Respect

Our legal team believes in respect as a cornerstone of all relationships.

For far, far too long Indigenous peoples have been disempowered and disrespected as a result of the onslaught of settler society and the impacts to personal security, families, cultures, languages, spiritual traditions and lifeways, lands and resources, and stewardship responsibilities.

We are excited to work with Indigenous peoples changing the dynamic, using our legal skills and experience to remind the Crown, industry, companies, municipalities, and Canadians generally that respect must also be the basis of their relationships with you in more than just words.

Courage

It takes immense courage for Indigenous peoples to deal with the issues facing them and their communities. We use our courage, skill and experience to assist with these challenges at the Nation, community, family, and individual levels, working with Indigenous clients to carve out space for them to be who they are in their own societies and in what is now Canada.

We are your advocates and allies in getting conversations with Crown, industry and others to places that matter and make a difference to you and your people. Let us stand strong with you and for you.

Culture

We know that our clients continue to have rich and vibrant societies, including legal and governance systems, knowledge, experience, and spiritual lifeways, wellsprings to draw upon that go back countless generations. We also know that deep connections to lands and all they contain continue to be vital not only to our clients’ societies and identities but also to sacred relationships and responsibilities. Our legal team believes in the power of Indigenous lifeways (‘culture’) to maintain and transform communities, families, individuals and foundational relationships.

We understand that culture and heritage are about relationships: to others, your lands, sacred responsibilities entrusted to you, to all that is, to self, to past, present, and your future generations. We don’t talk to Crown and industry representatives and judges about “Aboriginal rights and title” as mere words or hollow legal concepts. We talk about them as part of who you are.

We did not see all life forces as natural resources, but as sacred ways of life-giving. Respect of these forms and forces is the key to living a good life. It is through coming to know and working with these relationships that our ancestors came to understand the relationship and laws of the earth. It is through ceremonies, stories and songs that our ancestors were given the gifts of survival. We do not see life forces as natural resources, but as sacred ways of life-giving. It was respect that forged our relations. We had no need for a rights theory of alliances or to conceptualize our relations as vague noun-objects.

James Sakej Youngblood Henderson, "Postcolonial Indigenous Legal Consciousness", Indigenous Law Journal, vol I, Spring 2002 page 45