Michelle O’Bonsawin will become the first Indigenous justice on the Supreme Court

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday appointed Indigenous judge Michelle O’Bonsawin to sit on the country’s Supreme Court, a historic first in a country in the process of reconciliation with its Indigenous peoples. Abenaki member of the Odanak First Nation in Quebec, Michelle O’Bonsawin is also “perfectly bilingual” in French and English, something Justin Trudeau pledged to do at a time when the practice of French is in decline. in Canada, according to recent official data.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Justice Michelle O’Bonsawin to the Supreme Court of Canada, a body recognized around the world for its strength, excellence and independence,” Prime Minister Trudeau said in a statement. . A judge at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice since 2017, Michelle O’Bonsawin has specialized throughout her career in many areas, including mental health and human rights.

First on first

“As an Indigenous woman growing up in Northern Ontario, I realized the need for dedicated people to provide a strong and representative voice to those who cannot speak for themselves,” the judge wrote. in its application questionnaire made public by the government. A non-binding procedure must still take place by the end of August before Parliament before she takes office.

Michelle O’Bonsawin’s appointment is the second consecutive Supreme Court appointment. Last year, Mahmud Jamal became the first non-white person appointed to the court.

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