Statement from The Honourable Murray Sinclair on the nomination of The Honourable Michelle O’Bonsawin to the Supreme Court of Canada

WINNIPEG — The Honourable Murray Sinclair, General Counsel at Cochrane Saxberg Law, issued the following statement today:

“I am pleased to see the nomination of The Honourable Michelle O’Bonsawin to the Supreme Court of Canada, the first Indigenous person to hold this position. Justice O’Bonsawin is an Abenaki member of the Odanak First Nation, and I know how proud her community must be to see this important milestone reached.

Justice O’Bonsawin will be an important voice at the Supreme Court, given her deep knowledge of issues related to Indigenous peoples in Canada. The court is made stronger, and our decisions are better, when there are diverse perspectives where they are needed most. This is especially true as it relates to issues facing Canada’s long journey of reconciliation with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.

I want to extend my congratulations to Justice O’Bonsawin, who in transparency I had advised from time to time in her application process, to pursue this position for which she is immensely qualified. The timing of this appointment at this point in her already impressive career is crucial — she will be able to shape decisions for years to come.

Whether it is her record as a Justice, her PhD thesis on reformative justice, or in her work on cases dealing with Indigenous sentencing, Justice O’Bonsawin has shown clearly that she will fill an important role in Canada’s highest court. It is long past due that the court has a seat for an Indigenous Justice, one who has seen first-hand the impact of colonialism on Indigenous communities.”

The Honourable Murray Sinclair

General Counsel at Cochrane Saxberg Law

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Please note that Murray Sinclair is not available for interviews this week.