Aboriginal Law

Legal services supporting Indigenous peoples in Alberta

Ackroyd LLP provides a full range of services in Aboriginal law. For over 40 years, we have served First Nations, First Nations organizations, Métis Settlements, and Indigenous communities, groups and individuals, in Alberta and across Canada.

We assist Aboriginal governments and communities with developing strong governance models and in building successful businesses. We represent First Nations, Métis Settlements, aboriginal communities, and their members before courts, boards and tribunals, and at the negotiation table with governments and industry.


We provide sound advice on governance and management issues for Aboriginal governments, and act as general counsel to First Nation governments, Métis Settlements, and other organizations. We draft constitutions and membership codes and advise on consultation, housing, finance, taxation, election, commercial, human resource issues and other bylaws and policies. We also negotiate funding and program agreements with other levels of government.

We work 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 draft and help secure self-government agreements, sectoral agreements, and intergovernmental agreements.

Specific Claims and Treaty Land Entitlements

We play a leading role in working with Aboriginal governments to identify, negotiate, and resolve comprehensive and specific claims. We draft, submit, validate, and negotiate settlements regarding specific claims and treaty land entitlements, as well as implemented agreements. We have experience in litigating claims before the Specific Claims Tribunal, and securing funding on behalf of clients for litigating these 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 negotiate, draft and secure a wide range of impact benefit agreements between Aboriginal communities and all industries in the resource sector. We then assist with implementing these and related business and consultation agreements.

Business Law and Economic Development

We assist with all manner of economic development and business law issues. We structure numerous projects and partnerships in a wide range of industries for clients, from incorporations and limited partnerships to joint ventures. We negotiate leases and contracts, secure financing, and work with clients to develop property, real estate, and successful business ventures.

Litigation and Regulatory Services

We represent 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 advise on all aspects of employment law for Aboriginal governments, employers, and employees. We draft employment contracts and advise on terminations, employment policies, and all related activities.

Personal Services for Aboriginal Clients

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

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