The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould became Canada’s Minister of Justice in 2015, joining 14 other women to form Canada’s first gender-equal Cabinet. But did you also know she’s also a lawyer, advocate, and leader among British Columbia’s First Nations? Here are 5 things you should know about the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould.
1. She’s the first Indigenous person to be sworn in as Minister of Justice of Canada
Wilson-Raybould is a descendant of the Musgamagw Tsawataineuk and Laich-Kwil-Tach peoples, which are part of the Kwakwaka’wakw and also known as the Kwak’wala speaking people of British Columbia. She is also a member of the We Wai Kai Nation. On November 4, 2015 she made history as Canada’s first Indigenous Minister of Justice, and is only the 3rd woman to ever hold the title (following Kim Campbell and Anne McLellan).
2. She’s a vocal advocate for transgender rights
On May 17, 2016, Wilson-Raybould introduced Bill C-16, An Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code, which addresses the discrimination and hate crimes experienced by trans and gender-diverse Canadians. These amendments include protection against employment discrimination, and adding “gender identity or expression” to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination.
3. She was a provincial Crown prosecutor
Wilson-Raybould served in Vancouver’s Main Street criminal courthouse in the Downtown Eastside from 2000-2003. As a Commissioner elected by the chiefs of the First Nations Summit, she helped to advance a number of treaty tables, including Tsawwassen First Nation, which became the first in B.C. to achieve a treaty under the BC Treaty Process.
4. She’s been vying for a career in politics since childhood
In 1983, Wilson-Raybould’s father Bill Wilson, a First Nations politician, informed Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau on national Canadian television that one day, his two daughters hoped to become lawyers and then Prime Minister themselves. As it turns out, Wilson-Raybould’s childhood dreams are coming closer to reality than she may have expected.
5. She’ll be featured on our Luncheon finale panel
Are you interested in how the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould feels about the status of women in Canadian politics? What about her thoughts on important national topics like Aboriginal affairs and democratic reform? Join us on December 9th as we get to the heart of what matters most to Canadians — and Canadian women specifically — at our season finale Luncheon, State of Our Nation: Let’s Talk About Women in Politics.
Want to join the conversation? Purchase your ticket here.