Skip to content
Ewa Holender - Lawyer | Ratcliff LLP

Ewa Holender

Associate

Assistant: Steph Snaith

Ewa is a skilled advisor to First Nations, corporate, and non-profit clients on a variety of complex governance, commercial, and regulatory issues.

Drawing on a background in Aboriginal and corporate law, Ewa works to build strategic and durable relationships between Indigenous organizations, administrative bodies, and industry.

Ewa has significant experience in:

  • Advising First Nations on effective engagement with regulatory bodies, including participation in environmental impact assessments.
  • Advising on the implementation of modern treaties and self-government, including land use planning and regulation, the delivery of social services, and the establishment of protected areas.
  • Advising on consultation and accommodation with respect to natural resource projects and legislative initiatives.
  • Advising First Nations on economic development, including impact benefit agreements, economic and community development agreements, commercial contracts, joint ventures, and restructurings.
  • Negotiating, drafting and implementing complex agreements, protocols, policies and legislation.

Ewa brings to Ratcliff prior experience as legal counsel for First Nations in BC and the Yukon, as well as an extensive international background in corporate law, human rights advocacy and charity law, having practiced at leading law firms in Vancouver and London, England. Most recently, she acted as Legal Counsel for the Ministry of the Attorney General in British Columbia with a focus on Indigenous legal relations,  natural resources and the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

In her spare time Ewa enjoys ski touring, mountain biking, road cycling, running and any other excuse to be outdoors. She is the Vice-President of Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports, and every year organizes a 1,000km bike ride across Eastern Europe to raise money for local hospices. She is passionate about creating positive change and proud to support Indigenous nations to achieve their goals.

Notable Experience

  • Advised on the first consent agreement under s.7 of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.
  • Negotiated, drafted and implemented a protocol for consultation on environmental and socio-economic assessment of projects under a modern treaty in BC.
  • Advised on delivery of child and family services by provincial government and a First Nation, including negotiations, establishment of working protocols and funding agreements.
  • Advised on review and restructuring of a First Nation economic development group of companies, including transfer of assets, review of business plans, appointment of a receiver-manager, and re-negotiation of key agreements with commercial partners.
  • Negotiated with territorial government and drafted an agreement regarding construction of a major infrastructure project through First Nation Traditional Territory.
  • Advised on a First Nation’s interactions with the Yukon Water Board and on effective participation in a hearing in the public interest on the issue of mining in wetlands.
  • Advised on the development and implementation of land use plans under Yukon Final Agreements, including the establishment of new co-managed protected areas, interim protection measures, and the development of operating standards for mining projects.
  • Advised on reform of mining and forestry legislation to ensure consistency with treaty and Aboriginal rights.

In The Community

  • Vice-President, Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports, Vancouver (2013 – Present) – Local organization providing ski instruction for people with disabilities
  • Founder & Chief Executive, Alina Foundation, UK and Poland (2009 – Present) – Two charities providing medical equipment for terminally ill and disabled adults and children
  • Board Member, BC Wheelchair Basketball Society, Vancouver (2016 – 2020) – Provincial non-profit providing wheelchair basketball programs
  • Director, Education & Outreach, Rick Hansen Foundation, Vancouver (2013-2016) – Leading Canadian disability charity

Year Of Call

  • Yukon, 2018
  • British Columbia, 2017
  • England & Wales, 2008

Education

  • BPP Law School, UK, 2005
  • B.A. (Hons), Cambridge University, UK, 2004