John Burns

John Burns

John has a Master’s degree in Canadian Aboriginal Law and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. John’s exclusively Aboriginal-side practice focuses on three main areas:

Aboriginal rights and title:

· Developing and implementing strategies for successful Consultation and Accommodation negotiations;

· Assisting clients through self-government negotiations.

Corporate Commercial:

· John has assisted clients in obtaining debt and equity financing for multiple individual projects valued between $150 - $300 million;

· Significant experience in commercial development on Reserve and in Nation Territory, including commercial / retail land development, forestry, mining, renewable energy, civil construction, etc.;

· Corporate structuring for minimizing liability, ensuring tax efficiency, and minimizing the implications of Canada’s ‘Own Source Revenue’ claw-backs.


· First Nation Land Management Act (Land Code): established leading case law on Land Code and First Nation Law enforcement;

· First Nation taxation;

· Service Agreements and Tripartite Agreements;

· Trusts and First Nation wealth management.

John has also successfully represented clients from start to finish in the Specific Claims process; B.C. Supreme Court; the Tax Court of Canada; and the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as regulatory hearings on major natural resource projects.

Outside of work, John is an avid outdoorsman.