First Nations

Our office offers a wide range of legal services to First Nations communities and their members, and to individuals, companies and lenders conducting business with First Nations or on First Nations lands.  Our practice group includes lawyers who have experience in the following areas:

  • Land Development
  • Negotiating Leases
  • Commercial Financing and Leases
  • Residential Property Transactions
  • Commercial Property Transactions
  • Commercial Agreements and Transactions
  • Estate Planning
  • Taxation Issues
  • Litigation

As communities grow, aboriginals and non aboriginals have continued to develop partnerships and ways of doing business with each other. History and culture influence the way business is conducted within the First Nations communities. We know that to properly represent clients, there must be an understanding and respect of the aboriginal perspective and we offer our services within that framework.
The First Nations communities approach development and leasing on their lands in different manners. Some lands are governed under the Indian Act and some are governed under their own constitution. Lands are either community lands held by the First Nation which can be designated for the purpose of leasing or Locatee lands which are reserve lands allocated to a particular First Nations member. This framework has created a need for specialized legal services. We have lawyers that specialize in this area and who have represented individuals, companies and lenders doing business on First Nations lands.

We provide services to First Nations relating to negotiation with AANDC, designation votes, business structures, contracts and business proposals, lease reviews, litigation and general legal advice.

Whether a client needs assistance preparing a lease, registering security or working through the procedures AANDC, our lawyers have the experience and the understanding of aboriginal law issues necessary to guide our clients through this unique and complex area of law.

We have specific experience assisting purchasers, sellers, developers and lenders with the acquisition, financing, sale, development and leasing of commercial and residential properties on the following First Nations Lands:

  • Westbank First Nation
  • Kamloops Indian Band
  • Okanagan Indian Band
  • Osoyoos Indian Band
  • Adams Lake Indian Band
  • Shuswap Indian Band

We can assist you. Please do not hesitate to contact one of our First Nations lawyers for more information.

First Nations Group


As a business lawyer, Andrea loves the challenge of guiding her clients through complex commercial transactions and real estate projects, and she strives for excellence with every task. Andrea has previously acted as in-house counsel at a private corporation and a public body, experiences that provide insight into her clients’ perspectives.



Andrew practices in the areas of business law, real estate law and wills and estates.

Andrew received his Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen’s University in 2002 and his Law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2005. He was called to the bar in Ontario in 2006 and then to the bar in British Columbia in 2008. 


Brad represents a wide variety of individuals and private companies as a real estate developmentbusiness law and estate planning lawyer.


James’ practice includes a wide range of business law matters, real estate law and estate planning.


 Sue’s practice deals with all areas of business law, real estate law and estate planning.


One of the most experienced and highly respected lawyers in the Okanagan Valley, Theresa Arsenault, Q.C., specializes in estate planning and trusts, First Nations transactions and land development, and business and real estate law. She is frequently sought out as a speaker on all these topics and more.


Vanessa practices in the areas of business law, real estate and wills and estates. As a Registered Trade-mark agent with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, her business law practice has a specific focus on intellectual property law, including filing Canadian and US trade-mark applications and advising clients on infringement issues. Her real estate practice is expanding to serve purchasers and vendors of freehold property and First Nations Land Developments.