Important land resource forum coming to Vancouver

This past year has been a landmark one for legal and other developments in land and natural resources management with major implications for First Nations and other Aboriginal groups as well as for industry and policy makers. An important conference entitled Aboriginal Land Resource Management Forum will be held on February 27-28 at the Metropolitan Hotel in Vancouver to discuss these developments and their impacts.

“We are pleased to welcome you to this annual Insight Information event where we will examine key developments in policy, legislation, court decisions, treaties, and other areas, and the implications these hold for our future,” stated Conference Co-Chairs R. Lee Francoeur, Principal, Eagle Law Group and Merle Alexander, Partner, Gowlings LLP. A multi-stakeholder expert faculty will provide insightful and practical analysis of the changes unfolding in the political, legal, economic and business landscape and the likely impacts on resource development as well as future environmental integrity and social and economic well-being.

“There is much at stake and decisions and actions taken today must weigh longer term as well as short term consequences,” added the co-chairs.

Among the topics to be explored in depth are: Identifying appropriate capital sources and legal structures for Aboriginal resource development, Options for third party land tenure on reserves managed under the Indian Act, How to assume reserve land management authority under the First Nations Land Management Act, Practical considerations for administering a land code, Ross River Dena Council decision and mineral exploration permits, Latest court decisions on treaty lands and the implications, An examination of how First Nations’ issues are being dealt with in pipeline processes, Northern Gateway, New Prosperity and the role of Review Panel decisions, and Consultation update and Pan-Canadian review.

“Balancing economic development goals and long term environmental sustainability and societal integrity are not easy objectives,” continued the conference co-chairs. “Further, due consideration must be paid to community, traditional and regional values and priorities.”

On February 27, there will be three keynote speakers presenting topical information to all delegates.

The opening keynote address at 9:15 am will be delivered by Grand Chief of the Union of British Columbia Chiefs, Stewart Phillip, and his topic will be “A Fine Balance – Ensuring Sustainable Growth in First Nation Economic Development and Resource Management.”

At 11:30, a second keynote address will be delivered by Westbank First Nation Chief Robert Louie, Chairman of the Lands Advisory Board. The topic of his address will be “Land Code Developments and Report from the Land Advisory Board.” Sessions will follow that discuss recent Land Management Developments.

In the afternoon, a keynote address will be delivered by Allan Clarke, Director General, Policy and Coordination Branch, Lands and Economic Development Sector, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. The topic of his address will be “Achieving Today’s Growth Objectives While Protecting Tomorrow’s Promise.”

The conference will continue on February 28 with a special address on  “Regulatory Reform under the Indian Oil and Gas Act” by John Dempsey, Director, Regulatory Compliance, Indian Oil and Gas Canada.

Throughout the conference,  a distinguished faculty of experts and stakeholders will cover these and other top-of-mind issues: Aboriginal Land Title and Land Rights – the Supreme Court of Canada Decision in the William/Tshilqot’in case and the Implications; Land Code Developments and Report from the Land Advisory Board; Resource Revenue Sharing – Models and Processes; Financing Strategies for First Nations Resource Development; Pipeline Developments, Issues and Implications; LNG – Weighing the Promise and the Peril; Public Private Partnerships and First Nations Economic Development; BHP Billiton and Saskatchewan First Nations IBA and IBA and G2G Negotiations.

“At this conference the expert faculty will lead the discussion, providing up-to-date information and reports, examining emerging models, assessing alternative strategies and directions, while weighing the benefits and the risks involved,” state conference co-chairs Francoeur  and Alexander.  “Conference delegates will also be invited to join the conversation, with ample time being allocated for questions, audience input, and participation.”

“We would be honoured to have you join us to engage in this timely and crucially important dialogue, and look forward to seeing you in Vancouver.”

For more information visit and when registering be sure to use your priority code ANN943.



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