We need more Indigenous judges not only judges who are “Indigenous”- Justice Harry S. Laforme
Play • 1 hr 12 min

What  this bold statement is we need judges with lived experience from living on their reserve, in their communities who experienced the control of the Indian Act in all aspects of life as an Indian Act person.

My guest on Empathetic Witness this week is my friend, and former boss, the first Indigenous judge appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal, Harry S. Laforme, A Member of Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, comes from a family of Chiefs, but he forged a different path and has torn down barriers by fearlessly drafting decisions that changed the laws of Canada, and liberated marginalized peoples.

Our conversation covers his legal career beginning in the late 70s until he retired from the bench in 2018. Being the only Indigenous person on the Appellate Court. We discuss complexities surrounding his ground-breaking decision that led to the legalization of same-sex marriages in Canada, also the constraints of the Indian Act and colonial policies that stem from that legislation.

If you are an Indigenous person, a lawyer, a Chief, or work in the band office, this podcast is for you, your friends, family, and community. Please share.

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