Telephone: 604-685-1229
Toll Free: 1-800-428-5665
Fax: 604-685-0244


March 2012: Peter Grant presented an analysis, The Legacy of Treaty Making, of the impact of treaty negotiations on overlaps in British Columbia

March 2012: Peter Grant presented on the new Federal Court procedures in settlement of complex litigation

Called to the Bar: June, 1976 (British Columbia)


Peter has practiced Aboriginal law since 1976. He first became involved in looking at Aboriginal issues when he worked for Leonard Peltier as part of the defence team. Mr. Peltier had been active in an AIM campaign to protect the Blackhills of South Dakota. From 1977 to 1995 Peter lived and worked in the Gitxsan territory and practiced law principally for the Gitxsan and the Wet’suwet’en in north central British Columbia. He worked as counsel in Delgamuukw v. The Queen which went to the Supreme Court of Canada. Peter specializes particularly in:

  • litigation of aboriginal rights and title and treaty rights;
  • negotiation of consultation and accommodation agreements and Economic Benefit Agreements;
  • negotiating overlap agreements including treaties of peace and friendship between neighbouring aboriginal nations;
  • negotiation of hydro power agreements and other resource development agreements with First Nations;
  • negotiation of Lands to be transferred to Reserve status through Canada’s ATR process;
  • compensation for wrongful taking of Reserve Lands;
  • litigation and negotiation of Residential School claims.

Peter Grant was counsel for the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en in Delgamuukw v. The Queen which went to the Supreme Court of Canada. He was also counsel in many cases on aboriginal fishing rights (R v. Nikal) [SCC]; the duty to consult and accommodate aboriginal rights and title Gitxsan Nation v. British Columbia [BCSC] Gwasslam v. British Columbia, Blaney v. Minister of Lands [BCSC], Hupacasath v. Minister of Forests [BCSC], Wii’litswx vs. Minister of Forests [BCSC], and the earliest residential school cases (Blackwater v. Plint [SCC]); Aleck v. Clarke [BCCA]; and Barney v. Plint [SCC].

Peter has been a member of the International Commission on Folk Law and Legal Pluralism since 1981.

He is a past Chair of the National Aboriginal Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association. Peter has been the CBA representative for aboriginal law on the Federal Bench and Bar Liaison Committee from 1998 until 2010. He is active in working with the Federal Court – Aboriginal Law Liaison Committee on Guidelines for Elder’s Evidence.

Peter was part of the negotiating team representing claimants through Independent Counsel for the Indian Residential School Settlement. He is now a member of the Nation Administration Committee [NAC] which implements and ensures the proper implementation of the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement.

Peter has always supported pro bono work. In October, 2007, Peter acted for the mother of the late Savanah Hall in an Inquest into the death of a child in foster care in Prince George which led to 26 recommendations, including 17 directed to the Ministry of Children and Family Development. The First Nations Summit and the UBCIC have called for the implementation of those recommendations.

Peter has been actively involved in making presentations on a regular basis to continuing legal education both in British Columbia and in other provinces.

Further information on Peter Grant is in the Winter ’08 UBC Alumni Magazine Profile.


LLB, UBC, 1975

BA [English and Film Production], 1971

Publications, Papers, Presentations
On Residential Schools:
  • The Depth of the Ocean:  General and Aggravated Damages for Childhood Sexual Abuse in Residential Schools (Paper presented at 3rd Annual National Summit on Institutional Liability for Sexual Assault and Abuse, Toronto, Ontario, February, 2002)
  • Residential Schools Resolution:  The Plaintiffs’ Perspective on Litigation (Paper presented at the Canadian Bar Association conference, Winnipeg, Manitoba, April, 2000)
On Assistance to Aboriginal Governments:
  • Resolution of Complex Litigation in the Federal Court [pdf, 524 kb] (presented at the CLE course Federal Court Practice, Vancouver, March 9, 2012)
  • Governing Lands and Waters:  Limits to Reserve Title and Indian Act Powers in British Columbia and Proposals for Reform (co-authored with David Schulze, (2001) 35 UBC Law review 415)
On Treaty Negotiations:
On Aboriginal Title:
  • Consultation and the Goal of Reconciliation, February 2010, Canadian Conference on Aboriginal Litigation and Recognition (Montreal) Download Paper [PDF]
  • The Supreme Court of Canada’s Decision in Marshall and Bernard: Its Implications for Aboriginal Title in British Columbia, co-authored with Michael Ross, 2005
    Download Paper [PDF]
  • The Delgamuukw Decision and Oral Histories, Paper presented to the Prairie Treaty Gathering, Saskatchewan, August 5 and 6, 1998
  • Recognition of Traditional Laws in State Courts and the Formulation of State Legislation, in Indigenous Law and the State, Morse & Goodman eds., Foris Publications, 1998, p. 259
  • The Gitksan-Wet’suwet’en Land Claims: Pushing the Boundaries of the Recognition of the Content of Aboriginal Jurisdiction, in Law and Anthropology, Vol 5, 1981, p. 121