Holly Vear
Holly Vear


Holly has an undergraduate degree in environmental studies (forest conservation) and a diploma in forestry, and has worked in the forestry industry in British Columbia and Alberta as a tree planter, forestry technician, surveyor and forest fire lookout. Holly planned to pursue post-graduate studies in forest policy and conservation; however, upon being exposed to the Grassy Narrows First Nation blockade while living in Northern Ontario, she decided to pursue a law degree and focus on conflicts that arise relating to Aboriginal peoples’ land.

Holly’s practice focuses on governance, and land and resource issues in the context of reserve land, settlement land, lands within a client’s traditional territory, and lands subject to historic treaties. She advises clients on the following:

  • Assertion of Aboriginal rights and title, or their historic or modern treaty rights;
  • The application of environmental and natural resources legislation;
  • Consultation and accommodation processes;
  • Participation in regulatory processes and hearings;
  • Management of reserve land;
  • Management of contaminated sites;
  • Implementation of land codes and final agreements;
  • Drafting laws, bylaws and policies; and
  • Indian Act estates.

Holly is inspired by and committed to principles of justice, fairness and reconciliation.


Selected Presentations & Publications

“Beyond Consultation: Strategic Litigation and Impact Benefit Agreements”, First Nations Law and Governance Workshop, Campbell River, September 30, 2013.

“Land Interests on Reserve”, Native Court Worker & Counselling Association of British Columbia, Aboriginal People and the Law Programme, Vancouver, BC, April 15, 2011.

“Harvest Time: Realizing the Economic Promise of Aboriginal Rights”, First Nations Law and Governance Workshop, Duncan, BC, November 4, 2009.


Holly Vear


Assistant: Nancy Valencia


Professional Standing

Member, Law Society of Yukon 2011

Member, Law Society of B.C. 2009

Member, Canadian Bar Association


Alberta Environmental Appeals Board Prize – University of Calgary, Faculty of Law (based on academic merit and excellence in environmental law), 2008

R.A. MacKimmie, O.C., Q.C. Award for Outstanding Contribution – University of Calgary, Faculty of Law (based on academic merit and significant contribution to the law school), 2008

Maloney Family Award – University of Calgary, Faculty of Law (awarded on the basis of academic metric, extra-curricular activities and community involvement), 2006

Dean Braun Award – Lakehead University (awarded to top ranking student), 2004

Other Activities

Supervising Lawyer, ProBono Students Canada

Member, Canadian Environmental Network Environmental Planning and Assessment Caucus to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

Past Executive-at-Large, Canadian Bar Association Aboriginal Law Vancouver Island Section

Legislative Liaison, Canadian Bar Association Animal Law Section

Volunteer, B.C. SPCA