Cherie Brant  


Executive Summary

Cherie is a Partner in our Electricity and Indigenous Law Groups. She has a commercial practice across a wide variety of sectors including, energy and transmission, land development and financing on First Nations lands, franchising, cannabis and economic development. She also provides strategic policy and governance counsel to Indigenous groups seeking to exercise their jurisdiction and authority.

Industry clients in the natural resource, energy and infrastructure sectors will seek Cherie's counsel when developing projects or partnerships with Indigenous groups and to understand the legal considerations relevant to Canada, and with respect to the constitutionally protected interests of the Indigenous nations with which Canada shares its land and jurisdiction.

In 2017, Cherie received the Lexpert Zenith Award, a national award recognizing women's contributions in the law. In 2012, she was named one of Lexpert's "Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40".

In 2012, Cherie completed the first 100 per cent First Nation owned wind-power project in Ontario and is active in renewable energy development having now completed over 300 MW of renewable energy partnerships involving First Nations and completed over 1000 MW of partnerships involving First Nations for competitive procurement processes. As lead counsel to the First Nations Energy Alliance (a consortium of twenty First Nations) on the Integrated Power System Plan review before the Ontario Energy Board, her counsel was instrumental in promoting Aboriginal participation models for renewable energy procurement.

Representative Work

  • ​Counsel to developers and Indigenous groups across Canada on renewable and green energy projects and transmission projects
  • Completed over 1000 MW of commercial partnerships involving First Nations and over 300 MW of installed capacity for First Nations
  • Lead Counsel to Ontario Chiefs-in-Assembly on the creation of Ontario First Nation Sovereign Wealth LP, a partnership among 129 First Nations in Ontario, on the negotiation to acquire 2.4% of Hydro One Limited from the Province of Ontario and obtain a significant seed capital contribution for long term wealth creation
  • Special Counsel to 1000 MW merchant transmission line project that is proposed to connect Canada/USA through the IESO and PJM networks
  • Counsel to First Nations Energy Alliance (representing 16 First Nations) on the Integrated Power System Plan proceedings at the Ontario Energy Board  
  • Counsel to First Nations intervenors on East-West Tie proceeding to develop a 450 km transmission line in Northern Ontario
  • Counsel to several First Nation Development Corporations established to attract own source revenues for First Nations and lead to long term economic sustainability
  • Counsel on joint venture agreements among Indigenous groups and infrastructure companies for competitive procurement processes in mining and infrastructure
  • Counsel to national retailer developing franchises on First Nations lands
  • Counsel to First Nations on land and retail development projects involving leasing, financing and establishing franchises on First Nations lands
  • Counsel to a First Nation for a large impact benefit agreement in the Ring of Fire in northern Ontario
  • Counsel to an Aboriginal Housing Fund that administers multi-residential development loans for Indigenous projects in the Greater Toronto Area
  • Counsel to several First Nations and industry/government groups on the development of consultation policies and frameworks for Indigenous engagement  
  • Counsel to First Nations on the establishment of cannabis laws on First Nations
  • Counsel to First Nations Cannabis producers and retailers on licence and project development on Indigenous lands
  • Counsel on several commercial financings for multi-residential, industrial and commercial properties ($5M to $50M)
  • Borrower counsel on several loan refinancing ranging for industrial and commercial properties across Ontario ($5M to $80M)
  • General Counsel to several First Nations, First Nation Tribal Organizations and community based renewable energy association (Ontario Sustainable Energy Association)

