Benjamin Brookwell


(416) 981-9405
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Ben Brookwell is an associate at OKT. His practice focuses on the protection of Aboriginal rights, treaty rights, and title through litigation and negotiation. Ben also works with First Nations and Indigenous organizations to advance their rights to substantive equality and protection from discrimination in the provisions of services, such as healthcare.

Ben is passionate about addressing systemic racism against Indigenous peoples in the health care system and has written and spoken widely on the topic. He advises First Nations and First Nation organizations about developing internal capacity to improve the quality of life and health outcomes of their citizens.

Ben has represented clients before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Ontario Divisional Court, the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. Ben also has experience preparing claims for First Nations to go before the Specific Claims Commission.

Ben was co-counsel on Canada’s first trial on Aboriginal title to water. The trial included testimony from more than 50 witnesses and took two years to complete. Ben advanced arguments and led evidence on Indigenous practices, customs, traditions, and knowledge, as well as the history of US Treaties along the Great Lakes.

Ben is a member of the Ontario Bar.

Representative Work

  • Advice to First Nations and Indigenous organizations regarding protection of Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous data sovereignty issues.
  • Advice to First Nations and national Inuit Women’s Health organizations on the co-development of distinctions-based Indigenous health legislation.
  • Counsel for the Saugeen Ojibway Nation in its Aboriginal title claim to water and claim about the Crown’s fiduciary breach and failure to protect their land (2021 ONSC 4181), currently before the Ontario Court of Appeal.
  • Counsel for Walpole Island First Nation at the Ontario Divisional Court regarding overlapping rights claims.
  • Counsel to Innu Nation in the ongoing provincial inquiry into the treatment, experiences and outcomes of Innu in the child protection system.
  • Counsel for First Nations at the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador regarding disclosure of records in support of Indigenous land claims.
  • Counsel to First Nations in their challenge of discriminatory federal education funding models before the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

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