Woodward & Co. Lawyers LLP was founded in 1988 to fight exclusively for Indigenous groups and governments in their legal battles. With its first partners, the firm was hired by the Tsilhqot’in Nation to prove their Aboriginal title in 1989. This case would become an historic legal victory for First Nations and Indigenous and treaty rights in Canada because of our approach and advocacy.
The firm proved, through oral testimony of Tsilhqot’in elders, that the Nation had a right to the land itself, and that the Crown had a positive legal duty to resolve outstanding Aboriginal title claims. This also established oral history and Indigenous legal traditions as critical to a just assessment of Aboriginal rights and title claims. This case set new precedents that have profoundly changed the legal landscape in both Canadian law and the practice of Aboriginal law.
Since our inception, Woodward & Co. Lawyers LLP has maintained a client-focused approach to achieving reconciliation and the self-determination of Indigenous Nations through courageous and innovative legal strategies. The firm has evolved to assist Nations with treaty negotiations and all other types of negotiation, to provide advice on the Crown’s obligations to fully consult and accommodate Indigenous Nations regarding proposed activities in their traditional territories, and to be at the forefront of all areas of legal services for Indigenous Nations and Indigenous governments and businesses across Canada.