First Nations Economic Development: Why We Matter

The First Nations Economic Development practice group applies traditional corporate-commercial law and cutting-edge Aboriginal law to generate creative and practical economic development and governance solutions for First Nations communities.

We work with visionary leaders seeking to build vibrant and sustainable economies, and we support them by:

  • Preparing economic development groups for success through corporate and taxation structuring
  • Supporting best-practice governance models that result in defensible decision making processes
  • Facilitating the exercise of rights and title in a strong and strategic manner;
  • Negotiating partnerships and participation agreements with industry that further strategic directives
  • Establishing enduring and respectful government-to-government relationships and protocols
  • Understanding and advising on resource and infrastructure development
  • Sharing our knowledge and expertise in the financial services sector to help First Nations efficiently access capital to invest in projects
  • Protecting cultural property

How We Differ From Other Law Firms

We are experienced business and resource development lawyers who understand how the broader Canadian business community works. We are also passionate advocates, skilled negotiators and clear communicators who understand how best to leverage Aboriginal rights and title to protect culture, control government decision making and meaningfully engage in project development.

First Nations communities come to us because of our insight into the particular challenges and opportunities they face, and because we understand the motivations of the people, companies and governments seeking to do business in their territories. They also rely on us to be trusted advisors who understand good governance and help communities make informed decisions.

We Help Clients Achieve Their Vision

The First Nations Economic Development group embarks on a journey with our clients, helping them get to where they need to go. Our clients often have a vision of what they want but are unsure of how to make it happen. We help them map out that vision and build the best path to achieve it.

Miller Titerle’s work with First Nations is as much about learning as it is about providing advice. We prefer to start every project by going into the community, asking questions and listening to what our clients have to say. We get to know them first and then we help find the right answers for their particular needs.

Despite what the Indian Act system has tried to impose, each Nation is unique, and governance models from thousands of years ago have manifested themselves in different ways today. Only by taking the time to get to know each client can we begin to understand and remove the obstacles that stand between our clients and their goals.

It takes time to gain a client’s trust. We do that by being available remotely and on the ground, listening to what they tell us and providing balanced advice in return. We seek out clients that are trying to be agents of positive change and who truly want to make a difference in the lives of their community members.

We Are Recognized As Leading Practitioners

Our team is recognized as thought and practice leaders for our work with First Nations:

  • Rob Miller is named in the 2015 Best Lawyers in Canada Directory as a leading practitioner in the areas of Aboriginal law and natural resource law
  • Jim Titerle is named in the 2015 Best Lawyers in Canada Directory as the Lawyer of the Year for Vancouver in the area of environmental law
  • Rob Miller is listed in the 2014 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a leading practitioner in the area of Aboriginal law
  • Rob Miller  is listed in Lexpert’s 2014 Canada’s Leading Energy Lawyers as a leading practitioner in the area of energy law
  • Rob Miller is recognized as a corporate lawyer to watch in the 2014 Lexpert U.S. Guide
  • Jim Titerle is recognized as in the 2014 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a leading practitioner in the area of environmental law
  • Rob Miller is recognized in the 2014 Best Lawyers in Canada Directory as a leading practitioner in the area of energy law

By creatively synthesizing traditional and emerging areas of law to structure visionary solutions with our clients, we aim to become the architects of positive change.

This unique blend of our vision, approach and expertise sets our legal practice apart from other service providers. To discuss what we can help you achieve for your community, please contact Rob Miller, the First Nations Economic Development group leader.