Publications & Presentations

  • Presenter, Energizing Atlantic First Nations Clean Energy Conference, Preparing First Nations lands for Energy Development, February, 2019
  • Moderator, National Indigenous Cannabis and Hemp Conference, First Nations Cannabis laws workshop, February, 2019
  • Presenter, Wadell Phillips CLE 2019, Creating Lasting Working Relationships with Indigenous People, February, 2019
  • Presenter, Integrated Electricity System Operator (IESO) annual conference, Preparing for Energy Partnerships, October, 2018
  • Presenter, Catalyst 20/20, Legal Aspects of Project Financing for Indigenous groups, July, 2018
  • Presenter, Ontario Bar Association, Indigenous Law Issues Conference, First Nations Land Tenure Matters, November, 2017
  • Presenter, Catalyst 20/20, Legal Aspects of Project Financing for Indigenous groups, July, 2017
  • Presenter, Iroquois Caucus Economic Summit, Economic Development Corporations Legal Review, October, 2016
  • Presenter, CANDO 2016 Conference, Commercial Development and Financing Projects on First Nations lands, October, 2016
  • Presenter, Catalyst 20/20, Legal Aspects of Project Financing for Indigenous groups, September, 2016
  • Presenter, Cdn Franchise Association Conference, Franchise Opportunities on First Nations Lands, April, 2016
  • Presenter, AFOA Canada Nation Conference 2016: Nipissing First Nation Energy Development, Montreal, February, 17-19 2016
  • Presenter, OMX Webinar, "Aboriginal Boots on the Ground: Primer on Offsets in Government Procurement for the Defense Sector, November 5, 2015
  • Presenter, "Indigenous Law Issues 2015: First Nations land tenure and Provincial & Federal Expropriation" The Law Society of Upper Canada, November 5, 2015
  • Presenter, CANDO 2015, "Positioning Economic Development Corporations for success in Government Procurement Initiatives", October 26-29, 2015
  • Presenter, AFOA Canada National Conference 2015: Best Practices in Renewable Energy Partnerships, February 17-19, 2015
  • Presenter, "Indigenous Law Issues," The Law Society of Upper Canada, November 25, 2014
  • Presenter, IMLA 2014 Annual Conference: Considerations for Aboriginal Consultation in the wake of Tsilhquo'tin Nation and Keewatin/Grassy Narrows SCC Decisions, September 10-13, 2014
  • Presenter, AFOA Canada National Conference 2014: Summary of Proposed Investment in Ernestown Wind Park, February 25-28, 2014
  • Moderator in Renewable Energy for First Nations, 2014 All-Energy Canada Exhibition & Conference, April 9-10, 2014
  • Presenter, National Aboriginal History Month, Public Legal Education at the Law Society of Upper Canada: The Keewatin Decision - What could its impact be on the future of Resource Development, June 19, 2014
  • Presenter, Global Public Affairs Conference: Navigating Nimbyism High Influence Opinion Leaders: Government, Aboriginal Groups and Non-Government Organizations, June 4, 2014
  • Presenter, "First Nations: Open for Business," Lawyers Weekly, April 25, 2014
  • Moderator, Aboriginal Economic Development and Sustainable Energy, All Energy Canada 2014, April 9-10, 2014
  • Presenter, Structuring Agreements to Meet Strategic Planning Objectives, Ontario Bar Association (OBA), November 5, 2013 
  • Presenter, Consultation & Accommodation Workshop, GREENX2 2nd Annual Energy and Conservation Conference, April 9, 2013
  • Presenter, "Leasing on First Nation Lands," Law Society of Upper Canada, February 26, 2013
  • Presenter, "Creating Key Model Agreements: Term Sheets, Partnership Agreements and Revenue Sharing Agreements," The Canadian Institute, February 21, 2013
  • Presenter, "Community Partnership Series: First Nations Info Sharing Session," Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (OSSGA), December 5, 2012
  • Presenter, "Engaging & Negotiating with Aboriginal Communities," The Canadian Institute, October 29-31, 2012
  • Presenter, "Forming Successful Partnerships with First Nations, Community Partnership Series," Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (OSSGA), December 5, 2012
  • Presenter, "First Nations, Industry and the Environment, First Peoples @ Seneca and Seneca Indigenous Council," Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology, December 4, 2012
