Updates & Current Works
Peter Grant is now working with counsel from other law firms in a collaborative manner on significant litigation and negotiations including his former partner, Diane Soroka from Montreal, and lawyers from Mandell Pinder, Arvay Findlay and Waddell Phillips in Toronto, all of whom have worked extensively in the area of Indigenous law. Peter’s present focus is on four major legal initiatives, all of which will, hopefully, advance the law for the Indigenous peoples of Canada and lay further legal frameworks to assist in advancing the goal of reconciliation between Canada’s original peoples and post-contact settler societies.
- Malii v. The Queen
This is the Aboriginal title action of the Gitanyow. They are seeking establishment of their Aboriginal title within their Lax yip (territory). Peter is working with Mark Underhill and Catherine Boies Parker of Arvay Findlay and Diane Soroka.
- Gottfriedson and Feschuk v. Canada
This class proceeding was certified in 2015 in the Federal Court of Canada. After unsuccessful negotiations for three years, the case is being readied for trial which is scheduled for September 2021. This litigation has been brought by shishalh and Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Indian band and I am working with John Phillips and his law firm and Diane Soroka on this case. (see link to Summary of Case)
This certified class action is brought on behalf of anyone who attended at any Indian Residential School, for any times they attended as a “Day Scholar” (i.e. non-resident student), as well as their children, and the bands within communities that contained a Residential School. The lawsuit claims that Canada acted unlawfully and harmed those who attended at the Residential Schools, as well as their children and band communities because the Schools were used to attempt to eliminate aboriginal languages, cultures and traditions. The action also claims that many people who attended the Schools were subjected to mental, emotional and spiritual abuse, for which compensation is claimed.
John K. Phillips of Waddell Phillips Barristers and Diane H. Soroka are class counsel along with Peter Grant.
- Wet’suwet’en Negotiations with BC and Canada
Peter Grant has been the negotiator for the Wet’suwet’en in ongoing negotiations for recognition of their title to their traditional territories, (Yintah) since Premier Horgan invited the Wet’suwet’en to enter into negotiations in late 2018. The objective is to achieve an early agreement on recognition of Wet’suwet’en title. He participated in the February 2020 discussions with Ministers Bennett and Fraser regarding moving forward with the Wet’suwet’en.
- Work with Other Nations on Overlaps
The firm remains involved in representing nations whose traditional territories are claimed by neighbouring indigenous peoples. Alternative means to address these issues are being considered.
Based on his experience in the field of Indigenous Law, Peter has also focussed on the need to educate the public and up and coming lawyers on the nature of Indigenous laws and legal systems as the governments of Canada increasingly recognize the need for reconciliation between the settler governments and Indigenous governments.
For example, he has spoken publicly on the nature of the Wet’suwet’en Indigenous legal system in light of the recent media coverage of a perceived ‘conflict’ between the Indigenous government and the band council governments.