First Nations Practice

First Nations Practice

WPC Inc. is uniquely qualified to provide First Nations, companies and public governments with comprehensive, professional services in the areas of: 

  • Consultation and Accommodation Strategy Design and Implementation 
  • Aboriginal Title and Sovereignty Assessment, Strategy and Negotiation 
  • Natural Resource Negotiations 
  • Economic Development Planning and Execution 
  • Complex procurement and contracting negotiations and strategy design 
  • Financial modeling and negotiations 
  • Treaty Negotiations, Implementation and Ongoing Advisory Services 
  • Training and Education Strategy and Development 
  • Policy, Legislation and Program Design, Development and Implementation 

The principals and senior associates of WPC Inc. have extensive experience working on behalf of First Nations, corporate and public government clients in all aspects of the assessment, strategy development, engagement and negotiation process in British Columbia, providing our team of professionals with valuable insight and expertise in identifying lasting solutions.

Our team has negotiated agreements worth hundreds of millions of dollars, involving:

  • Dozens of complex consultation and accommodation agreements 
  • Natural resource agreements 
  • BC’s First Multi-First Nation Treaty under the BC Treaty Commission Process 
  • Agreements in Principle under the BC Treaty Commission Process
  • Complex Interim Measures and Similar Agreements 
  • Land, natural resource, forestry, mining, and energy agreements 
  • Complex procurement/contracting agreements

WPC has successfully conducted consultation processes with First Nations (as prescribed in Canadian law) and that meet the requirements for transparency, adequacy and accountability. WPC has also negotiated complex, multi-faceted participation agreements, mutual benefits agreements, accommodation agreements, agreements in principle, and treaties that include substantial financial and development opportunities. 

Mr. Michael Bailey, former Executive Director in the Office of the Premier of BC and one of Canada’s leading government relations practitioners and a successful BC businessman. He has successfully acted on key economic development issues on behalf of one of BC’s largest and most successful Coastal First Nations, aggressively pursued joint venture partners for a southern Interior BC First Nation for a major resource development project and acted on a resort development project for a First Nation in the BC interior.

Ms. Karin MacMillan has worked on First Nations files in British Columbia for several years, advising on issues related to negotiations, governance, communications, community engagement and stakeholder engagement. Ms. MacMillan is one of Canada’s most respected Strategic Communications and Government Relations Advisors, with Fortune 500 clients in the resource sector, health care field, aerospace and land development. She has developed a wide variety of comprehensive programs from Stakeholder Engagement projects to Crisis Communications Plans, Strategic Communications Plans and Government Relations programs.

Increasingly, complex strategy development and negotiation projects involving First Nations and major projects in BC and across Canada require parallel community interest and view surveying, strategic public and government relations strategies and complex internal communications process design and implementation. Karin is a strong asset in all these areas.

WPC’s design and implementation of the consultation and accommodation process on behalf of clients is guided by an understanding of the need to identify an appropriate balance between respecting the Aboriginal Title, rights, and traditional practices of First Nations and the need to develop communities, resources and the economy for present and future generations.

WPC has one of Canada’s most experienced talent pools to assist parties in these complex negotiations. In addition to the above team, we have a strong group of consultants able to provide ancillary services related to negotiations, from financial modeling and program design to administrative and logistical support.

Finally, our partnership with the Capital Hill Group in Ottawa, the largest government relations and policy consulting firm in Eastern Canada, provides us additional strengths in on-the-ground assets in Ottawa to gather information, position clients and advocate for successful conclusions.