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The land-claim controversy in Caledonia, Ont., is just one of the cases to which aboriginal law expert Thomas Molloy has applied his expertise.Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

With tensions between native bands and resource companies showing few signs of going way, Miller Thomson LLP has hired one of Canada's pre-eminent experts in aboriginal law.

The firm has added to its Saskatoon office Thomas Molloy, a lawyer with 40 years experience in native land claims, acting for the federal government in the 1999 creation of Nunavut.

He was instrumental in the landmark Nsiga'a treaty in British Columbia, and acts for the Ontario government in the land-claim controversy in Caledonia, Ont. He has also acted for resource companies and utilities in their dealings with first nations.

Mr. Molloy said he left his old firm, MacPherson Leslie and Tyerman LLP, for Miller Thomson because of the national platform his new firm offers.

Despite recent headlines about confrontations with mining firms over land rights in Ontario, he said progress is being made. It's just more difficult to see, since crises, blockades and legal battles usually hog the attention.

"It's easier to get a story when there's a demonstration … going on," Mr. Molloy said. "When progress is being made, not much is reported, because people are just working. It's sort of business as usual."

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