John A Olthuis


(416) 981-9335
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John Olthuis is one of the founding partners at OKT. In his Aboriginal rights practice, John represents First Nations across Canada in litigation matters and in major negotiations. This includes negotiating for comprehensive and specific land rights, self-government, and impacts and benefits agreements with project proponents.

John was legal counsel to Chiefs of Ontario and table negotiator at the Aboriginal Government table for the Assembly of First Nations in the Charlottetown Accord Constitutional negotiations. He has also appeared as counsel in environment cases and before various federal boards, commissions and agencies across Canada, including the National Energy Board, the Berger Commission and federal and provincial environmental assessment panels.

John has been selected annually since 2006 by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in Canada© and in The Best Lawyers in America© 2008 (Copyright 2007 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.) in the field of Aboriginal Law. He is listed as “most frequently recommended” by Lexpert Directory. John is a member of the Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador Bars.

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  • "Tutu to join national Canadian conversation on treaty rights and reconciliation", with Bob Rae, OKT Blog, May 29, 2014
  • John Olthuis (with N. Kleer), “Evidence in Aboriginal Title and other Aboriginal Rights Cases after Delgamuukw and Van der Peet” (Paper prepared for Special Lectures of the Law Society of Upper Canada 2000: Constitutional and Administrative Law, June 8-9, 2000).
  • John Olthuis (with N. Kleer), “Legal Update: What’s New on Indian Reserve Lands?”, May 25-26, 2000, Aboriginal Land Management and Property Development Strategies – Insight Information Co. (Toronto).
  • John Olthuis (with H.W. Roger Townshend), “First Nations: Recent Case Law and Developments of Importance”, in The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 1998 (Toronto: Silrun Information Services, 1998).
  • John Olthuis (with H.W. Roger Townshend), “Is Canada’s Thumb on the Scales: An Analysis of Canada’s Comprehensive and Specific Claims Policies and Suggested Alternatives” in For Seven Generations: An Information Legacy of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (Ottawa: Libraxus, 1997) (CD-Rom format).
  • John Olthuis (with H.W. Roger Townshend), “The Case for Native Sovereignty”, in M. Charlton & P. Barker, eds., Crosscurrents: Contemporary Political Issues (Scarborough: Nelson, 1994).
  • John Olthuis (with H. & K. McCullum), “Moratorium: Justice, Energy, The North and Native People” (Toronto: Alger Press, 1977).