First Nations

Rob works with the leading firm of Ratcliff & Company on behalf of First Nations to improve the lives of their citizens and members.

He ensures First Nations are able to fully exercise their aboriginal rights and title, and advances their interests. First Nations culture, lands and resources, and economic development must be the first priority, not the last priority – and with this approach Rob has seen great success in helping his clients achieve their vision and objectives.

Examples of Clients

Huu-ay-aht First Nations

Huu-ay-aht First Nations

Rob has worked with the Huu-ay-aht First Nations government for the better part of 25 years on countless major projects including the final negotiations before Treaty, land and resource development, social services, housing, and economic development.



  • When Huu-ay-aht was taking back control over lands and resources, the heart of First Nations, a fundamental part is having a functional land registry to report out. Rob supported Huu-ay-aht to establish land and resources laws.
  • Conducted final negotiations before treaty, put together the team that drafted the 500 pages of laws which were ratified on Effective Date.
  • Advancing interests of Huu-ay-aht with “made in Huu-ay-aht” solutions that offer a win-win for all concerned. Turning the page on the colonial Indian Act.

This short film provides a brief introduction to Huu-ay-aht culture, values, territory and people, and sets the stage for a deeper exploration into the challenges faced by a community determined to uphold its culture in the best interests of present and future generations. Produced by Munro/Thompson.

West Coast Trail Visa Checkpoint

  • Supported Huu-ay-aht in setting up a visa checkpoint on the West Coast Trail (1998)
  • This enforced the need for permission from Huu-ay-aht to cross reserve lands and led to successful negotiations for compensation from Canada

Run-of-river Project

  • Assisted Huu-ay-aht in the planning and approval for a run-of-river project on its traditional territory

Steelhead/Kwispaa LNG

  • Negotiated agreement with Steelhead LNG on behalf of Huu-ay-aht
  • Managed a multidisciplinary team

Social Services

Forestry Practices

Media Coverage

Sarita River hydro project takes another step forward with provincial grant


Today the Huu-ay-aht First Nations’ development of a micro-hydro project in its territory took a step closer to realization with a financial boost from the provincial government of nearly half a million dollars.

Huu-ay-aht First Nations Poised to Start 5.2MW Run of the River Project


Huu-ay-aht First Nations is pleased to announce they will be meeting with BC Hydro on Monday, December 11, 2017 to finalize details on an Electricity Purchase Agreement (EPA) for the Sarita River Hydropower Project.

Huu-ay-aht power plant will create green cash flow


he Huu-ay-aht First Nations are taking advantage of green technology to generate a new source of revenue for the community with the construction of a clean-energy power plant on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Steelhead LNG project gets early OK from Huu-ay-aht Nation


It’s one of many hurdles on the road to getting a major liquefied natural gas facility up and running — approval from the First Nation upon whose land the export facility will be built.

Wet’suwet’en First Nation

Wet’suwet’en First Nation

Rob worked with Wet’suwet’en First Nation’s Chief and Council to uphold their rights and title when faced with industrial projects.


Huckleberry Mines

  • Ensured that Huckleberry Mines made Wet’suwet’en First Nation full partners in their work
  • Assisted Chief and Council to bring meaningful employment opportunities to the nation’s members

Costal Gastlink Pipeline IBA negotiation

  • Negotiated complex Impact Benefits Agreement (IBA) with the Coastal Gaslink natural gas pipeline operators spanning several years


This film portrays some of the many views about LNG development through voices of those impacted and involved. LNG is a hot topic and while it presents opportunities, it also raises concerns from First Nation citizens at all development streams from extraction, pipeline to terminal. The culmination of these voices shows that moving forward with LNG development will see a new approach form between Government, First Nations and Industry.

Media Coverage

First Nation threatens to shut down B.C. copper mine

Vancouver Sun

A threat by a B.C. First Nation to shut down a B.C. mine is a small sign of a potentially “catastrophic” uprising in Canada if Aboriginal Peoples don’t become full participants in natural resource extraction, a prominent think-tank warned Wednesday.

No agreement yet at Huckleberry; Local First Nation continues to negotiate

Burns Lakes District News

Wet’suwet’en First Nation continues to negotiate with Huckleberry Mines Ltd. regarding ongoing issues.

News Releases

B.C., Wet’suwet’en First Nation sign LNG agreement

Cowichan Tribes

Cowichan Tribes

Rob worked with Cowichan Tribes Chief and Council to tackle several major special projects over the years ensuring the community members’ traditional lands and health was the first priority.



  • Negotiated the protection of Hw’te shutsun for future cultural and spiritual uses as the CVRD wanted to turn it into a garbage dump

Housing Renewal

  • Assisted with the Cowichan Reclamation Project, which saw Cowichan Tribes, INAC, CMHC, and Health Canada come together to confront a health crisis that affected every family  on the Cowichan reserve

Chances Casino

  • Negotiated the agreement for Chances Casino on Cowichan reserve – one of the first casinos on reserve lands

Assisted living complex: Ts’i’ts’uwatul’lelum

  • Assisted in securing an assisted living complex on Cowichan Tribes’ lands – a provincially funded building on federal First Nation’s land

Media Coverage

Stephen Hume: First Nations treasure historic ties to water

Vancouver Sun

September 16, 2016 – For the Cowichan Tribes, it’s Hw’te shutsun, a spring-fed woodland reserved for ceremonial and sacred activities. The regional government decided it could be better used as a garbage dump. The Cowichans went to court. Today the site is protected, a reminder that in negotiating new relationships between government, industry and First Nations, water is increasingly going to be, as Kulchyski says, “at the centre of everything.”

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Kairos Canada

Few people are in greater need of human rights protection than Indigenous peoples. Globally, about 370 million Indigenous people face widespread systemic discrimination, impoverishment, ill health, and dispossession of their lands and resources. Although governments have a duty and responsibility to ensure the welfare and safety of all their citizens, Indigenous peoples are often subject to policies that erode or suppress their rights and…