Services

Practice Areas
The Firm's practice is restricted to Aboriginal rights law and acts for a variety of First Nations, Tribal Councils, First Nation organizations and their members. The Firm provides legal advice to First Nation clients on issues related to, but not limited to:


Details

Aboriginal and Treaty Rights
Nahwegahbow, Corbiere's fervent commitment to obtaining justice for First Nations is what sets us apart from other law firms. David Nahwegahbow has been in practice for over twenty-five years, the same period of time that Aboriginal and Treaty rights have been protected under the Canadian Constitution. During this time, Mr. Nahwegahbow has been counsel to numerous Aboriginal and Treaty rights claimants who have successfully protected their rights, including customary governance rights, harvesting rights, and Aboriginal Title rights. The Firm has gained expertise in negotiations and has consistently achieved successful outcomes for First Nation rights claimants through negotiations and litigation.

Land Claims and Resource Issues
The Firm provides compelling leadership in bringing specific and comprehensive claims on behalf of First Nations. Within the specific claims realm, the Firm has represented First Nations in Ontario and Quebec who have long-standing grievances with the Crown for its failure to fulfill its fiduciary and other lawful obligations. Within the comprehensive claims realm, the Firm has advanced Aboriginal title claims on behalf of First Nations who have not surrendered their traditional territory by Treaty. The Firm works in close connection with various experts and consultants, including an in-house Researcher and Document Specialist who manages the evidence collection projects for various land claims. Additionally, the Firm works closely with several national experts in Aboriginal Policy, Aboriginal History, and Geographic Information Systems. The Firm has state-of-the-art evidence compilation software, which enables the team to compile and analyze the voluminous amounts of historical evidence required to prove an Aboriginal or Treaty rights claim.

Consultation and Accommodation
There is a strong correlation between Aboriginal and Treaty rights, as well as land claims, to the issue of natural resources management. The Firm has represented First Nations in the negotiation of agreements with both federal and provincial governments for the co-management of their traditional territory, giving the First Nation a decisive voice in achieving the sustainable development of their traditional territory. In addition, the Firm has successfully negotiated with third parties who seek to develop the natural resources on land which is subject to Aboriginal and Treaty rights, thereby creating precedent-setting impact and benefit agreements and memoranda of understanding.

Sovereignty and Self-Government
The Firm has often been requested to work with First Nations, Tribal Councils and provincial and national organizations on issues related to sovereignty and self-government. Expertise in this area includes assisting First Nations in developing their own self-government infrastructures and laws; providing advice on management and administration; developing employee codes of conduct; drafting employee contracts; developing terms of reference for Boards of Directors; and ensuring adherence to labour and employment legislation. Additionally, the Firm has assisted in the development of policies and procedures related to First Nation administration of health and education authorities, including clinics, day cares and schools.

Corporate/Commercial Issues
The Firm provides advice to First Nation businesses, not-for-profit corporations and development corporations to assist in their unique business planning goals. Experience in this area includes incorporation, business structures, tax planning and responding to audits.

Indian Act Matters
The Firm provides advice on Indian Act issues, such as by-laws, elections, reserve land management, wills and estates, and tax exemption. Additionally, the Firm provides advice about issues arising from funding arrangements between First Nations and the Province or Canada.

Litigation and Negotiation
The assertion of Aboriginal and Treaty rights may involve litigation and negotiation, and the Firm has represented First Nations to this end. The Firm has also been involved in litigation arising from self-government matters, including but not limited to labour and employment, human rights, insurance, and other related matters.

Administrative Law/Judicial Review
From time to time, First Nations will seek judicial review of the decisions made by government administrators to ensure that such decisions have been made fairly and to ensure that such decisions do not adversely affect asserted Aboriginal or Treaty rights. The Firm will represent First Nations in judicial review applications against government regarding a variety of conduct, including situations in which First Nations have not been adequately consulted or accommodated according to Haida, Taku River and Mikisew.

Mediation & Facilitation
Our Firm is introducing specialization in the practice of ADR, in order to provide the opportunity for our First Nations clientelle to foster constructive and trusting relationships and to resolve differences in an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding. Mediation and facilitation processes have the potential to be more practical and dedicated to solving major societal projects, such as advancing reconciliation. Reconciliation is a fundamental principle of the modern law of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. Mediation and facilitation processes, properly carried out, have the potential to assist all parties to reach the important goal of reconciliation.