Arlene has represented numerous First Nation communities primarily throughout the province of BC since 1991. Her early work focused on economic development projects and joint business initiatives. Her more recent work has included assisting in resolving intra-nation conflicts in respect of residential housing issues and land use disputes; as well as, conflicts between first nations and health authorities, provincial and federal governments and non-first nation businesses. She is particularly knowledgeable in working with residential custom lands and with developing the related custom policies and laws.
Arlene has been involved in the creation of dispute resolution processes that reflect the needs of first nation communities. Her work has included assisting in the mediation and/or facilitated negotiation of disputes related to the overlap of traditional territory boundaries; the economic sharing and co-management of natural resources; receipt, management and delivery of departmental services; and matters related to entitlement of hunting licenses and permits. She was appointed for many years as a roster mediator of the Nunatsiavut Dispute Resolution Board mandated by the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.
Arlene worked with the Tsawwassen First Nation on their treaty, and with the Huu-ay-aht First Nations with respect to their interest in the five-nation Maa-Nulth First Nation Treaty. Her responsibilities on both files during the implementation phase through to Effective Date involved the significant provision of legal oversight in respect of the drafting of Final Agreement chapters, which, with the involvement of provincial and federal representatives, she describes was as much dispute resolution as it was the delivery of legal services.
Her work has included working as a consultant with a junior publicly traded resource exploration and development company in BC, primarily to assist them in better understanding how to navigate through the consultation and accommodation process with the several first nations whose traditional territories were within and/or adjacent to the project being developed, both for environmental assessment purposes and the development of mutually beneficial IBAs.