Aboriginal Law

Key Contacts

Bursey David High Resolution Image David Bursey
Partner, Co-Head of Aboriginal Law
T: 604.891.5128
Curpen Radha High Resolution Image Radha D. Curpen
Vancouver Managing Partner, Co-Head of Aboriginal Law
T: 604.891.5158

Our Aboriginal Law Group helps project developers navigate the regulatory process in securing approvals for major energy development projects, including consulting and negotiating with Aboriginal groups and other stakeholders. We draw on our top-tier, cross-departmental expertise in the energy, environmental, corporate commercial, regulatory, litigation and tax arenas in shepherding significant projects through to fruition. We structure and negotiate commercial agreements for projects involving aboriginal rights and interests, as well as debt and equity financing arrangements for projects on aboriginal lands or with aboriginal participation.

We understand the risks associated with Aboriginal issues in the context of significant energy development project approvals and work closely with our clients to devise an exposure management plan to identify and manage potential litigation and other issues both pre- and post-closing, including compensation, royalty, surface rights and land access issues. Our unparalleled experience with major development projects enables us to forecast outcomes with a high degree of accuracy.

Select Experience

  • Mackenzie Valley Aboriginal Pipeline Group regarding the multi-billion dollar Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Project, in connection with the negotiation and structuring of commercial agreements including ownership agreements among various Aboriginal groups and various development, operating, shipping and financing agreements with Imperial Oil, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Shell and TransCanada Pipelines.
  • Compensation proceedings before the Métis Settlements Appeals Tribunal respecting oil and gas development on Métis Settlement lands
  • Advice regarding Aboriginal consultation in relation to energy project developments on reserve lands and traditional lands of various First Nations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, the Yukon Territory, and Ontario.

Recent Recognitions

  • 2017, Chambers Canada

    Bennett Jones, ranked, Aboriginal Law: Canada

    "They focus on tailoring their advice to what it is that we're looking for and they've been good at providing their comments and thoughts on how they see things stacking up."
  • 2017, The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory

    Bennett Jones, consistently recommended, Aboriginal Law, Toronto and Calgary
  • 2016, Chambers Canada

    Bennett Jones, ranked, Aboriginal Law: Canada

    "They have an excellent depth of knowledge and experience."

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