Brenda A. Johnston

Partner

Biography

Ms. Johnston, a member of the Peguis First Nation, practices in the areas of Indigenous law and Business law. She received her call to the Manitoba Bar in 1996.

Throughout Ms. Johnston’s practice, she has provided full comprehensive legal services to Indigenous individuals, First Nation Bands, First Nation political organizations and Fishing and Trapping organizations.

Ms. Johnston has developed valuable experience and knowledge in establishing various business legal structures for Indigenous clients including Indigenous owned corporations, joint venture arrangements and limited partnerships both on and off Reserve lands.

She has a deep understanding of the unique lending issues that arise respecting Reserve land. She has developed extensive experience in addressing property and security provisions under the Indian Act, including exemptions respecting seizure, garnishment and attachment, as well as under the First Nations Fiscal Management Act.

Additionally, Ms. Johnston has valuable experience and knowledge in all aspects of Reserve creation, reserve designations, including pre-reserve designations. As part of the Reserve creation process, Ms. Johnston has assisted in the negotiation and drafting of the first municipal and development services agreement in Winnipeg between a First Nation and the City of Winnipeg. More recently, Ms. Johnston assisted her own community with the negotiation and development of its municipal and development services agreement for the 1075 Portage Ave Reserve lands in the City of Winnipeg. Ms. Johnston is continuing to assist other Manitoba communities, including a community in Alberta, with the negotiation and development of their municipal and development services agreements.

Ms. Johnston is also often engaged by First Nations to assist them with addressing issues under the First Nations Land Management Act and developing and reviewing First Nation land codes, individual Transfer Agreements and Community Ratification documents.

Education

University of Manitoba, Bachelor of Laws, 1992

University of Alberta, Bachelor of Laws, 1995

Leadership, Membership and Achievements

  • Law Society of Manitoba
  • Manitoba Bar Association
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Commissioner, Manitoba Gaming Control Commission
  • Legal Counsel to First Nations in commercial ventures, including new reserve creations in Winnipeg and in rural communities, and economic development ventures.
  • Legal Counsel for a Manitoba First Nation in relation to the negotiation and development of the City of Winnipeg’s first municipal Development Services Agreement for a First Nation urban economic development zone.
  • Drafter of custom election codes and Indian Act by-laws.
  • Served a three (3) year term (April 2001-July 2004) with the Provincial Department of Family Services & Housing as the Manager of Legislation and Regulations working with the Legislative Counsel Office in amending Child and Family Services legislation and regulations as well as participating in the restructuring of the Child and Family Services System under the Manitoba Aboriginal Justice Inquiry – Child Welfare Initiative.
  • Legal Counsel to Manitoba First Nation fishers and trappers in the settlement of outstanding fishing and trapping claims with Manitoba Hydro in relation to the Grand Rapids Hydro-Electric Generating Station.
  • Legal Counsel for a Manitoba First Nation in relation to the development and establishment of a First Nation Casino owned by all First Nations in Manitoba on First Nation reserve land.
  • Legal Counsel to Manitoba First Nations in relation to the drafting and establishment of a First Nations Land Codes and related land laws under the First Nations Land Management Act.
  • Legal counsel at child protection docket courts in Northern Manitoba communities for Manitoba child and family services agency.

Practice Areas

Indigenous Law
Business Law