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Advisory board for next top court judge to include Indigenous Bar Association member

OTTAWA — For the first time, the Indigenous Bar Association has nominated a member of the independent advisory board that will help choose the next Supreme Court justice.
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Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. The Indigenous Bar Association has nominated a member of the independent advisory board that will help choose the next Supreme Court Justice. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA — For the first time, the Indigenous Bar Association has nominated a member of the independent advisory board that will help choose the next Supreme Court justice.

The chosen board member, David Nahwegahbow, is an Anishinaabe lawyer whose firm exclusively represents First Nations people, communities and organizations.

His participation on the advisory board is part of what the federal government says are efforts to encourage more Indigenous people to join the bench.

Nahwegahbow joins board members including the former director of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, the president and CEO of the Canadian Women's Foundation and the former grand chief of the Huron-Wendat Nation.

The next Supreme Court justice, to come from Ontario, will replace Justice Michael Moldaver, who is retiring in September after 11 years on the high court.

Applications for the position closed last week and the board will give Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a shortlist of candidates who are functionally bilingual and "representative of the diversity" of Canada.

In a statement, Trudeau said his government is "committed to ensuring that judges are appointed through a process that is transparent, inclusive and accountable to Canadians."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2022.

The Canadian Press