Heather’s practice is devoted to assisting her First Nation clients to achieve justice and maximize opportunities. She is inspired to help First Nations realize their goals and to improve the lives of their members by protecting and promoting her clients’ vision for their communities, lands and resources. Heather was called to the BC Bar in January 2004; she has been with Woodward and Co. since 2002 when she joined the firm as a co-op student.
Heather’s current areas of practice include First Nation law development, First Nation land management, taxation, economic and commercial development, environmental assessment, specific claims negotiation, and First Nation governance. She considers being a member of the litigation team in the landmark Tsilhqot’in Nation v. BC aboriginal title case one of her career highlights.
She grew up in Vancouver and is the proud mother of two boys.
* Denotes a law corporation.
Selected Presentations & Publications
“Implications of Tsilhqot’in Nation v. BC for Resource Use in British Columbia”, Conference, Continuing Legal Education Society of BC Conference on Environmental Law – In the Public Interest. Vancouver, BC, September 19, 2008.
“Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia: Cultural Security and the Promise of Site-Specific Rights”, Continuing Legal Education Society Conference on Aboriginal Title. Vancouver, BC, January 18, 2008.
“Basic Principles of Drafting Off-Reserve Agreements”, Continuing Legal Education Society Conference on Aboriginal Law: Solicitors’ Issues. Vancouver, BC, October 16, 2007.
“Agreement With First Nations – Who Is The Appropriate First Nation Party?”, Canadian Bar Association Canadian Legal Conference, Vancouver, BC, August 12-14, 2012. Prepared with assistance from Simon Turner, articled student.
“Business Transactions with First Nations: Important Things You Need To Know”, CBA online program, September 27, 2012.
“Matrimonial Rent Property Law: Grounding laws under land code within indigenous law”, National Aboriginal Law Conference – Canadian Bar Association. Victoria, BC, April 12, 2013. (co-presented with Belinda Claxton)
“Indian Act Reserve Land Management & Development”, Insight: Aboriginal Land Resource Management Forum. Vancouver, BC, February 27-28, 2014.
Contributing editor, Native Law (Toronto: Carswell, 1989).
Assistant: Nancy Valencia
Member, Law Society of B.C. (2004)
Member, Law Society of Upper Canada
Member, Canadian Bar Association
Member, Canadian Bar Association Vancouver Island Aboriginal Section
Recipient of the High Commissioner for Australia’s Prize for Australian Constitutional Law (Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand, 2003).
Recipient of the J.G. Ruttan Memorial Entrance Scholarship (University of Victoria Faculty of Law, 1999).
In her spare time, Heather enjoys exploring the West Coast’s natural environment with her two boys.