Law Society presents honorary LLD to noted Indigenous lawyer and leader Ovide Mercredi
TORONTO, June 17, 2019 – The Law Society of Ontario presented a degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LLD), to Ovide Mercredi, a former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, at its Call to the Bar ceremony at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on June 17.
As part of its Call ceremonies each year, the Law Society awards honorary doctorates to distinguished individuals in recognition of outstanding achievements in the legal profession, the rule of law, or the cause of justice. Recipients serve as inspirational keynote speakers for the new lawyers attending the ceremonies.
Mercredi received the honorary LLD in recognition of his work as a leading advocate for Indigenous Peoples’ rights. He was a key strategist for the Assembly of First Nations during the Meech Lake Accord constitutional reform discussions, and was elected Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations for Manitoba in 1989. He also played a critical role in resolving the Oka Crisis in 1990.
He was elected as National Chief for the Assembly of First Nations in 1991, a position he held until 1997. During his term he led the negotiations for the First Nations in the Charlottetown Accord.
In addition to his work as a lawyer and leader of First Nations Peoples, Mercredi is an accomplished author. He is an advocate of non-violent methods for change, and has been nominated by the Government of India for the Gandhi Peace Prize.
He recently played a pivotal role in the Law Society’s review of regulatory processes affecting Indigenous Peoples. Working with leaders and Elders of First Nations communities, he supported Residential School Survivors in sharing their experiences in a culturally safe, supportive and respectful manner. See the full biography online.
Law Society Treasurer Malcolm Mercer awarded the honorary LLD to Mercredi, who then delivered the keynote address to the 291 new lawyers at the ceremony.
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