Course Fees:

  • Members: $575 (plus applicable taxes)
  • Non-members: $695 (plus applicable taxes)
  • Textbooks - see below


Textbook Requirements for CAFM 3: Indigenous Business Law

 Required Textbook   ISBN   Call to Order   Order Online
Contemporary Canadian Business Law, 12th Edition
 $139.95, plus taxes and shipping for Print Text (different buying options are available including e-book)
 Publisher: McGraw-Hill Ryerson
  (800) 565-5758
  Order here
 Aboriginal Law Handbook, 5th Edition
 $155.00, plus taxes and shipping
 Publisher: Carswell
Refer to book when
 ordering by phone
  (800) 387-5164
  Order here

Course Description

This is the third course in the Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager Program. It offers Indigenous financial managers the opportunity to learn about legal and legislative requirements and practices that occur in activities undertaken by Indigenous organizations.

Currently, Indigenous organizations are assuming more self-government responsibilities and pursuing new opportunities. With increased responsibility comes the need for increased understanding of law and its impact on activities. An increased level of understanding will reduce risk and improve decision making.

This course provides information on the legal framework for government and First Nations relations, legal transactions, issues and legislation. The financial manager is expected to have a good understand of legal matters and reduce potential liability for their organizations.

Course Learning Objectives

Lesson 1 – Introduction to the Canadian Legal System
  • The meaning of law and the legal system in Canada and their relationship to the financial community
  • Better understand the historical and contemporary relationship between First Nations and the Federal and provincial governments
  • The importance of acquiring a general legal perspective in regard to business and financial issues
  • Understand the evidence for organized legal, social and economic systems in North America prior to contact with Europeans
Lesson 2 – The Indian Act
  • Understand Indian Act band organization and the essential powers of First Nations self-government
  • Examine the Bills related to the Indian Act
  • Understand the classifications used by the Indian Act to deal with First Nations people and their significance
  • Understand the organization of bands under the Indian Act
Lesson 3 - Self Government
  • Understand the nature and origin of First Nation self-government
  • Develop decision-making plans for First Nations self-government models
  • Identify the means through which self-government may express itself
  • Examine land claims agreements and their impact on self-government
  • Examine federal statutes pertaining to land claims and self-government
  • Understand the powers available for self-government under the Indian Act
  • Understand several models of self-government
  • Examine a case study on self-government
Lesson 4 – Tort Law and Professional Liability
  • Examine the development of tort law and the basis for liability
  • Intentional interference with a person or property
  • Examine the Law of negligence
  • Understand the concept of professional negligence and how it can affect professional organizations
Lesson 5 – Business Law 1: Legal forms of Business and Organization
  • Understand an apply legal rules on business organizations and the evaluation of advantages and disadvantages of different forms of business organization
  • Understand several forms of business organization and evaluate their respective advantages and disadvantages
  • Identify the advantages and disadvantages of Band corporations
Lesson 6 – Business Law 2: Indigenous Commercial Law
  • Identify the domain of commercial law
  • Identify the issues that aboriginal commercial law address
  • Identify the advantages and disadvantages of Band corporations
Lesson 7 – Aboriginal Title and Treaties
  • Understand the Doctrine of Aboriginal Title
  • Examine the Foundations for Aboriginal Title
  • Understand the issues related to Aboriginal Title and the contemporary treaty process
  • Understand the current relationship between the government and First Nations with respect to land claims
  • Understand the different concepts when it comes to land rights
  • Understand the definitions involved when discussing land rights, the differences between the definitions, and how they affect issues concerning land rights
Lesson 8 – Taxation Issues
  • Understand and apply basic taxation rules flowing from the Indian Act to different personal and business circumstances
  • Understand the special taxation rules that affect First Nations and their people
  • Understand the concept of personal tax exemption and how to apply this to First Nations and First Nations peoples
  • Understand how the issue of personal tax exemption affects salaries and wages
  • Understand the current taxation rules on the collection and payment of commodity taxes by First nations citizens and organizations
  • Understand how the personal tax exemption affects all forms of businesses (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, joint venture and commercial trust)
  • Understand the relationship between First Nation taxation laws and incorporation
Lesson 9 – Contract Issues I: Formation of the Contractual Relationship
  • Provide you with an introduction to the purpose and content of contracts;
  • Examine and evaluate different kinds of contracts, their legal effects and practical consequences;
  • Understand how a contract is formed; and
  • Understand the concept of consensus
Lesson 10 – Contracts II: Interpreting the Contract and Terminating the Contractual Relationship
  • Examine the assignment of a contract
  • Understand the concept of limitation of actions
  • Understand when a contract can be legally dismissed
  • Understand the grounds upon which a contract may be impeached
  • Understand the concept of mistake, misrepresentation, undue influence and duress
  • Understand the concept of a breach of contract and the remedies for a breach
Lesson 11 – Contracts III: Special Contracts
  • Examine contracts of sale, the title and risk associated to them, the implied conditions and remedies;
  • Examine contracts of insurance, their purpose, nature and importance;
  • Examine contracts of employment, the employment relationship and termination and discharge;
  • Analyze consumer protection legislation and assess its implications for First Nations;
  • Examine specific employment legislation; and
  • Review the concept of collective bargaining
Lesson 12 – Employment Law
  • Understand the rights of employees of First Nations organizations under the law and the legal obligations of the employer
  • Understand the relationship between employment law and contract law
  • Understand the responsibilities of a financial manager towards the hiring and firing of employees
  • Understand the responsibilities of a financial manager for the working conditions of a business
  • Defining the employment relationship
  • Hiring and Firing
  • Workplace safety
  • Human rights and the workplace
  • Labour law
Lesson 13 – Debtor and Creditor relations
  • Negotiable instruments
  • Leasing
  • Secured transactions — Traditional approach
  • Secured transactions — New approach
  • Bankruptcy and insolvency
Lesson 14 – Special Topics in First Nations
  • Explore the concept of tenders and how to evaluate bids
  • Examine the impact of intellectual property law on First Nations
  • Explore e-commerce and its potential for First Nations
  • Understand when you should get legal advice and what to look out for

