Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia
Counsel for the Provincial Crown in landmark litigation involving the elements of the test for establishing Aboriginal title to...
Our lawyers are recognized for their skills and accomplishments as advocates and negotiators in the field of Indigenous Consultation & Reconciliation law. Building partnerships between Indigenous peoples, government, and industry is an inherently complex task, involving constitutional rights and duties, Indigenous knowledge and laws, large-scale industrial projects, and multiple parties pursuing diverse objectives.
We support First Nations, domestic and foreign business, and government clients with strategic counsel and advocacy by drawing on our extensive experience in negotiations and litigation. Our lawyers have acted as counsel in high-profile aboriginal litigation proceedings, including as counsel in the landmark Aboriginal rights and land title trial, Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia. One of our firm’s founding partners, Douglas Eyford, Q.C. served as chief federal negotiator for the Government of Canada in the comprehensive land claims processes in British Columbia, provided advice to the Prime Minister of Canada about Aboriginal participation in the development of oil and natural gas pipelines and related infrastructure. He also led engagement with Aboriginal groups and key stakeholders for the review and reform of Canada’s comprehensive land claims policy.
We have experience serving as counsel to First Nations, business, and government alike, providing clients with effective guidance on the implications of Aboriginal rights and title on the development infrastructure and natural resources. Eyford Partners helps clients to understand governments’ duty to consult and accommodate Indigenous peoples and the ramifications of this duty. We also help clients to reconcile conflicting claims to land and resources.
Eyford Partners negotiate impact and benefit agreements (IBAs) on behalf of First Nations, project proponents, and governments. These agreements are complex, negotiated solutions to facilitate infrastructure and resource developments that may infringe upon Aboriginal rights, including Aboriginal title to land. Our firm works with First Nations to ensure that they share in the benefits of the project and that risks to themselves and their land are effectively mitigated.
Our lawyers have helped negotiate impact benefit agreements for the expansion of transportation facilities, the development of mines and liquefied natural gas projects, highway construction, and upgrades to pre-existing pipelines.
Where government contemplates conduct that might adversely affect Aboriginal or treaty rights, the honour of the Crown gives rise to a legal duty to consult and, where appropriate, accommodate Aboriginal peoples before acting. Eyford Partners represents First Nations, industry, and the Crown in the negotiation of a range of agreements aimed at fulfilling the Crown’s duties. These include project-specific engagement agreements, reconciliation agreements, forestry agreements, and economic and community development agreements (ECDAs).
Our lawyers advise First Nations through regulatory processes involving land and resources, including though environmental assessment and permitting, and represent industry and First Nations in hearings before regulatory agencies, including the National Energy Board and British Columbia Utilities Commission.
Paula Robson obtained her Certificate in Paralegal Studies from Capilano University in 2011. Before joining the firm, she worked as a paralegal/legal assistant at a large national law firm. Paula joined the firm in 2012.