Overview

Indigenous organizations are facing both tremendous opportunity and increased risk. Indigenous governments have been assuming responsibility for managing programs and services previously delivered by federal and provincial governments. At the same time, many Nations are becoming involved in a wide range of business enterprises that spur economic growth for their communities. Joint ventures and land rights agreements are explored for the development of natural resource properties and economic development corporations are being created to generate revenue and to create work. As a result, Indigenous organizations are hiring and managing more employees than ever before.

It can help to have a trusted legal partner to assist with workplace and business operations.

Our clients include Indigenous governments (including First Nations and Bands), healthcare, housing, and social services agencies, friendship centers, First Nations schools and economic development corporations.

We provide a wide range of services to our First Nations clients. This includes capacity development and training for managers, human resource managers and supervisors on all areas of workplace law. We also provide human resource solutions tailored to Indigenous organizations, including advice on employee management, human rights, unjust and wrongful dismissals, social media, and the drafting of workplace policies to help our clients to pro-actively manage these areas. Our lawyers also have considerable experience advising clients in a range of legal issues that go well beyond the boundaries of workplace law. For example, we have assisted Indigenous organizations across Western Canada and the Territories on federal and provincial regulations, governance issues, privacy issues, areas of jurisdiction, and complex litigation.

Our First Nations Services:

Employment law advice:

  • Drafting, reviewing, and implementing workplace policies and manuals;
  • Drafting employment contracts;
  • Hiring and termination of employees;
  • Employee management including absenteeism, performance, misconduct, and progressive discipline;
  • Disability and addiction management;
  • Investigations, including financial matters, IT forensics, and employee complaints;
  • Wrongful and unjust dismissals;
  • Provincial Employment Standards Act issues;
  • Employment insurance appeals;
  • Jurisdiction issues related to employment; and
  • Canada Labour Code issues and complaints.

Labour law advice:

  • Union certifications and certification issues with the Canadian Industrial Relations Board and the BC Labour Relations Board;
  • Collective agreement interpretation; and
  • Collective bargaining and strategy.

Training and capacity development (including webinars, on-location ½ and full day training sessions):

  • Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) and Workers Compensation;
  • Governance issues (including conflicts of interest and training for members of Council);
  • Human rights complaints at the Canadian and BC Human Rights Tribunal (including jurisdiction issues related to this area);
  • Bullying and harassment;
  • Privacy law compliance;
  • Complex litigation;
  • Policy manual creation and review; and
  • Contract review.