Marie-Christine Gagnon is a partner in Gowling WLG's Ottawa office. She is a member of the Advocacy group and her practice focuses on Indigenous Law. Marie-Christine is a member of the Innu First Nation of Pessamit.
Marie-Christine advises clients in negotiations and in litigation, at all levels of court, involving Aboriginal and treaty rights, the duty to consult, economic development matters and the Indian Act.
She regularly participates in the negotiation of various types of agreements in the context of Aboriginal and treaty rights, the duty to consult and accommodate, territorial overlaps, the valorization of ancestral territory, the socio-economic development of First Nations and the establishment of business partnerships. She also advises band councils, businesses and Indigenous organizations on matters relating to their constitution or governance, including the management of their human resources.
Marie-Christine has particular experience with respect to the application of the Indian Act, including the reserve land system, the drafting of membership codes, the drafting of various types of agreements relating to the occupation of a parcel of reserve land, the drafting of custom electoral codes, the drafting and implementation of by-laws made under the Indian Act, the application of provincial legislation on reserve land, the taking of security on assets located on a reserve and the rules relating to taxation.
She is also skilled in the application of federal legislation relating to Indigenous people and their lands, including the First Nations Land Management Act and the First Nations Fiscal Management Act, as well as in the application of various land claims agreements concluded across Canada.
Marie-Christine is recognized by The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory in Aboriginal Law. Prior to joining Gowling WLG, Marie-Christine led her own firm focused on Indigenous Law. She has also worked with a large national law firm.