Indigenous Business &
Economic Development

Strategies for a prosperous and sustainable future

For decades, we have successfully provided Indigenous business & economic development advice on projects that simultaneously recognize the constitutional rights of First Nations, offer significant economic development opportunities, and establish the capacity to protect and enhance the natural environment.

We work alongside First Nations and their Economic Development groups to navigate a variety of business-related issues, assisting all sizes of organizations from entrepreneurship startups to established companies with complex undertakings. Our broad expertise and collaborative approach allows us to advise effectively and efficiently on commercial operations and structure, regulatory compliance, real estate and tax matters, land development and natural resource practices, and more.

Business & Finance

We assist and advise clients through the complete business cycle, from initial business planning, structuring and acquisitions, through to restructuring, succession planning, sales and divestitures. 

Our extensive experience working closely with economic development teams, accountants, financial and tax advisors, and other business professionals means we can assist with keeping your economic development initiatives on track.

Our position as a full-service firm provides a breadth of expertise in:

  • Structuring and incorporation of Companies, Partnerships, Societies, Limited Partnerships and Joint Ventures
  • Shareholder and partnership agreements
  • Contract drafting, implementation and enforcement
  • Regulatory compliance, including record keeping
  • Employment and labour issues
  • Corporate governance and structure
  • Franchising
  • Intellectual property and trademarks

We also advise on commercial finance matters and regularly participate in the negotiation of a variety of institutional and private credit facilities, and other types of secured transactions.

We provide a wide range of services for our First Nations clients who are purchasing, selling, developing, financing or maintaining commercial and residential properties.

Real Estate

We regularly assist First Nations with both the commercial and transaction side of their real estate businesses. On the commercial side, we advise on development and maintenance matters with respect to a variety of property types, including commercial, office, retail, industrial, commercial strata, leasehold, residential strata and mixed-use complexes. 

The transactional side of our practice includes negotiating purchase contracts and other unique arrangements, including structuring joint ventures, legal due diligence, negotiating with municipalities and advising on other land-assembly matters. In all matters, we work in conjunction with our business and environmental lawyers to help you fully understand the implications of your deal.

Land, Environment & Natural Resources

Our firm recognizes the importance to our First Nation clients of the environment, land, and its natural resources. These are both the cornerstone of our clients’ Aboriginal rights and Indigenous way of life, and also as a means to bring economic development to their communities.

We encourage environmental planning and compliance services to assist our clients in developing their lands both profitably and with regard to the fundamental values they bring to the development of their land as Indigenous peoples.

Our diverse team of business, regulatory, consultation and litigation lawyers complement our environmental and natural resources practice and we are well-suited to advise First Nations on legal issues originating in these broad sectors. One of our lawyers is also a Registered Professional Forester in British Columbia, and our background and understanding of the surrounding regulatory frameworks of British Columbia’s natural resource sectors means that we can quickly understand the issues at hand so that we can assist with developing strategies and implementing initiatives to suit your needs.

Our Indigenous Business & Economic Development Lawyers

Ankenman Frances
Frances Ankenman
Empson Craig
Craig Empson
Haines Darren
Darren Haines
Holender Ewa
Ewa Holender
Hume Nathan
Nathan Hume*
Jacobs Leon
Leon Jacobs
Lehmann R. Brent
R. Brent Lehmann*
Pozniak Kristy A.
Kristy A. Pozniak
Rich John R.
John R. Rich
Senior Counsel
Shchedrinskiy Arseniy
Arseniy Shchedrinskiy CPA, CFF
Shelford Jeremy
Jeremy Shelford*
Singer Veronica
Veronica Singer*
Stephan  Karl P.
Karl P. Stephan*
Senior Counsel
Struyk Tyler
Tyler Struyk
Tate James
James Tate*
Yabsley Gary R.
Gary R. Yabsley*
Senior Counsel