Matthew Nefstead

  • Matthew Nefstead
    Matthew Nefstead
    Tel: 250.634.3436
    Fax: 250.361.9429

  • Matthew is an associate with Devlin Gailus Watson, focusing on civil litigation, Aboriginal self-government, and sustainable resource development. Matthew has represented First Nations in court and regulatory proceedings before the BC Supreme Court, the Federal Court of Canada, and the National Energy Board, with a focus on environmental issues and the Crown’s duty to consult with Indigenous groups. He has experience drafting legislation and by-laws to help First Nations manage their communities, and has participated in the development of impact benefit agreements, joint ventures, and other arrangements that help First Nations benefit from development and manage their lands and resources.

    Prior to joining DGW Law, Matthew completed his law degree at the University of Victoria, graduating in 2013 with a Concentration in Environmental Law and Sustainability. While at UVic, Matthew participated in the Environmental Law Centre’s intensive clinic program and served as the President of the Indigenous Law Club. Matthew has an undergraduate degree in Biology and Psychology, and prior to attending law school he worked for the Yukon Government in the field of contaminated sites remediation.

    Representative Experience:


    • Representing First Nations in a number of judicial reviews of government decisions, including challenges to the controversial Site C hydroelectric dam in northeast British Columbia
    • Assisting First Nations intervening in quasi-judicial regulatory hearings before the National Energy Board


    • Preparing and reviewing draft agreements with governments and industry regarding resource development and wildlife management issues

    Economic Development

    • Assisting First Nations with corporate, commercial, and real estate transactions

    Strategic Planning

    • Participating in the implementation of a modern treaty concluded under the British Columbia Treaty Commission process, with a focus on the development of a comprehensive system of legislation to enable the First Nation to effectively govern its community, lands, and resources
    • Assisting First Nations participating in environmental assessments and providing strategic advice regarding the protection of Aboriginal and Treaty rights from the impacts of resource development

    Professional and Community Activities

    • Member and former Legislative Liaison of the Canadian Bar Association’s Aboriginal Law Section (Vancouver Island)

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