Posted by on May 13, 2016

On April 22, 2016, Michael Woods gave a presentation on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) at the Inaugural Conference on International Inter-Tribal Trade at the Faculty of Law at the University of Oklahoma. The conference was organized with the assistance and hard work of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, the Mohawk Council of Akwensase, the Chickasaw Nation, the Law Faculties of the University of Oklahoma and Thompson River University and Donna William. Woods, LaFortune LLP joined other firms including Luksi Group LLC, Berkey Williams LLP, Garwill Law Professional Corporation as participants.

The conference program [see attached] included the panel discussions of the Jay Treaty, Canada-U.S. Border Issues as they related to Frist Nations, Indigenous International Trade, and the relevance the NAFTA  experience in the  context of these topics.  Michael joined Professor Taiawagi Helton of the University of Oklahoma and James Collard, Director of Economic Planning for the Potawatomi Nation, on the panel which addressed NAFTA.

Michael addressed both ways to leverage NAFTA’s trade and investment provisions and  strategies to ensure greater inclusion in on-going and future negotiations. The consensus of the participants was the further discussion and practical steps are needed and  the Faculty of Law Thompson River University has offered to host the next conference in Kamloops, British Columbia this Fall. 

Woods, LaFortune LLP remains committed to this International Inter-Tribal Trade process and to on-going participation in the field of First Nation and Indigenous commerce and international trade.  Earlier Gordon LaFortune the firm’s managing partner made a joint submission with Wayne Garnons-Williams of Garwill Law in the context of the  Specific Claims Tribunal Act Five Year Review.