Fox LLP represents First Nations governments and entities as legal advisors in a variety of practice areas. Our collaborative approach to working with First Nations and our extensive experience are integral to assisting our clients meet their goals.
Treaty and Rights Advocacy
First Nations have constitutionally protected inherent and treaty rights. Fox LLP assists First Nations with asserting and restoring these rights in accordance with First Nations laws. We advocate for the recognition and protection of inherent and treaty rights by Crown governments through negotiations and appellate advocacy.
Fox LLP represents First Nations and First Nations organizations before appellate courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada. We also assist First Nations with advancing their inherent rights to self-determination and self-government by advocating for and assisting First Nations with transitioning from Crown to First Nations jurisdiction in areas such as health, justice, child and family wellness, education and more.
We provide advice and advocate for our clients in relation to human rights laws and processes, as well as the application of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Through this advocacy, we assist First Nations governments with navigating the often-complex interplay between First Nations collective rights and the individual rights of First Nations citizens.
Fox LLP provides general advice regarding corporate governance, employment, and contracting matters. We advise our clients regarding corporate entities, including both non-profit corporations and for-profit corporations, and how they operate, as well as issues related to non-profit organizations and registered charities. We have experience drafting and updating corporate documents, including policies, procedures, by-laws, articles of association, and other constating documents relevant to First Nations-owned corporations.
We have experience providing advice regarding corporate governance, including on corporate management and governance issues impacting boards of directors. We assist boards to navigate their duties and liabilities and to ensure compliance with applicable First Nations, federal, and provincial legislation and laws. In this work, we proudly strive to implement and respect First Nations laws, perspectives, and dispute resolution mechanisms.
Fox LLP represents First Nations clients in specific claims, which are based on historical wrongs committed by the Crown against First Nations. Specific claims relate to the Crown’s administration of land or other assets, and the fulfillment of treaties that have not been resolved within a certain timeframe or have not been accepted for negotiation.
We assist clients in every aspect of the Specific Claims Process, including research and drafting of legal submissions, negotiation with the federal and provincial governments, litigation through the Specific Claims Tribunal and Canadian courts, ratification and implementation.
Our team’s experience includes the following:
- unlawful land surrenders;
- treaty and agricultural benefits;
- treaty land entitlement;
- utilities right-of-way;
- wrongful taking of reserve land;
- railway expropriations;
- band status and unlawful amalgamation;
- misadministration of trust monies managed by Canada; and
- farming productivity.
Fox LLP acts as general legal counsel for First Nations and First Nations organizations. We work together with leadership to ensure that the Nation’s priorities are supported through strategic and solutions-oriented legal advice.
We provide our clients with timely and ongoing legal advice regarding the broad range of legal issues impacting them. Our team is well-versed in the complexities of ensuring the rights and priorities of First Nations are respected in the Canadian legal landscape and we provide effective legal advice to assist our clients in navigating their liabilities and duties.
We also advise our clients on intergovernmental relations, including negotiating agreements with provincial and federal governments. Fox LLP is committed to advising our clients in a manner that meaningfully recognizes First Nations as equal partners in the nation-to-nation relationship with the Crown.
Self-Determination and Revitalizing First Nations Laws
We support our First Nations clients in advancing and revitalizing their laws and inherent jurisdiction. Our lawyers provide strategic advice throughout the process of developing, drafting, amending, and implementing various instruments to support each Nation’s priorities. Fox LLP advises our clients on the development and implementation of laws in many areas, including child and family wellness, citizenship, economic development, education, health, housing, justice, lands and environment.
Our team has extensive experience working with Elders and Knowledge-Keepers to inform the work that we do.
Policy Analysis and Development
Fox LLP advises our clients on the development and implementation of policies encompassing many areas of law. We also assist our clients in assessing the implications of federal and provincial legislation and policies and formulating strategic responses to ensure First Nations priorities and interests are protected and furthered.
Human Rights and Employment Law
Our lawyers advise on all aspects of employment law for First Nations governments and First Nations-owned corporations. We draft effective contracts and workplace policies by addressing issues related to First Nations laws, human rights legislation, employment standards legislation, and the unique dynamics of each Nation or business. We have experience conducting workplace training and advising on jurisdictional issues, employment standards, restructuring, workplace safety, human rights, discipline and termination, and other legal issues involving the workplace.