Cherie L. Brant

Partner and Native American & Canadian Indigenous Law Practice Group Chair

Cherie is a partner in the firm’s Toronto office. She has First Nations law practice with a focus on commercial real estate, energy and transmission, and First Nations economic development. She provides strategic counsel to several First Nations seeking to fulfill their commercial development needs. Cherie also provides counsel to industry clients seeking to develop projects with First Nations and/or 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% First Nation owned wind-power project in Ontario and is active in renewable energy development ever since having now completed over 300 MW of renewable energy partnerships involving First Nations and completed over 800 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.

More recently in 2015, Cherie Brant was selected as lead counsel to the Chiefs of Ontario on behalf of the Chiefs in Assembly for Ontario to assemble one of the largest First Nations led limited partnerships in Canada. On December 29, 2017, the Ontario First Nations Sovereign Wealth LP closed on a share purchase and loan agreement with the Province of Ontario for approximately 2.4% of Hydro One Limited to support long term wealth creation for its 129 First Nation limited partners. 

Cherie is both Mohawk and Ojibway from the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte and Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Territory. Cherie is a noted speaker, having presented on topics relevant to Aboriginal Economic Development and Energy Development across Canada since 2009. She was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2003.

Education & Credentials


University of Waterloo

B.A., Environmental Studies, Urban and Regional Planning Program, 1998

University of Toronto

J.D., 2002

Called to the Bar of Ontario



  • Lexpert Award Zenith: Recognizing Women in Leadership, 2017 
  • Lexpert Award Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40, 2012
  • Lexpert Consistently Recommended Category, Aboriginal law, 2014 to 2018
  • Lexpert Leading Lawyer Category, Energy Law, 2014 and 2018
  • Appointed to Law Society of Upper Canada, Aboriginal Law Certified Specialist Working Group, 2014
  • Appointed to Ontario Trillium Gift of Life Network, Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, 2014 - 2017

Prominent Assignments

Representative matters include:

  • Special Counsel to one of the Top 10 largest Cannabis companies in Canada
  • Lead Counsel to Chiefs of Ontario on behalf of 129 First Nations on the negotiation of a Share Purchase Agreement and Loan Agreement for 2.4% of Hydro One Limited
  • Lead Counsel for strategic Aboriginal participation partnerships for approximately 350MW of contracted capacity of renewable energy projects in Ontario
  • Special Counsel to a proposed 1000MW HVDC Merchant Transmission Line on behalf of ITC Lake Erie
  • Lead Counsel for approximately 800 MW of submitted and planned renewable energy projects for Large FIT and LRP I
  • Lead Counsel to several First Nations in connection with the development, ownership and operation of Tim Hortons Franchises
  • Lead Counsel to renewable energy Feed in Tariff (FIT) and Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) projects involving First Nations
  • Completed several commercial and joint venture agreements for construction, installation and service arrangements for mining and renewable energy industry
  • Special Counsel to national retailer developing stores on First Nations lands
  • Special Counsel on Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) negotiations in the Ring of Fire in northern Ontario
  • Lender Counsel to an Aboriginal Housing Fund that is deploying a $20M loan fund in the Greater Toronto Area
  • Completed various consultation policies and guidelines for First Nation communities
  • Lender 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)

Professional Involvement

  • Board Member, Anishnawbe Health Foundation (as of 2018)
  • Advisory Board Member, Canadian Council For Aboriginal Business, Research Advisory Board (as of 2015)
  • Board Member, Women's College Hospital (2015-2017)
  • Member, Aboriginal Energy Working Group. Integrated Electricity System Operator, (as of 2014)
  • Policy Working Group, Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (as of 2008)
  • Law Society of Upper Canada
    • Aboriginal Law Certified Specialist Working Group (as of 2014)
  • Ontario Bar Association
    • Real Estate Law Section (as of 2003)
    • Aboriginal Law Section (as of 2004)
    • Natural Resources Law Section (as of 2006)


  • 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    
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