Merle is a leader in a core industry group at Bull Housser, our First Nations Practice Group.
He practices Aboriginal resource law primarily through the negotiation of impact benefit agreements, resource revenue sharing arrangements and development of business ventures engaging in resource industries.
Merle practices Aboriginal resource law which balances economic development, respect for Aboriginal rights and environmental conservation for future generations.
Merle is a member of the Kitasoo Xai’xais First Nation (Klemtu, BC). He has a deep and passionate interest in assisting Aboriginal clients. Merle advises on the negotiation of impact-benefit agreements, socio-economic participation agreements, resource revenue sharing arrangements and a variety of other interim agreements. The negotiations touch on a number of resource law areas, including forestry, oil and gas, mining, energy and pipeline projects.
Merle works extensively structuring business ventures, limited partnerships and corporations. He also has a depth of experience in negotiating government to government agreements, including self-government and comprehensive treaty claim agreements representing clients in British Columbia, the Yukon and Newfoundland and Labrador.
A professional and personal interest of Merle’s is the protection of Aboriginal intellectual property rights, particularly traditional knowledge. He has negotiated treaty chapters on Cultural Heritage Resources, drafted traditional knowledge protocols and represented national Aboriginal organizations in various international forums. Consequently, Merle is very knowledgeable on protective mechanisms of Indigenous knowledge both domestically and internationally.
Representing First Nations in the ongoing prospective resource projects:
- Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline – bitumen pipeline from Alberta to Kitimat;
- Site C Hydro-Electric Project - Hydro dam in N.E. BC;
- Kinder Morgan Transmountain Pipeline: bitumen pipeline from Alberta to Vancouver;
- Kutcho Copper – underground copper mine project in N.E. BC;
- Silvercorp Metals Inc. – underground silver mine project in N. Central BC;
- Compliance Energy Corporation – exploration for a prospective Copper, Molybdenum, and Gold project in N. E. Vancouver Island;
- North Isle Copper Corporation – exploration for a prospective copper project in N.E. Vancouver Island;
- Stikine Energy Corporation – open pit mine of “frac sand” in N.E. BC;
- Selwyn-Chihong Resources – open pit mine for lead-zinc in Central East Yukon;
- China Minerals Mining Corporation: small gold mine in N.E. BC; and,
- Alaska Pipeline Project: natural gas pipeline from Prudoe Bay Alaska to Alberta through Yukon and N.E. BC.
- Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory: Rated Repeatedly Recommended in the area of Aboriginal Law
- Business In Vancouver Top 40 Under 40 2009