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Murray Sinclair

Murray Sinclair or Mizanay (Mizhana) Gheezhik, meaning “The One Who Speaks of Pictures in the Sky” in the Ojibwe language, lawyer, judge and senator (born in 1951 in Selkirk, MB). Called to the Manitoba Bar in 1980, Sinclair focused primarily on civil and criminal litigation, Indigenous law and human rights. In 1988, he became Manitoba’s first, and Canada’s second, Indigenous judge. Sinclair joined the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2009, before becoming a senator in 2016. He retired from the Senate in 2021 but continues to mentor Indigenous lawyers. The breadth of public service and community work completed by Sinclair demonstrates his commitment to Indigenous peoples in Canada.

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Helen Gregory MacGill

Helen Gregory MacGill, judge, journalist, musician (born 7 January 1864 in Hamilton, Canada West; died 27 February 1947 in Chicago, Illinois). Helen Gregory MacGill was a pioneering journalist, feminist and judge. She was the first woman to graduate from Trinity College (now the University of Toronto), as well as the first woman judge in British Columbia, where she served on the juvenile court for 23 years. Her daughter, Elsie MacGill, became the world’s first female aeronautical engineer and aircraft designer.

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Mahmud Jamal

Mahmud Jamal, Supreme Court of Canada justice, Court of Appeal for Ontario judge, litigation lawyer, author, teacher (born 1967 in Nairobi, Kenya). Mahmud Jamal is the first racialized person and the first South Asian Canadian to be appointed as a justice to the Supreme Court of Canada. A former Fulbright scholar with a background in law and economics, Jamal worked as a litigator with the Toronto firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP before becoming a judge with the Court of Appeal for Ontario. He began serving on the Supreme Court on 1 July 2021.

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Beverley McLachlin

Beverley McLachlin, PC, CC, Chief Justice of Canada 2000–17, lawyer and jurist (born 7 September 1943 in Pincher Creek, AB). Born into a rural Alberta farming family of modest means, McLachlin rose to become the first female chief justice of a Commonwealth high court and the longest serving chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. In June 2017, McLachlin announced she would retire from the bench on 15 December 2017, nine months before mandatory retirement at age 75.

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Graydon Nicholas

Graydon Nicholas, lawyer, lecturer, judge, lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick (b at Tobique, NB 1946 ). Of Maliseet descent, Graydon Nicholas made significant strides in the fields of law and public service.

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John Reeves

John Reeves, judge (b probably at London, Eng c 1752/53; d there 7 Aug 1829). He studied at Oxford and was called to the bar in 1779.

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James Armstrong

James Shearer Armstrong, lawyer, author, judge (b at Sorel, LC 27 Apr 1821; d there 23 Nov 1888). An able but undistinguished Québec advocate, James Armstrong was given an unprecedented promotion in 1871 when he was appointed chief justice of St Lucia in the West Indies.

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Antonio Lamer (Profile)

The 64-year-old Lamer, whose 29 years on the bench make him the longest sitting federal judge in the country, tells the story during a 90-minute interview in his panelled chambers overlooking the ice-rimmed Ottawa River. It is the eve of the long-awaited and momentous hearings on File No.