AFNQL welcomes the appointment of Michelle O'Bonsawin, First Indigenous Justice to the Supreme Court of Canada

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WENDAKE, QC, Aug. 19, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ - The AFNQL welcomes and supports the appointment of Michelle O'Bonsawin to the Supreme Court of Canada, from the Abenaki Nation of Odanak, announced today by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"It is with great enthusiasm that we acknowledge the actions of the Government of Canada and the progress it has made towards reconciliation with First Peoples during its current mandate, particularly with the historic appointment of the Honourable Michelle O'Bonsawin. While there are still many steps to be taken to ensure that the diversity of perspectives and voices that make up Canadian realities are reflected in the institutions that guide them, especially within the systems mandated to ensure justice, the AFNQL is pleased with this appointment," said AFNQL Chief Ghislain Picard.

"On behalf of the Abenaki Nation, I am personally very proud of Michelle O'Bonsawin, not only as a family member but as a member of our Nation, for achieving such high goals. Michelle truly shows all Aboriginal people that anything is possible. This appointment will make August 19, 2022 a very special day that will live on in our minds, but also in the history books," said Chief Richard O'Bomsawin.

The AFNQL has long emphasized not only the need for the judiciary to reflect diversity, but also recalls that prior to this day, no First Nations, Métis or Inuit judge had served on the Supreme Court of Canada. The appointment process represented a real opportunity to rectify this situation and take a step towards reconciliation, but more importantly, to address systemic racism and the under-representation of Indigenous people in these roles.

This representation in the justice system marks an unprecedented milestone for Indigenous people in Canada and sends a strong signal to Canadian and international society as a whole of the inclusion, diversity, expertise and credibility of Indigenous people in the justice system.

About the AFNQL

The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador is the regional political organization that brings together the 43 First Nations Chiefs of Quebec and Labrador. www.apnql.com

SOURCE Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador

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