Catherine Fagan


Catherine, Partner, lives and works in the ancestral homelands of the Mi’kmaq and Beothuk, and also recognizes the Inuit of Nunatsiavut and NunatuKavut and the Innu of Nitassinan, along with their ancestors, as the original Peoples of Labrador.  Catherine is a member of the Barreau du Québec, the Law Society of Newfoundland & Labrador and the Law Society of Manitoba. She works exclusively with Indigenous clients in the areas of Aboriginal law, constitutional law and environmental law.

Catherine has particular expertise negotiating self-governance agreements, as well as various types of environmental agreements, including the creation of parks and protected areas.

Catherine works extensively with her clients to develop laws, particularly in areas of governance, environmental protection, land use planning and housing. She is especially interested in working with communities to revitalize their traditional Indigenous laws and to incorporate them into modern legal structures.

Catherine has worked on cases at all court levels, including several Supreme Court of Canada cases. She is experienced in treaty compliance, Aboriginal rights and title claims, requirements to consult/obtain consent for resource development projects, endangered species and forestry.

In 2021, Catherine was appointed as a part-time member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for a term of five years.

As well, Catherine is the President of First Light, St. John’s Native Friendship Centre and has volunteered for many years with Lawyers Without Borders Canada, working particularly with Indigenous nations in Central and South America. She previously worked with the United Nations Secretariat for the Convention on Biodiversity, as well as the Maori Waikato-Tainui Tribal Council in New Zealand. She is also a member of the Conseil d’école of the École des grands vents, in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Catherine works in both English and French.


  • In 2019, Lexpert recognized Catherine as one of Canada’s “Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40”.
  • In the 2019, 2020 and 2021 editions of the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, Catherine was recognized as among Canada’s top practitioners in Aboriginal Law.
  • In the 2021 and 2022 publications of Best Lawyers in Canada, Catherine is recognized in the area of Aboriginal Law.
  • In February 2021 Catherine was presented with an award from Indigenous Services Canada in ‘Recognition of Outstanding Contributions – Centre of Excellence on Matrimonial Real Property’.

Professional Memberships:

  • Barreau du Québec
  • Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Law Society of Manitoba
  • Indigenous Bar Association

Contact Catherine  | P: 514-803-0623