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Canada’s 1st Indigenous Supreme Court nominee speaks at committee

Click to play video: 'First Indigenous Supreme Court nominee Michelle O’Bonsawin spawns hope for change'
First Indigenous Supreme Court nominee Michelle O’Bonsawin spawns hope for change
WATCH: Supreme Court of Canada nominee Justice Michelle O'Bonsawin has spoken to a Parliamentary committee about her career and judicial philosophy, as she is set to make history as the first Indigenous person to sit on the top court. Mercedes Stephenson looks at how O'Bonsawin's perspective and experiences are expected to bring much-needed change – Aug 24, 2022

Incoming Supreme Court of Canada judge Michelle O’Bonsawin says her life experience as an Indigenous person, as a Franco-Ontarian, as a mother and as someone who grew up in a rural community will serve her well on the court.

She says she will also bring to the bench professional experiences in labour law, mental health law and Gladue principles, which require judges to consider the backgrounds of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system.

O’Bonsawin, poised to become the first Indigenous justice on the top court, made the comments at a parliamentary committee meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Read more: Canada’s Supreme Court to get first Indigenous justice with O’Bonsawin nomination

The question-and-answer session with MPs and senators is her first public appearance since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau nominated her for the role last Friday.

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Justice Minister David Lametti appeared before a House of Commons committee this morning, calling O’Bonsawin’s nomination a historic moment for Indigenous people and all Canadians.

O’Bonsawin is a bilingual Franco-Ontarian and an Abenaki member of the Odanak First Nation who most recently served as a judge on the Ontario Superior Court in Ottawa.
Click to play video: '‘I bring my heritage and background to the table,’ says Canada’s 1st Indigenous Supreme Court nominee'
‘I bring my heritage and background to the table,’ says Canada’s 1st Indigenous Supreme Court nominee

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