Lee Francoeur is a lawyer of First Nations ancestry (Taku River Tlingit – Northwest British Columbia) who works primarily with First Nations in Western and Northern Canada towards the reconciliation of Aboriginal and Treaty rights. Through the years, Lee has had offices in Whitehorse, Vancouver and Calgary.
With 18 years of experience practicing law, Lee has provided general legal counsel to First Nation governments, businesses and organizations, as well as businesses that work with First Nations. Lee has been in private practice and works with numerous First Nations and organizations.
Lee is currently working with various clients on the resolution of outstanding claims well in excess of $2 billion dollars. He has also worked with his clients in conjunction with the Assembly of First Nations and Canada on the development of the new Specific Claims Tribunal – particularly in relation to Specific Claims over $150 million.
Lee has worked with various First Nations to effectively protect and enhance environmental monitoring and enforcement in mining and other resource development areas. He works closely with Environmental Engineers to ensure that First Nation lands and interests (including lands returned to the First Nation) are environmentally sound.
He is also currently working with a First Nation client to resolve their interests in a Canadian National Park. In addition to working with clients on the settlement of major claims, Lee also works with his clients on structuring post-settlement structures to maximize their rate of return for the ongoing benefit for future generations. This usually includes complex trust structures and maximizing borrowing power.
Lee has successfully assisted clients in various administrative and adjudicative hearings including employment (wrongful dismissal), human rights, and tax assessments (regarding tax exemptions). In addition to providing project-specific legal support, Lee also provides general administrative legal support for many First Nations. Lee has always maintained and pursued his interest in human rights (international and domestic). He has been the Chair of the Yukon Human Rights Tribunal, and a member of the BC Human Rights Tribunal. Lee is also an advocate and participant in domestic and international Human Rights advocacy organizations.
Lee has built his firm on the traditional values of First Nations and is passionate about Indigenous law and governance. Lee is happily married to his wife Karin and is blessed with four children: Tanner, Raven, Jadyn and Quinn.