Brenda Gaertner advises first nation governments on aboriginal title and rights, modern (self) government, natural resource management and economic development. She was called in 1984 and has been with Mandell Pinder LLP since 1986. She is committed to the path of respect and reconciliation.
Brenda has assisted in various types of negotiated agreements and settlements, including on and off reserve projects and developments, modern self-governance and resource management, impact-benefit agreements, economic development, government to government agreements and specific claim settlements. In 2011, after decades of hard work and negotiations, Brenda assisted the St’at’imc Chiefs Council reach their historic agreement with BC Hydro and the Province of BC regarding the footprint and ongoing impacts of hydroelectric projects in their Territory. She provides legal, policy and negotiating advice to First Nations on small and large scale projects, including assisting in environmental assessments, consultation and regulatory processes. Brenda was senior counsel for the First Nations Coalition in the Cohen Inquiry on Fraser River Sockeye and has represented First Nation clients before the National Energy Board and Joint Federal and Provincial Review Panels.
Brenda promotes the formation of improved working relationships between First Nations, Crown governments and business partners in a variety of ways. Brenda offers facilitation and mediation services to First Nation governments and organizations, and to those interested in pursuing common goals and/or resolving disputes outside the courts. She has assisted in the formation of shared territory agreements and First Nation to First Nation protocols. Her work has included assisting developers, First Nation governments and First Nation corporate entities understand their respective roles and responsibilities.
Throughout her career, Brenda has worked with Aboriginal people in their pursuit of the recognition of aboriginal title and rights to healthy fisheries and aquatic resources, helping to find ways to ensure that those fisheries and resources are sustained for present and future generations. She has a long history of working with First Nation communities along the migratory route of Fraser Salmon, including both the coastal and in-river fisheries. She cares about these fisheries and the ecosystems upon which they rely, and is excited to be working with First Nations who are actively pursuing land and marine use plans within their territories.
Brenda’s experience and expertise allow her to contribute to many types of teams, be they corporate-commercial, governance or resource management. Her years of on the ground experience have offered her the opportunity to develop effective communication skills and efficient team management practices. She is currently the lead negotiator for the Fraser Salmon Management Council, a First Nations organization working on behalf of 71 First Nations along the migratory route of Fraser Salmon. In addition to being the Managing Partner of Mandell Pinder LLP, Brenda is a board member of the Pacific Salmon Foundation.