Grace Wu (she/her/hers) is an associate in the Aboriginal Law Group at Cassels. She maintains a broad Aboriginal law practice, advising clients on matters pertaining to Indigenous-Crown relations, Indigenous rights, and administrative law and constitutional law more generally.
Grace has acted as counsel to Indigenous governing bodies, industry proponents, and public governments, including in the following capacities:
Select Indigenous-side Mandates
- Representing an Indigenous governing body in drafting and negotiating a self-government agreement and related legislative and policy documents.
- Representing Indigenous governing bodies at Indigenous-Crown negotiation tables aimed at protecting and advancing Aboriginal rights.
- Representing Indigenous governing bodies in litigation proceedings concerning Aboriginal rights, the Crown’s duty to consult, and internal governance disputes.
- Advising Indigenous governing bodies on various Aboriginal law-related matters, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
Select Industry-side Mandates
- Representing industry proponents in drafting and negotiating 28(2) permits, capacity funding agreements, exploration agreements, impact benefit agreements, and payment in lieu of taxes agreements.
- Representing industry proponents in litigation proceedings concerning assertions of Aboriginal rights infringements and assertions of Aboriginal title.
- Advising industry proponents on drafting and implementing proponent-specific Indigenous relations policies and strategies.
- Advising industry proponents on various Aboriginal law-related matters, including the Crown’s duty to consult and UNDRIP.
Select Public Government-side Mandates
- Representing a public government at an Indigenous-Crown negotiation table aimed at resolving various Aboriginal rights-related matters.
- Representing a public government in a litigation proceeding concerning an assertion of Aboriginal rights infringement and an assertion of Aboriginal title.
- Advising public governments on drafting and implementing government-specific Indigenous relations policies and strategies.
- Advising public governments on various Aboriginal law-related matters, including the applicability of provincial laws on Indian Act reserve lands, the Crown’s duty to consult, the Peace and Friendship Treaties, and UNDRIP.
Grace’s research interests focus on Aboriginal law, public law, and international human rights law. Her research includes:
- “British Columbia’s Enactment of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act: A Step Towards Reconciliation?” (co-authored with Thomas Isaac, Key Developments in Aboriginal Law: Volume 2).
- “Called to Action: Impact of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls on the Resource Extraction Sector” (co-authored with Emilie N. Lahaie, Key Developments in Aboriginal Law: Volume 2).
Grace is a member of the American Society of International Law, the Canadian Council on International Law, and the International Society of Public Law. She is also involved with the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, serving as a judge for the Canadian Qualifying Rounds and the Global Rounds.
Grace received her JD degree from Western Law. While in law school, Grace was named to the Dean’s Honor List and was awarded the Law Society of Upper Canada Prize for academic excellence and the Baker & McKenzie Award for excellence in research in the area of Public International Law.
Grace also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honors Business Administration) degree from Ivey Business School at Western University, as well as a Certificate (Public International Law) from the Hague Academy of International Law.
Prior to joining Cassels as an associate, Grace was a summer and articling student at the firm.