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Anishinaabe two-spirit judge Diane Rowe sworn in as N.S. Supreme Court’s newest justice

Diane Rowe was sworn in on Tuesday morning to preside on the Supreme Court in Bridgewater.
Diane Rowe was sworn in on Tuesday morning to preside on the Supreme Court in Bridgewater. Nova Scotia Courts/Twitter

The Nova Scotia Supreme Court has welcomed its newest judge, Diane Rowe, who was sworn in on Tuesday morning to preside on the Supreme Court in Bridgewater.

Rowe is a former senior solicitor with the provincial government who was appointed to the bench on May 14.

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“During these challenging times, the appointment of such a bright and promising jurist is indeed something to celebrate,” Chief Justice Deborah K. Smith said in a press release.

“In all aspects of her legal career, Justice Rowe has shown herself to be a dedicated advocate with a passion for public service, values that will translate well into her new responsibilities on the Bench.”

According to the government of Canada website, Rowe graduated from the University of New Brunswick’s faculty of law in 1997. She was admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1998 and the Newfoundland and Labrador Bar in 2001.

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Rowe is Anishinaabe two-spirit. As a ’60s Scoop child, she was sent to Newfoundland.

“She has a deep commitment to public service, justice, and equality,” her biography reads.

Rowe was a senior solicitor with the Nova Scotia Department of Justice, where she advised the Office of Aboriginal Affairs and the Made-in-Nova Scotia Process.

Her practice areas included Aboriginal, administrative, corporate commercial, natural resources, bankruptcy and insolvency, and construction law.

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Before joining the Nova Scotia Department of Justice in 2002, Rowe practised general civil litigation and acted on behalf of Indian Residential School claimants in several provinces in mass tort litigation, according to the government.

Rowe has also engaged in volunteer advocacy work on behalf of Indigenous Peoples, equality rights, refugee claimants, and the LGBTQ2 community.

Rowe was formally welcomed into her spouse’s family and community as a member of the Micmacs of Gesgapegiag Band, in Gespe’ge’wagi, the seventh district of Mi’kma’ki.

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Rowe and her spouse, Jessica Jerome, a visual artist, have two children.