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Darla Rettie


Darla works closely with her Indigenous clients and their partners to realize their goals, while navigating the complex web of laws that apply to First Nations and their businesses.

Darla Rettie is a trusted legal advisor offering practical and effective advice in the areas of commercial financing, business structuring, designing trusts and documenting First Nation laws. Her aim is to assist her clients and their partners realize their goals, while navigating the complex web of laws that apply to First Nations and their businesses. This includes the constitutionally protected right to be consulted, as part of the project development and implementation processes.

Darla brings an extensive business background to the delivery of legal services and is widely recognized as a teacher and speaker on commercial Indigenous Law topics.


  • Admitted to the Manitoba Bar, 2003
  • LL. B., University of Manitoba, 2002
  • B.A., University of Manitoba, 1999

Wanipigow Sand Extraction Project. Darla represents Canadian Premium Sand Inc. Working collaboratively with all local First Nations and Metis Communities, we designed economic participation agreements that respect the local laws, constitutional rights, and taxation rights for those potentially impacted by this new $500 million resource development commercial project, to be built in Seymourville, Manitoba. This Project also involved guiding Indigenous and non-Indigenous parties through provincial, federal, and local community regulatory oversight processes including permitting, licensing and zoning, and planning compliance matters.


Building of Freedom Road (Manitoba-Ontario). Darla acts for Shoal Lake No. 40 First Nation and its development corporation, Kekekoziibii Development Corporation. We advised on business structuring, taxation, and governance matters for the building of Freedom Road; and negotiated the funding agreements with Canada, Manitoba, and the City of Winnipeg, and joint venture agreements with non-Indigenous parties, related to this $40 million road and bridge construction project.


Twinning the Highway #1 – Ontario side. Darla acts for Niiwin Wendaanimok Construction LP, owned by four First Nations in Ontario. We assisted in business structuring and negotiating constitutionally and contractually protected interests of our clients, including a 30% set aside for all labour and equipment contracts for the twinning of Highway #1,
as part of any RFP issued by Ontario on this Project.


Paskwayak Business Development Corporation (PBDC). Darla acts for Opaskwayak Cree Nation and its economic development corporation, PBDC, affiliated corporations and limited partnerships. This involves a portfolio of $100M of commercial operations and resource development activities, including: Paskwayak Sand & Gravel LP, Paskwayak Construction LP, Otineka Mall, and Kikiwak Inn. Most recently, we acted for PBDC on the financing and building of a $18M 69-unit apartment complex across from the University of Winnipeg.


Waywayseecappo First Nation. Darla recently drafted the $287M settlement agreement and trust agreement for one
of the largest specific claim settlement awards in Canada to date.

  • Presenter, “The Journey Forward: Moving Toward Economic Reconciliation”, Law Society of Manitoba, September 27, 2023
  • Interview, “Saskatchewan and Manitoba Mining 2018”, Global Business Reports Industry Explorations, June 2018
  • Presenter, “Legal Developments in 2016/2017 Impacting Lending Industry”, CFS Aboriginal and North 60 Conference, RBC, Winnipeg (Inn at the Forks), September 21, 2016
  • Presenter, “Challenges in Building Wealth for First Nations”, STEP, Winnipeg, March 15, 2016
  • Presenter, “Land Designations”; “First Nations Fiscal Management Act, Update on Legislative Changes that Impact Risk Assessment”, RBC Aboriginal Team Conference, Winnipeg (Inn at the Forks), August 19, 2015
  • Presenter, “Trust Settlement Agreements”, MSNWO Aboriginal Banking Conference, Winnipeg, July 16. 2013
  • Presenter, “Aboriginal Law: Primer for Corporate Commercial Lawyers”, Pitblado Law, June 17, 2013
  • Co-Presenter (with Bryan Schwartz), “Natural Resources Transfer Agreements: Reclaiming Rights “Extinguished” by the Supreme Court of Canada”, Prince Albert Grand Council NRTA Summit, August 6 – 9, 2012
  • Presenter, “Lending to First Nation Trusts”, RBC Aboriginal Banking Conference, South Beach Casino, May 29-31, 2012
  • Paper Contributor, “The Taxation of First Nations and Their Members – The Changing Landscape”, Canadian Tax Foundation, 2011 Prairie Provinces Tax Conference, Edmonton, AB, May 23– 24, 2011
  • Presenter, “Jurisdiction over Lands, Water and Natural Resources”, Norway House First Nation Special Panel on Mining and Rights, June 23, 2009
  • Presenter and Paper Author, “First Nation Consultation: Justification and Accommodation”, First Nation Forum on First Nation-Crown Consultations, Winnipeg MB, February 11 – 12, 2009
  • Manitoba Bar Association, 2009/2010 Section Award, Legal Research Section (Co-Chair)
  • Thompson, Q.C. Award, for Legislative Process, 2001
  • University of Manitoba, Faculty of Law Scholarship, 1999


  • Director, Camerata Nova, 2021