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Trudeau nominates Indigenous woman to Canada’s supreme court | Canada

Justin Trudeau has nominated an Indigenous woman to Canada’s supreme court in a landmark appointment that has been criticized for decades for its lack of Indigenous representation in the nation’s highest court.

The Prime Minister announced on Friday that Michelle O’Bonsawin has been selected to fill an upcoming gap on the court.

An Abenaki member of Odanak First Nation, O’Bonsawin has been a judge in Ottawa, Ontario’s supreme court of justice since 2017. He has also taught law at the University of Ottawa and was previously with the RCMP and Canada to mail.

Franco-Ontarian was named after the impending retirement of Justice Michael Moldaver.

“I am confident that Judge O’Bonsawin will bring invaluable knowledge and contributions to our country’s highest court,” Trudeau said in a statement, adding that he was elected through an “open, non-partisan” process.

Unlike the scorching world trials in the United States, where the views of a justice are heavily scrutinized and senators often use the process to leapfrog their political ambitions, Canada’s process is far less contentious.

Parliament’s justice committee will meet next week to hear from the secretary of justice and the chair of the independent advisory board for Canadian supreme court judicial appointments. O’Bonsawin will then answer questions from the committee and the senate.

in games application surveyO’Bonsawin talked about how her Indigenous identity in Canada has shaped both her life and legal career, including facing discrimination and being teased as a young Indigenous girl growing up off the reserve.

“I believe my experience as a French-speaking First Nations woman, parent, lawyer, academic, and judge has given me a lived-in understanding and insight into Canada’s diversity because I and my life experience are part of that diversity.” aforementioned.

He also highlighted the importance of removing stigma around mental health issues and the need for an “inclusive” and “compassionate legal system” for First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

On Friday, justice minister David Lametti described the nomination as a “historic moment” for the top court.

For decades, Indigenous groups have called for justice that represents a different way of understanding the law.

“Canada’s highest court has always missed one person to interpret Canadian law from an Indigenous perspective – but not anymore,” said Elmer St Pierre, national president of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples.

“Indigenous people have long faced discrimination, racism and prejudice in Canada’s justice system, leading to overrepresentation of our people in courts and prisons. Governments must continue to ensure that Indigenous voices help create, interpret and enforce laws.”

O’Bonsawin’s nomination is the second major appointment to the court. In 2021, Trudeau chose Mahmud Jamal as his bench, making him the first black person to serve as a supreme court justice.

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