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Kate Blomfield First Nations litigation negotiations governance BC Yukon | Ratcliff LLP

Kate M. Blomfield*

Partner
*Law Corporation
Direct Phone: 604-983-7601

Assistant: Melissa Laframboise

Kate is an experienced legal advisor to First Nations in British Columbia and Yukon with a focus on litigation, negotiation, and governance. Her collaborative approach has allowed Kate to engage closely with her Indigenous clients to advance claims and achieve their self-determined goals.

Kate also represents clients in:

  • Structuring and undertaking negotiations
  • Multi-party negotiations
  • Internal governance matters
  • Drafting and implementation of agreements
  • Developing laws and policies for First Nations related to lands, resources, and governance

Prior to joining Ratcliff, Kate clerked with the Nunavut Court of Justice. She has appeared before all levels of Court in British Columbia, as well as the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court and the Specific Claims Tribunal.

Notable Experience

  • Dickson v. Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, 2021 YKCA 3 – representing the Intervenor Teslin Tlingit Council in respect of the applicability of the Canadian Charter  of Rights and Freedoms to self-governing Yukon First Nations;
  • Huu-ay-aht First Nations v. Canada, 2020 SCTC 4 – establishing Canada’s breaches of fiduciary obligation and the historical damages in relation to logging roads on HFN’s reserve lands and Canada’s failure to obtain adequate compensation;
  • Teslin Tlingit Council v. Canada (AG), 2019 YKSC 3 – establishing that Canada has an obligation to negotiate a financial transfer agreement in accordance with TTC’s Final Agreement and Self-Government Agreement, particularly in relation to TTC Citizenship;
  • Mikisew Cree First Nation v. Canada, 2018 SCC 40 – examining the Crown’s consultation obligations in relation to the development of legislation. Greg McDade and Kate Blomfield represented interveners – a coalition of modern treaty First Nations from the Yukon and BC. Although the Court found that the law-making process does not trigger a legal duty to consult, provisions of treaties requiring pre-legislative consultation were expressly noted as an exception;
  • Huu-ay-aht First Nations v. Canada, 2016 SCTC 14; 2014 SCTC 7, the first Specific Claims Tribunal decision to award compensation and to address current compensation for historical losses. Canada’s ’80/20′ compensation policy was rejected as insufficient with compensation to the First Nation totaling over $15 million. Canada’s judicial review to the Federal Court of Appeal was discontinued;
  • Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation and Teslin Tlingit Council v. AG Canada and Government of Yukon (YKSC)– a constitutional challenge to amendments to Yukon’s development assessment legislation (resolved);
  • Tzeachten First Nation, Skowkale First Nation and Yakweakwioose First Nation et al. v. CLC et al. (BCSC), an aboriginal title and colonial reserve claim (settled);
  • Tsilhqot’in Nation v. BC, 2014 SCC 44, for the interveners CRCA and Council of Canadians in support of Tsilhqot’in title; and
  •  Ahousaht First Nation v. Canada, 2013 BCCA 300 (leave to SCC denied), the first case in Canada to establish an aboriginal right to fish and sell a wide variety of fisheries resources.

News, Publications & Presentations

Awards & Accolades

  • Commonwealth Scholarship, Queen’s University, Belfast, 2009

In The Community

  • Executive Member, CBA Aboriginal Law, Vancouver Section, 2012 – Present

Year Of Call

  • British Columbia, 2004
  • Yukon

Education

  • B.A. (Hons), University of British Columbia, 1997
  • LL.B, University of Victoria, 2002
  • LL.M (Dist), Law & Governance, Queen’s University Belfast, 2009
  • Clerk, Nunavut Court of Justice