and procedural affairs.

   

Selina Lee-Andersen, Partner, McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Vancouver, BC. Selina is an experienced lawyer in the areas of environmental, Aboriginal, and corporate/commercial law across a range of industries including energy, oil and gas, mining, and infrastructure. Having worked in an advisory capacity in both the public and private sectors, she values being able to deliver practical legal and business advice to organizations. In addition to advising clients on environmental and regulatory issues, Selina has worked extensively with proponents and Aboriginal groups in negotiating business agreements for the development of resource projects across Canada. She also regularly provides advice on procurement processes within the context of employment and business opportunities for Aboriginal groups and how to structure business arrangements to facilitate Aboriginal participation in energy and resource projects. Prior to joining McCarthy Tétrault, Selina was in-house legal counsel at SNC-Lavalin Environment & Water and she has been endorsed as a leading Canadian environmental lawyer in PLC Which Lawyer? Environment Handbook.

   

Rhonda Maskiewich, Environmental Planner, Urban Systems Ltd., Kamloops, BC. Rhonda Maskiewich, R.P.Bio., P.Ag., R.P.P. is a senior environmental professional and partner with Urban Systems, and is located in the corporate head office in Kamloops, BC. Rhonda is the corporate lead for Urban Systems’ integrated environmental services team and is a corporate resource for environmental planning initiatives. She is a strong advocate of integrated design, sustainability and community involvement. She holds a degree in natural resource science and a post-graduate certificate in Aboriginal relations. She is a registered professional biologist, a registered professional agrologist and a registered professional planner. She is also a member of the BC Association of Professional Biology and the International Association of Impact Assessment.

   

Michael McDonald, Q.C., Partner, Clark Wilson LLP, Vancouver, BC. Mike McDonald is a Partner with Clark Wilson LLP, where he serves as co-chair of the Aboriginal Business group. Over the course of his 30+ year career, Michael has been a principal proponent of Aboriginal economic growth, leading many of Canada’s most intricate and complex precedent-setting Aboriginal development projects totaling more than $20 billion in the mining, oil & gas, energy and infrastructure sectors, including various business ventures and wealth management structures flowing from these deals. A member of the Peguis First Nation in Manitoba, Michael couples vast business experience with distinct cultural understanding to serve his clients from a holistic perspective, crafting solutions that unite legal, commercial, governance and social interests.

   

Kirk McIntosh, Project Manager, Urban Systems Ltd., Vancouver, BC. Kirk McIntosh is a project manager with Urban Systems, one of Western Canada’s leading multi-disciplinary consulting firms. Urban Systems offers a broad range of complementary skills in the fields of civil engineering, community planning and landscape architecture, which allow them to take projects from start to finish including vision, concept, pre-design, design, and construction. Kirk received his training in civil engineering technology at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute. Kirk has over 35 years experience in land development and related infrastructure projects. Most recently Kirk has assisted Tsawwassen First Nation with several development initiatives.

   

Barry Porrelli, Principal, Porrelli Law, Westbank, BC. Mr. Porrelli is a lawyer practising since 1986. He was featured in National Lawyer magazine for his considerable experience in First Nations land development and conveyancing. On behalf of developers, band members, and lenders he has been involved in the development of more than 30 First Nations leasehold subdivisions including big box retail, commercial, resort, and residential developments. Porrelli Law has offices in Kelowna and on the Westbank First Nation reserve.

   

Marie L. Potvin, Barrister & Solicitor, Kamloops, BC. Marie has been practising for over 20 years with a focus on local government, Indigenous and environmental law. For the past 14 years, Marie has worked closely with the First Nations Tax Commission to support First Nation tax jurisdiction through policy and law development. She has provided advice on the development of federal legislative amendments and regulatory reform, and has worked with numerous First Nations to implement taxation regimes on their lands. Marie is an online faculty member at Thompson Rivers University and an instructor with the Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics. Marie holds a B.Sc. from McGill University, an LL.B. from UBC and an LL.M. from the University of Victoria.

   

Clifford Smirl, AACI, P. App, Partner, Kent-Macpherson, Kelowna, BC. After completing his Undergraduate degree (History) and Masters of Business Administration degree, Mr. Smirl completed post graduate certificates in Real Property Valuation and agriculture studies (wine business management and sustainable urban agriculture). As a designated appraiser specializing in on-reserve real estate valuation and consulting assignments throughout the province, Mr. Smirl has an extensive background in completing complex appraisal assignments on and off reserve lands.

   

Jada Tellier, Associate, Kornfeld LLP, Vancouver, BC. Jada Tellier follows a business-minded approach and assists clients with a wide variety of real property matters, including acquisitions and dispositions, financing, ownership structuring, real property development and leasing. Jada also has a keen interest in Indigenous land and economic development. She has experience reviewing First Nation land codes and drafting impact and benefit agreements between First Nations and proponents in relation to proposed development projects in various industries.