Experienced Litigator

Kate Gower brings over 10 years experience in civil litigation & Aboriginal law and a solid foundation of problem-solving and teamwork to all the files she works on.

Kate assists her clients with a range of Aboriginal law issues, including those respecting Aboriginal title and rights, consultation and accommodation, interpretation and application of the Indian Act, the First Nations Land Management Act (FNLMA) and First Nation’s Land Codes.

Kate’s successes in court have clarified key elements of the Crown’s duty to consult with Métis, and articulated details of who and what is the correct collective for consultation and accommodation.  She has litigated complex, multi party litigation, as well as judicial reviews and single-day applications. She is called to the bar in both British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.

While she is proud of her successes in court, Kate’s focus is on connecting with her clients to find the best strategic solution for each situation. For example, Kate has helped clients to better understand Canada’s Indigenous Rights Recognition approach, the duty to consult, the Indian Act, the FNLMA and electronic trials, all with the goal of illuminating the best way to use the law and legal processes to resolve the problems her clients are facing.  

Kate is a good listener. Before working as a lawyer, Kate was a journalist for the CBC and CTV in Canada, and the BBC in the UK. She’s travelled all over BC and Alberta meeting people and listening to their stories. Her journalism skills help her to listen first, and then give intelligent, efficient and effective legal counsel.

Highlights:

Enge v. Canada, 2017 FC 932

Successfully challenged the Government of Canada’s inadequate consultation when it failed to grapple with how a Métis community holds its Aboriginal rights as Métis, and successfully secured the client’s position as the only Indigenous Organization in the NWT with judicial recognition of its members’ Aboriginal rights as Métis. This case is a key development in the law around  who and what is the correct collective for consultation and accommodation.

West Moberly v. British Columbia, 2017 BCSC 1700

Part of the team that represented West Moberly First Nation and other Treaty No. 8 First Nations in their successful court challenge that gave the province of British Columbia a new Western Boundary for Treaty No. 8.

Enge v. Mandeville, 2013 NWTSC 33

Successfully secured the first judicial decision in Canada to apply the duty to consult to a Métis community. The successful litigation led to the community being awarded an equitable share of the annual caribou harvest so that the community members could exercise their Aboriginal right as Métis to harvest on their traditional territories.

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