Aboriginal Law

Ackroyd LLP provides a full range of services in Aboriginal law. For over 50 years, we have served First Nations, First Nations organisations, Métis Settlements, and indigenous communities, groups, and individuals, in Alberta and across Canada.

Our lawyers have decades of experience working in Aboriginal law and providing strategic advice to clients. We have helped Aboriginal governments and communities develop strong governance models and build successful businesses. We have represented First Nations, Métis Settlements, aboriginal communities, and their members before courts, boards and tribunals, and at the negotiation table with governments and industry.



For years, we have provided sound advice on governance and management issues for Aboriginal governments, and acted as general counsel to First Nation governments, Metis Settlements, and other organisations. We have worked on constitutions and membership codes. We have drafted and advised on consultation, housing, finance, taxation, election, commercial, human resource issues and other bylaws and policies. We have negotiated funding and program agreements with other levels of government.

We have worked for Aboriginal governments and communities on land management issues under the First Nations Land Management Act (FNLMA), oil and gas management under the First Nations Oil and Gas and Moneys Management Act (FNOGMMA), Métis Settlements Co-Management Agreements and relevant General Council policies, Métis Settlements Business Property Contributions Policy and Public Utilities Policy, and industrial regulation under the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act (FNCIDA).

We have drafted and secured self-government agreements, sectoral agreements, and intergovernmental agreements


Specific Claims and Treaty Land Entitlements

We have played a leading role in working with Aboriginal governments in identifying, negotiating, and resolving comprehensive and specific claims. We have drafted, submitted, validated, and negotiated settlements regarding specific claims and treaty land entitlements, as well as in implementing agreements. We have experience in litigating claims before the Specific Claims Tribunal, and securing funding on behalf of clients for litigating such claims.


Treaty and Aboriginal Rights 

We work with Aboriginal governments and communities in issues relating to Treaty and Aboriginal rights, and the duty to consult and accommodate. We have years of experience in dealing with mining, oil and gas development, pipelines, land development, hunting and fishing, and traditional ecological knowledge.


Impact Benefit Agreements

We have negotiated, drafted, and secured a wide range of impact benefit agreements between Aboriginal communities and all industries in the resource sector. We have years of experience in implementing these and related business and consultation agreements.


Business Law and Economic Development 

We have years of experience dealing with economic development and business law issues. We have successfully structured numerous projects and partnerships in a wide range of industries for clients, from incorporations, limited partnerships, to joint ventures.  We have negotiated leases and contracts, secured financing, and worked with clients to develop property, real estate, and successful business ventures.


Litigation and Regulatory Services 

We have represented Aboriginal governments and individuals before all levels of courts in Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as tribunals such as the Specific Claims Tribunal of Canada, National Energy Board, Métis Settlements Appeal Tribunal, Wek’eezhii Land and Water Board, Subdivision and Development Appeal Boards, Alberta Energy Regulator, and the Alberta Utilities Commission. We also provide services in alternative dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration.


Employment Law

We have advised on all aspects of employment law for Aboriginal governments, employers, and employees. We have drafted employment contracts, advised on terminations and employment policies, and all related activities.


Personal Services for Aboriginal Clients

We offer a range of personal services for aboriginal clients, including family and matrimonial law, wills and estates, and business services. We also offer specialised criminal law services, including resolving hunting and fishing offences.