Peter A Allard School of Law

Maxime Faille

Adjunct Professor


Max is a partner in the Vancouver office of Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP, practicing in Indigenous law and constitutional litigation.

One of Canada’s leading authorities in the field of First Nation taxation, Max regularly provides advice and legal representation in this area to Indigenous governments, businesses, economic development corporations and social agencies, as well as to non-Indigenous corporate and governmental entities.  He was counsel to the Assembly of First Nations in the landmark Bastien and Dube cases, the leading decisions of the Supreme Court in regard to First Nation taxation.

Max was named Benchmark Canada's “Aboriginal Law Litigator of the Year” for 2016, and in December 2020, he received the Northwest Territories Premier's Award for Indigenous Partnership.


358D.002 Topics in First Nations Law: Taxation, Assimilation & Reconciliation
This course applies to the Specialization in Aboriginal Law.

In this course, the student will gain a firm practical understanding of the law of First Nation taxation and tax immunity, but one that is wellgrounded in the broader historico-legal context of the Crown-Indigenous relationship, and the intersection between taxation, inherent Aboriginal rights and Treaty rights.

Beginning with Indigenous forms of taxation, the course will then explore how the approach to First Nation taxation by Canada (and the courts) has tracked the evolution of broader Crown policies and objectives in regard to Indigenous peoples, from mutual autonomy, to assimilation and enfranchisement, and ultimately to reconciliation. Through that lens, the course will examine First Nation tax immunity and exemption for First Nation employees, businesses, trusts, social agencies and governments, as regards income tax (employment, business and investment), transaction taxes, and property tax. Finally, we will examine the exercise of taxation jurisdiction as an instrument of self-government by First Nation governments, and its role in the Crown-First Nation fiscal relationship. No background in tax law is required for this course. Although certain sections of the Income Tax Act (ITA) will be relevant to the course, you can (mercifully) learn them in isolation from the remainder of that Act. While most readings will be of case law, the course will examine relevant aspects of the Indian Act, the ITA as well as historical and modern treaties, and academic commentary.

Each week will feature a lecture and discussion of readings. In addition, a number of guest presenters immersed in First Nation taxation issues will be featured.

Maxime Faille

Organization Affiliations

  • Indigenous Legal Studies

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