We Are All Treaty People

Statement from the OTC

  • Published - 01/09/2022
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  • Posted By - OTC
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Today when Justice Michelle O'Bonsawin takes her seat on the Supreme Court of Canada bench, she is making history. 

She is the first Indigenous Supreme Court justice. Not only is she experienced in human right, privacy, labour and employment law, O'Bonsawin has worked with how these relate to criminal and Indigenous law, including her PhD, which focused on Gladue principles.  

The Office of the Treaty Commissioner celebrates this appointment and the example O'Bonsawin is setting for Indigenous women today and for future generations. It is so important that we see the ongoing engagement of Indigenous women in our society.  

This appointment is particularly meaningful to the Treaty Commissioner of Saskatchewan, who was the first member of the Keeseekoose First Nation to earn a Juris Doctor from University of Saskatchewan Law and practice law in Saskatchewan. Commissioner Mary Culbertson has had the honour of being legal counsel for Indian residential school survivors and knows the tremendous amount of work and sacrifice that goes into to being a lawyer. 

Each Indigenous person who sits in a leadership role is an incredible example of what is possible, especially when those people sit in what are traditionally colonial systems.