Media Releases

Faculty of Law launches development of Canada’s first commercial code and tribunal for Indigenous peoples and their businesses

November 1, 2010

TORONTO, ON – Commercial law is a vital and central component of governance in any community and Indigenous communities are no exception. But the role of commercial law in governance and economic development is often overlooked as a means of asserting jurisdiction and developing commercial enterprises.  The Faculty of Law is excited to announce its workshop and public lecture event, “Commercial Law and its Role in Indigenous Sovereignty,” on Friday, November 5, 2010 to launch the development of Canada’s first and only provincial commercial code and tribunal for Indigenous peoples, a code that will govern commercial dealings, labour and environmental standards in First Nation communities, and a tribunal to adjudicate disputes that may arise under this code.

First Nation leaders and community members, together with US experts in tribal commercial codes, local business, industry and  resource sector executives will gather at the UofT law school to discuss the benefits and challenges of developing and implementing an Indigenous commercial code and tribunal in Ontario.

The public lecture features Professor John Borrows and Michael Bryant.

Professor John Borrows holds the Law Foundation Professorship of Aboriginal Justice and Governance at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law. Professor Borrows is a recipient of an Aboriginal Achievement Award in Law and Justice, a Fellow of the Trudeau Foundation, and a Fellow of the Academy of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada (RSC) — Canada’s highest academic award. He is Anishinabe/Ojibway and a member of the Chippewa of the Nawash First Nation in Ontario, Canada, and is widely recognized as Canada’s leading scholar in Aboriginal law and Indigenous legal orders.

Michael J. Bryant is the former Attorney General, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Minister of Economic Development, and Government House Leader of Ontario.  During his term as Ontario’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister, he negotiated a multi-billion dollar revenue-sharing agreement with Ontario First Nations, returned Ipperwash Provincial Park to its First Nation and established the $25 million New Relationship Fund.  Bryant has spoken and published in the area of aboriginal law and policy for more than 20 years.  He is currently senior adviser at Ogilvy Renault LLP practicing Aboriginal law, and teaches international law at UofT in the political science department.


WHAT: “Commercial Law and its Role in Indigenous Sovereignty”
Featuring speakers: Professor John Borrows And Michael Bryant

WHEN:    Friday, November 05, 2010 , 6:30pm

WHERE:    Faculty of Law, Flavelle House, Bennett Lecture Hall
78 Queen’s Park Cres. [Museum subway; parking is limited]

INFO: / Office: 416-946-0334
Please contact me to pre-book interviews for either the workshop [not open to the public] or the public lecture.

For more information, please contact:

Lucianna Ciccocioppo