Information on how the Course is completed and graded

This course has fourteen lessons that run over a 15-week period. Although a suggested schedule follows, you are urged to make your own schedule, paying close attention to exact assignment due dates. These will be confirmed at the start of the course. It’s recommended that you try to complete a lesson a week. Be sure to allow yourself ample time to complete your assignments.





Week 1          


Introduction to the Canadian Legal System

 Assignment # 1 (5 %)

Week 2


Aboriginal Title and Aboriginal Treaty Rights

Newspaper Assignment # 2 (5 %)

Week 3 
Sep. 19-23, 2016


The Indian Act

Discussion Activity # 3.1 (3%)

Week 4 


Self Government

Case Study Assignment # 3 (5 %)

Week 5    


Tort Law and Professional Liability

Discussion Activity # 5.1 (2 %)

Discussion Activity # 5.2 (3 %)

Week 6     


Taxation Issues

Internet, Newspaper Assignment # 4 (5 %)

Week 7     


Employment Law

Draft Employment Agreement Assignment # 5 (5 %)

MID-TERM EXAM Lessons 1-7 (15 %)

Week 8   


Business Law I

Discussion Activity # 8.1 (5 %)

Week 9 


Business Law II: Aboriginal Commercial Law

Case Study Assignment # 6 (5 %)

Week 10 


Contract Issues I: Formation of the Contractual Relationship

Drafting Assignment # 7 (5 %)

Week 11 


Contracts II: Interpreting the Contract and Terminating the Contractual Relationship

Case Study Assignment # 8 (5 %)

Week 12 


Contracts III: Special Contracts

Discussion Activity # 12.1 (2 %)

Discussion Activity # 12.2 (3 %)

Week 13 


Debtor and Creditor Relations

Assignment # 9 (5 %)

Week 14 


Special Topics in First Nations

Discussion Activity # 14.1 (2 %)

FINAL EXAM Lessons 8-14 (20 %)

Week 15 


Course Evaluation


Course Assignments and Grading

You will be evaluated in this course as follows:
    • Participation – 20%
      • Discussion Activity # 3.1 – 3%
      • Discussion Activity # 5.1 – 2%
      • Discussion Activity # 5.2 – 3%
      • Discussion Activity # 8.1 – 5%
      • Discussion Activity # 12.1 – 2%
      • Discussion Activity # 12.2 – 3%
      • Discussion Activity # 14.1 – 2%
    • Assignments – 45%
      • Assignment # 1 – 5%
      • Newspaper Assignment # 2 – 5%
      • Case Study Assignment # 3 – 5%
      • Internet, Newspaper Assignment # 4 – 5%
      • Draft Employment Agreement Assignment # 5 – 5%
      • Case Study Assignment # 6 – 5%
      • Drafting Assignment # 7 – 5%
      • Case Study Assignment # 8 – 5%
      • Assignment # 9 – 5%
    • MID-TERM EXAM Lessons 1-7 – 15%
    • FINAL EXAM Lessons 8-14 – 20%


It is 20% of your course grade, and is centered on Group Discussions. For each lesson, you are required to share information with others via the group discussion area. Each lesson has a specific group discussion activity. Your instructor/facilitator will monitor the discussion contributions to determine a participation grade, and provide support where required. While frequency of your contribution to the discussion is a factor in the assessment, the quality of the interaction is more important. For each lesson, strive to contribute two (2) substantive postings (i.e. try to include responses to other students postings as well)