Best Lawyers for Aboriginal Law in Canada

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Lawyer
  • Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Aboriginal Law Energy Regulatory Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law Environmental Law
Lawyer
Joseph J. Arvay, Q.C. was awarded  "Lawyer of the Year" in

Joseph J. Arvay, Q.C.

Arvay Finlay
  • Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law Corporate and Commercial Litigation Class Action Litigation Administrative and Public Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law Natural Resources Law Energy Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Montréal, Quebec
  • Practice Areas:
    Energy Regulatory Law Energy Law Aboriginal Law Natural Resources Law Mining Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Montréal, Quebec
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Energy Regulatory Law Energy Law Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Montréal, Quebec
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
  • Practice Areas:
    Administrative and Public Law Appellate Practice Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Appellate Practice Aboriginal Law Corporate and Commercial Litigation Administrative and Public Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Montréal, Quebec
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law Administrative and Public Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
  • Practice Areas:
    Energy Law Oil & Gas Law Environmental Law Natural Resources Law Energy Regulatory Law Aboriginal Law Administrative and Public Law
Lawyer
Kathryn Deo was awarded  "Lawyer of the Year" in

Kathryn Deo

Arbutus Law Group LLP
  • Location:
    Victoria, British Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
  • Practice Areas:
    Mining Law Aboriginal Law Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Real Estate Law Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law Class Action Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law Energy Regulatory Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
  • Practice Areas:
    Appellate Practice Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Construction Law Public Procurement Law Aboriginal Law Project Finance Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Saint John, New Brunswick
  • Practice Areas:
    Labour and Employment Law Aboriginal Law Family Law Insurance Law Corporate and Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Montréal, Quebec
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Public Procurement Law Energy Regulatory Law Aboriginal Law Energy Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
  • Practice Areas:
    Environmental Law Aboriginal Law Energy Regulatory Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
JoAnn P. Jamieson was awarded  "Lawyer of the Year" in

JoAnn P. Jamieson

McLennan Ross LLP
  • Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
  • Practice Areas:
    Energy Law Environmental Law Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
  • Practice Areas:
    Corporate and Commercial Litigation Oil & Gas Law Appellate Practice Alternative Dispute Resolution Energy Law Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Natural Resources Law Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Montréal, Quebec
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
Simon B. Margolis, Q.C. was awarded  "Lawyer of the Year" in

Simon B. Margolis, Q.C.

Cornish Margolis Boyd Mediation & Arbitration
  • Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Insurance Law Corporate and Commercial Litigation Alternative Dispute Resolution Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Mining Law Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law Administrative and Public Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law Personal Injury Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law Environmental Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law Real Estate Law Banking and Finance Law Insolvency and Financial Restructuring Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
  • Practice Areas:
    Administrative and Public Law Energy Law Aboriginal Law Energy Regulatory Law Oil & Gas Law Environmental Law Natural Resources Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Saguenay, Quebec
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
  • Practice Areas:
    Personal Injury Litigation Aboriginal Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Aboriginal Law Alternative Dispute Resolution

  • Location:
  • Practice Areas:

Practice Area Definition

Aboriginal Law Definition

Aboriginal law in Canada, in its broadest sense, is law about Aboriginal people; namely First Nations people (e.g. the Dene people or the Cree people), Inuit, people and Metis people (i.e. a distinct group of people created from the union of First Nations people and Europeans).  

Much of Aboriginal law is about four important concepts: Aboriginal title, Aboriginal rights, Treaty rights, and the closely associated duty of consultation and accommodation. All of these rights are protected by s. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Aboriginal title recognizes that Aboriginal people have property rights to Canada due to occupation before assertion of European control/sovereignty. These property rights are held communally by Aboriginal nations and can only be sold to the Crown, not private parties. Title is seen commonly in areas without treaties, such as British Columbia or the Maritimes.

Aboriginal rights arise from practices, customs, and traditions integral to an Aboriginal group at the time of European contact (or effective control in the case of the Metis). Examples include the right to hunt for food or in some cases the right to harvest fish commercially. Aboriginal rights are seen across Canada. 

Treaty rights arise from treaties between Aboriginal people and the Crown. It is a solemn contract and treaty promises can depend on the treaty text. The treaties in the Prairie provinces are known as “surrender” treaties as the treaty cedes land to the Crown in exchange for treaty rights such as the right to hunt for food or the creation of reserve land. Many, if not all, First Nation people dispute that they have extinguished their rights to land as asserted in the treaty.

Finally, the duty of consultation and accommodation is an obligation on the Crown (Federal or Provincial) to engage an Aboriginal group before the Crown makes a decision to do something (e.g. allow tree harvesting or allocate Crown land) that may adversely impact proven or asserted rights. This is an important obligation designed to inform the Crown decision making process by ensuring Aboriginal perspectives on Crown action are brought forward before decisions are made.

Many lawyers assist resource developers, First Nations, and the Crown on the duty of consultation as a part of the regulatory process, which is required if development is to occur. Further, many lawyers assist First Nation and the Crown in addressing title, rights, and treaty claims. 

Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP

Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP logo

Aboriginal law in Canada, in its broadest sense, is law about Aboriginal people; namely First Nations people (e.g. the Dene people or the Cree people), Inuit, people and Metis people (i.e. a distinct group of people created from the union of First Nations people and Europeans).  

Much of Aboriginal law is about four important concepts: Aboriginal title, Aboriginal rights, Treaty rights, and the closely associated duty of consultation and accommodation. All of these rights are protected by s. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Aboriginal title recognizes that Aboriginal people have property rights to Canada due to occupation before assertion of European control/sovereignty. These property rights are held communally by Aboriginal nations and can only be sold to the Crown, not private parties. Title is seen commonly in areas without treaties, such as British Columbia or the Maritimes.

Aboriginal rights arise from practices, customs, and traditions integral to an Aboriginal group at the time of European contact (or effective control in the case of the Metis). Examples include the right to hunt for food or in some cases the right to harvest fish commercially. Aboriginal rights are seen across Canada. 

Treaty rights arise from treaties between Aboriginal people and the Crown. It is a solemn contract and treaty promises can depend on the treaty text. The treaties in the Prairie provinces are known as “surrender” treaties as the treaty cedes land to the Crown in exchange for treaty rights such as the right to hunt for food or the creation of reserve land. Many, if not all, First Nation people dispute that they have extinguished their rights to land as asserted in the treaty.

Finally, the duty of consultation and accommodation is an obligation on the Crown (Federal or Provincial) to engage an Aboriginal group before the Crown makes a decision to do something (e.g. allow tree harvesting or allocate Crown land) that may adversely impact proven or asserted rights. This is an important obligation designed to inform the Crown decision making process by ensuring Aboriginal perspectives on Crown action are brought forward before decisions are made.

Many lawyers assist resource developers, First Nations, and the Crown on the duty of consultation as a part of the regulatory process, which is required if development is to occur. Further, many lawyers assist First Nation and the Crown in addressing title, rights, and treaty claims.