First Nations and Indigenous Advisory

Projects such as land claims and resource development are crucial yet delicate matters that impact First Nations and Indigenous communities. With a vast array of stakeholders and many complex negotiations involved, finding a partner you can trust to address every aspect with sensitivity, objectivity and fairness is essential to achieving a positive resolution. Our First Nations and Indigenous Advisory Services group is invested in what matters most to you.

Our Indigenous Advisory Services group provides specialized financial advisory services to Indigenous and First Nations peoples across Canada. Our practice is comprised of professionals with a wide range of skillsets. Working collectively, our team members come together to bring about holistic, creative solutions that aren’t trapped in the conventional silos of a typical advisory group. We involve the expertise of all our professionals and arrive at solutions best suited to the needs of the communities with whom we work.

Benefit from our expertise and experience with:

  • Impact and Benefit Agreements (IBA) – Financial Participation entitlement negotiations and related financial modeling
  • Specific and Comprehensive Land Claim negotiation services – including valuation of entitlements, claims and losses, litigation support and transaction advisory services
  • Capacity building, business opportunity and economic development opportunities and planning
  • Joint venture organizations and tax planning
  • Own Source Revenue (OSR) negotiations and planning
  • Financial governance implementation and administration

We are proud and privileged to have been trusted with a wide range of mandates throughout Canada. Our involvement has helped to satisfactorily resolve land claims issues, as well as successfully conclude agreements regarding major resource development projects and related Indigenous business development and employment opportunities.

We provide our services mainly to Indigenous and First Nations clients, working in conjunction with their leadership and negotiators as well as other advisors, including legal counsel and development project consultants.

Our Focus of Expertise:

Impact and Benefit Agreement Consulting

Maintaining successful and respectful relationships is extremely important to us. Our team has over 15 years of experience representing and assisting Indigenous and First Nations communities with their natural resource project negotiations.

The duty to consult, together with keystone jurisprudence, has had a major impact on natural resource proponents and Indigenous communities. Impact and Benefit Agreement (IBA) standards are continually evolving and best monitored and understood by qualified experts active in IBA advisory services. These resources ensure that a fair and equitable agreement can be reached between both parties. Our approach to IBA negotiations is tailored to the community’s needs and in line with currently evolving industry standards. Ultimately, this helps not only our clients and community members, but their future generations, as well.

Impact and benefit negotiations:

From the initial meeting to the signing of the agreement, our professionals act as key members of a community’s negotiation team. Drawing from dozens of successful IBA negotiations, we have in-depth knowledge of provincial and national standards. As part of the negotiation team, we advise our clients on all issues related to fixed and variable participation payments and present them to the natural resource project’s management.

Financial modelling:

The basis of any IBA is founded upon the cash flow projections of the natural resource project. We review the projections, present our assessment of the project’s profitability, and calculate a fair and industry standard participation amount for the community. We advise our client on the various methods of calculating the participation structure and ensure that no unreasonable burden is placed on the project, ensuring that a mutually beneficial agreement can be reached for all parties involved.

Contracting and labor negotiations:

As construction begins on the natural resource project, many opportunities for employment and contracting arise. It’s vital that the local communities gain benefit from this economic stimulant and that their involvement is documented within the IBA. We assist our clients in analyzing their local labor pool and in maximizing their contracting and employment opportunities within each project.

Land Claim Negotiations Services – Comprehensive, Specific & Other Land Claims

At Richter, we understand the origins of Indigenous Land Claims in Canada and the major events in the evolution of Indigenous Rights and Land Titles in Canada. A Land Claim will often require the expert assessment of a Loss of Use – i.e., the loss stemming from the Indigenous group’s inability to use and profit from the land since their loss of use.

We provide assistance with the following:

  • Assistance in the land selection process based on monetary values of indicia.
  • Assistance in the development of Terms of Reference for a current unimproved market value appraisal for the Lands.
  • Assistance in the commissioning of appraisals for the Lands.
  • Review of existing (i.e., Proxy Model versus Generic Model) and other conventional models to assess damages from the Loss of Use through appropriate due diligence.
  • Preparation and assistance of historical and economic reports to support the chosen model.
  • Assessment of the historical ability of the Indigenous community’s ability to save and invest over time.
  • Assisting the community and counsel during negotiations with the Federal and Provincial governments. When required, preparation of an expert report and expert witness testimony in a tribunal or other adjudicative setting.
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