  • Presenter, "Understanding the Procedural Consultation Requirements for Renewable Energy Projects (REAs) & Minimizing the Risk of Litigation, Engaging and Negotiating with Aboriginal Communities," The Canadian Institute, October 30, 2012
  • Presenter, "Legal Considerations for Acquiring and Investing in FIT Contracts," Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, October 11, 2012
  • Presenter, "Term Sheets for FeedIn Tariff Program FIT 2.0," Renewable Energy Development Symposium, Southern First Nations Secretariat, October 10, 2012
  • Presenter, "Role of Aboriginal Communities for FIT 2.0," EUCI, Ontario FIT 2.0: 2012 and Beyond, July 20, 2012
  • Presenter, Panel Moderator, "Why Aboriginal Leadership and Representation Matters in the Private, Public, and Social Sectors," Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada, June 11, 2012
  • Presenter, "First Nations Development of a Renewable Energy Project," Renewable Energy Finance Forum (REFF) Canada 2012, May 1, 2012
  • Presenter, "Supporting First Nations Participation in FIT, Ontario Feed-in Tariff Forum," Canadian Clean Energy Conferences, April 4, 2012
  • Presenter, ICSC 2012 Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference,"Leasing on Aboriginal Lands," February 24, 2012
  • Presenter, "Land Tenure on First Nations Lands," GreenX Conference and Trade Show, Sudbury, Ontario, February 21-23, 2012
  • Presenter, "Ontario's 100% First Nation Owned Wind Farm at M'Chigeeng First Nation," NAN Chiefs Energy Conference and Tradeshow, January 31 - February 2, 2012
  • Presenter, "Strategies for Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) Success," Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business, October 25, 2011
  • Presenter, "Best Practices: IBAs and Transmission and Construction Procurement, Negotiating with Aboriginal Communities," The Canadian Institute, September 22, 2011
  • Presenter, "Steps on the Path to Energy Development," Assembly of First Nations (AFN) International Indigenous Summit on Energy & Mining, June 27-29, 2011
  • Presenter, Renewable Energy Projects, Envirogate 2010, "Industrial Air Emissions: New Approvals and Reporting Requirements," November 23, 2010
  • Presenter, "Forming a Community Power Group - Gaining Site Control," Community Power 2010, OSEA, November 15-16, 2010
  • Presenter, "Creating Mutually Beneficial Aboriginal-Industry Joint Ventures and Collaboration Agreements, Engaging and Negotiating with Aboriginal Communities," The Canadian Institute, September 28-29, 2010
  • Presenter, "Aboriginal Opportunities in the Green Energy Sector," Aboriginal Human Resource Council Inclusion Works 2010 Annual Conference, April 29, 2010
  • Presenter, "First Nations Property Regime and Land Access Issues: Using OPA Feed in Tariff as a Case Study, Building Aboriginal Business Relationships," The Canadian Institute, April 20-21, 2010
  • Presenter, First Nations and Metis Experience: Best Practices for Resolving Disputes, Moderator, Aboriginal Law Consultation & Accommodation, The Canadian Institute, February 23-24, 2010
  • Presenter, "Joint Ventures and the FIT Contract," Aboriginal Energy Forum, The Canadian Institute, December 2009
  • Presenter, "Aboriginal Energy Projects, Association of Major Power Producers of Ontario," 21st Annual Canadian Power Conference, November 2009
  • Keynote Address, "Women in Electricity," October 2009
  • Presenter, Corporate Social Responsibility and Aboriginal Relations Panel, Canadian Counsel for Aboriginal Business, 25th Anniversary Forum, Summer 2009
  • Presenter, "Aboriginal Energy Projects, Association of Major Power Producers of Ontario," 20th Annual Canadian Power Conference, November 2008
  • Presenter, "First Nations Renewable Energy Projects," 7th Annual World Wind Energy Association, June 2008  

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Lexpert Leading Lawyer for Aboriginal Law (since 2013)
  • Lexpert Leading Lawyer for Energy Law (since 2015)
  • Lexpert Zenith Award Winner, 2017
  • Lexpert Rising Stars, Leading Lawyers Under 40, 2012