J. Robert Black, K.C.

Partner

Edmonton

Image for J. Robert Black, K.C.

Education & Qualifications

  • Northwest Territories Bar (1999)
  • Alberta Bar (1985)
  • LLB (Alberta, 1984)
  • BA with distinction (Alberta, 1981)

Bob Black has a varied and diverse practice centrally focused on Indigenous Nation Building Initiatives.

Bob is an experienced litigator with an extensive background in development and construction and a long and accomplished history of managing a broad range of high profile and complex matters. He has appeared before all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Bob has expertise in public / private partnerships; development and construction; mergers and acquisitions; economic development; government relations; strategic communications and tourism.

Bob has a deep commitment to advancing Indigenous causes. He is grateful to have been able to spend time with elders, knowledge keepers and leaders and be guided in advancing his understanding of their remarkable cultures, their challenges and their aspirations.  He has been profoundly honoured to be invited to participate in ceremony and was deeply humbled to receive a Cree spirit name.

Bob fundamentally believes that we are at a watershed moment in Canadian history where we simply must work to right historic wrongs and move towards a more just and equitable relationship with our Indigenous peoples.  Now is a time of nation building where we must forge a path towards Indigenous self-governance, sovereignty and economic independence.

Prior to joining MLT Aikins, Bob served 10 years as the Executive Vice President for the Katz Group of companies where his primary role was to manage the continued development of the company’s sports and entertainment business, including the development of a sports and entertainment district in downtown Edmonton. In this role he: acted as a member of the Negotiating Committee for the successful public / private partnership between the Katz Group and the City of Edmonton for the funding and construction of Rogers Place arena, home of the Edmonton Oilers; was the Katz Group and Oilers Entertainment Group lead representative on the Project Leadership Team which was responsible for all aspects of the design and construction of Rogers Place; led the negotiation of all major contracts with project partners and oversaw the creation and implementation of the project management process which delivered Rogers Place on time and on budget; was responsible for the Master Planning and zoning of ICE District; played a leadership role in media and public relations related to Rogers Place and ICE District; was responsible for the oversight of the design of public realm spaces in ICE District; and was a member of the Management Oversight Committee for the design and construction of the JW Marriott ICE District. Bob has played a leadership role on behalf of ownership in the oversight of over $1 billion in development which has served to revitalize the downtown core of Edmonton.

Bob lead the successful negotiation of a Master Agreement Framework with the City of Edmonton for the construction of a private sector funded Prairie Sky urban gondola system connecting Whyte Avenue, the river valley and Jasper Avenue in Edmonton. As Chief Strategy Officer and outside legal counsel, Bob will here forward be involved in all aspects of bringing this $150 million project to reality.

Bob is greatly inspired by city building initiatives that will make Edmonton a better place to live for its residents and enhance Edmonton’s position on the global stage as a place to invest, build corporate head offices and reinforce it as a year round destination for tourism.

Bob is currently involved in the planning and development of two major cultural districts within Edmonton city limits. Both will materially contribute to strengthening Edmonton’s reputation as a city of cultural equity and inclusion and provide rich cultural experiences for both residents and tourists.

Bob is actively engaged in of a wide variety of areas of Indigenous law, including nation building initiatives; economic development; experiential tourism; major infrastructure projects; Indigenous gaming; rights based claims; and litigation.

Having previously accepted a position on the CEO’s Advisory Board for Treaty 8 Economic Development Corp, Bob agreed to step into the role of Interim CEO.  He is deeply inspired by the bold vision of the Sovereign Nations of Treaty 8 and is honoured to be supporting their aspirations of ensuring sustainable economic development, self-determination and wellbeing at the grass roots level.

Bob has coordinated and facilitated economic development and nation building sessions with Indigenous Nations involving a multi-disciplinary team of experts in architecture and master planning; environmental sustainability and human wellness, commercial feasibility and accounting, Indigenous rights, and government relations.

Securing equity in major infrastructure projects represents a clear opportunity for Indigenous Nations to derive stable intergenerational revenues to support the cause of nation building.

Bob represents Natural Law Energy, a wholly Indigenous owned company, that is seeking the role of lead negotiator for the purchase of the TransMountain Pipeline from the Government of Canada on behalf of the Indigenous peoples in Alberta and British Columbia that will be impacted by the pipeline.

Bob accepted an appointment to Advisory Committee to provide input on the construction of the Prairie Link private sector funded $12 billion high speed rail system connecting Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton. In this role he will be focused on ensuring that the Indigenous Nations through whose reserve and traditional lands this system is contemplated to pass will have an opportunity to fully participate in the commercial prosperity which will arise.

Bob was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2005.

  • Interim CEO, Treaty 8 Economic Development Corp
  • Advisory Committee, Prairie Link High Speed Rail Between Edmonton and Calgary
  • Chief Strategy Officer, Prairie Sky Gondola Corp
  • Board of Directors and Executive , Edmonton Downtown Business Association
  • Facilitator, multi-disciplinary nation building visioning sessions with Indigenous Communities
  • Committee Member, Aboriginal Role Models of Alberta Awards
  • Member, Downtown Recovery Coalition
  • Member, Winter City Advisory Board

Previous roles:

  • Alternate Governor, NHL Board of Governors
  • Executive Vice President, EdmontonArena District
  • Executive Vice President, Edmonton Arena Corp
  • Executive Vice President Sports and Entertainment, Katz Group
  • Chief Project Development Officer, Oilers Entertainment Group
  • Contributor to the Capital City Downtown Plan
  • Co-chair, Downtown Recovery Task Force
  • Member, Downtown Vibrancy Task Force; Winter City Think Tank; ONE Edmonton Committee; Celebrate Edmonton Committee; Bicycle Grid Advisory Committee
  • Contributor, City of Edmonton Capital City Downtown Plan and Ten Year Tourism Plan
  • Member, City of Edmonton FIFA 2026™ Bid Champions Committee
  • City of Saskatoon Arena District Planning & Arena Site Selection, Early Stage-stage Analysis
  • Sessional Instructor in Insurance Law, University of Alberta Law School
  • Recognized as one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People, People Venture Magazine (2010)
  • Appointed Queen’s Counsel (2005)