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Osgoode’s Certificate in Fundamentals of Aboriginal Law was created to help you understand this complex and vitally important body of law. It is a short, deep dive into the knowledge and content needed to be able to work more effectively when dealing with Aboriginal law issues.

A truly outstanding faculty of practicing lawyers and academics drawn from across the country will concentrate on the core aspects of Aboriginal law, focusing not just on the law itself, but also those practical considerations that are key to understanding the rapidly changing legal environment.

The aim of the program is to give you a practical understanding of Aboriginal rights and title, the constitutional framework, reserve lands and developments on reserve, treaty interpretation, modern treaties and consultation and accommodation. The certificate wraps up with an interactive panel discussion on the Supreme Court of Canada’s upcoming trilogy on the duty to consult and accommodate.

Throughout the program there will be ample opportunity for questions, discussion and debate.

Topics include:

  • The historic narrative and constitutional framework
  • An overview of the case law and key legal concepts from the last 40 years
  • Understanding historic treaties – the context, perspectives and contemporary realities
  • The Indian Act: key issues for practitioners and policy makers
  • “Section 35” – understanding its purpose, framework and emerging issues
  • Tsilhqot’in and the implications for Canada, the provinces and Aboriginal peoples
  • Understanding modern day treaties using case studies and a Canada-wide comparative analysis, including First Nation, Inuit and Métis perspectives
  • Addressing overlapping territories, private lands, submerged land and waterways
  • The duty to consult and accommodate – its origins, recent case law developments and current trends
  • Consultation approaches and policies across Canada, including current and developing practices in resource development, impact benefit agreements, participation agreements, cooperation agreements and revenue sharing agreements and policies
  • The Crown, Proponent and Aboriginal perspectives on the duty to consult and accommodate

Day 1: February 14, 2017
Understanding the Historic Narrative and Constitutional Framework

Day 2: February 23, 2017
The Historic Treaties, Treaty Rights and the Indian Act

Day 3: March 8, 2017
The Aboriginal Rights Framework in s.35 of the Constitution Act 1982

Day 4: March 30, 2017
Modern Day Treaties

Day 5: April 12, 2017
The Duty to Consult and Accommodate


Program Directors

  • Sandra A. Gogal, Miller Thomson LLP, Toronto
  • Jason T. Madden, Pape Salter Teillet LLP, Toronto

Advisory Board

  • Keith B. Bergner, Lawson Lundell LLP, Vancouver
  • Christopher Devlin, Devlin Gailus Westaway Law Corporation, Victoria
  • Katherine Hensel, Hensel Barristers, Toronto
  • Peter W. Hutchins, Hutchins Legal Inc., Montréal
  • Thomas Isaac, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, Vancouver
  • Robert Janes, JFK Law Corporation, Victoria
  • Peter R. Lemmond, Counsel, Ministry of the Attorney General, Crown Law Office – Civil
  • Naiomi W. Metallic, Burchells LLP, Halifax
  • Merle C. Alexander, Gowling WLG, Vancouver
  • Keith B. Bergner, Lawson Lundell LLP, Vancouver
  • The Hon. Ian Binnie C.C., Q.C., Counsel, Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffith LLP
  • Sandy Carpenter, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Calgary
  • Aimée Craft, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba
  • Nuri G. Frame, Pape Salter Teillet LLP, Toronto
  • John Gailus, Devlin Gailus Watson, Victoria
  • Sandra A. Gogal, Miller Thomson LLP, Toronto
  • Peter R. Grant, Peter Grant & Associates, Vancouver
  • Shin Imai, Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
  • Larry Innes, Olthuis, Kleer, Townshend LLP
  • Thomas Isaac, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, Vancouver
  • Robert Janes, JFK Law Corporation, Victoria
  • Gwynneth C. D. Jones, Independent Historian, Vancouver
  • Nancy Kleer, Olthuis, Kleer, Townshend LLP Toronto
  • David de Launay, Deputy Minister, Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
  • Andrew Lokan, Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP, Toronto
  • Allan MacDonald, Director General Implementation Branch, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
  • P. Mitch McAdam, Q.C., Director, Constitutional Law Branch, Saskatchewan Justice, Regina
  • Matthew Mehaffey, Mehaffey Consulting Inc., Vancouver
  • Kimberly R. Murray, Ontario Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Aboriginal Justice Division, Ministry of the Attorney General
  • Robert J. Potts, Blaney McMurtry LLP, Toronto
  • David M. Robbins, Woodward & Company, Victoria
  • Scott Robertson, Nahwegahbow, Corbiere
  • Justin Safayeni, Stockwoods LLP Barristers, Toronto
  • David Schulze, Dionne Schulze, Montreal
  • Paul Seaman, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP
  • S. Ronald Stevenson, Senior General Counsel, Department of Justice
  • Jean Teillet, Pape Salter Teillet LLP, Vancouver
  • Joe Wild, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Treaties and Aboriginal Government, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada



Fees include attendance, program materials, continental breakfast, lunch and refreshments for each of the 5 days of the program. The price does not include accommodations. Please inquire about group discounts and financial assistance. Fees paid by individuals are eligible for a tuition tax credit. Dress is business casual.

Program Changes

We will make every effort to present the certificate program as advertised, but it may be necessary to change the dates, location, speakers or content with little or no notice. In the event of program cancellation, York University and Osgoode Hall Law School’s liability is limited to reimbursement of paid fees.

Certificate of Program Completion

You will receive a certificate upon completion of The Osgoode Certificate in Fundamentals of Aboriginal Law. Participants must attend all program modules and successfully complete the take-home assignment to receive a certificate.

Substitutions, Cancellations and Refunds

Substitution of registrants is permitted at any time. If you are unable to find a substitute, a full refund is available if a cancellation request is received in writing 21 days prior to the program date. If a cancellation request is made with less than 21 days notice, a $150 administration fee will apply. No other refund is available.


Have questions? Read our FAQs.

Program Lawyer

If you have any questions or would like more information please contact:
Jessica Foster

Program Details

Date & Time

February 14, 23, March 8, 30 & April 12, 2017


Osgoode Professional Development Centre,
1 Dundas St. W., 26th Floor Toronto, ON

Fee per Delegate

$3495 plus HST

Email us to be notified once the next session becomes available.

Eligible CPD Credit Hours


Who Should Attend

  • Lawyers practicing in the areas of Aboriginal law, natural resources, environmental and Constitutional law
  • In-House Counsel, particularly those working in the energy, resource and infrastructure development sectors
  • Aboriginal leaders, councillors and advisors
  • Government lawyers/officials – federal, provincial and municipal sectors
  • Negotiators and mediators for industry, government and Aboriginal communities

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Christi Belcourt

The website program image was kindly provided by Christi Belcourt, a Michif (Métis) visual artist and author whose ancestry originates from the Metis historic community of Manitou Sakhigan (Lac Ste. Anne) Alberta, Canada. Learn more

Hotels & Parking

If you require accommodations in downtown Toronto, OsgoodePD has arranged Corporate Rates with several hotels within walking distance of our downtown conference centre.

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Consider sponsoring an OsgoodePD Continuing Legal Education program or event.