First Nations Representation on Ontario Juries
Government Response to the Honourable Frank Iacobucci's Report, "First Nations Representation on Ontario Juries."
In August 2011, former Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci was appointed to review the legislation and processes for including First Nations persons living on reserves on the jury roll. In February 2013, the Honourable Frank Iacobucci released his report, First Nations Representation on Ontario Juries.
The government has made progress toward addressing the report's recommendations, with special focus on its two major recommendations: establishing a committee to implement the report's recommendations; and, forming an advisory group to provide the Attorney General with advice on broader justice issues affecting Aboriginal communities.
The work of these bodies will help to build a stronger, more inclusive justice system for Aboriginal Peoples in Ontario.
Juries Review Implementation Committee
The Juries Review Implementation Committee is working to find innovative ways to address First Nation representation on Ontario juries. The committee will also address the implementation of the recommendations outlined in the Honourable Frank Iacobucci's report.
Meet the committee members:
- Alvin Fiddler, Co-Chair
- Irwin Glasberg, Co-Chair
- Barney Batise
- Rosella Cornaviera
- Sheila Bristo
- Margaret Froh
- Sara Mainville
- Amanda Carling
- Jenny Restoule-Mallozzi
- The Honourable Erwin Stach
Alvin Fiddler, Co-Chair
A long-time First Nation community leader and tireless advocate for Aboriginal justice issues throughout his career, Alvin Fiddler was appointed Juries Review Implementation Committee Co-chair in June 2013.
Growing up in Muskrat Dam First Nation, Mr. Fiddler left home at age 13 to attend high school in Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay. Mr. Fiddler went on to earn a degree in business management from the University of Lethbridge, Alberta. In the early 1990s, Mr. Fiddler returned to northwestern Ontario to take on a number of key leadership roles in the service of First Nation people. He served as the first Executive Director of the Tommy Beardy Memorial Family Treatment Centre, and later became Deputy Chief of Muskrat Dam. He served as Nishnawbe Aski Nation's Health Director from 1998 until he was first elected Deputy Grand Chief in 2003. Mr. Fiddler joined the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2010 as Manager of Regional Liaisons and Ontario Regional Liaisons. Re-elected Deputy Grand Chief in 2012, his current portfolios include health policy and planning, women's development, justice and policing, and a number of other special projects.
"I am looking forward to working collaboratively with both the Ministry of the Attorney General and the First Nation representatives on the Implementation Committee. We have gathered together a skilled, knowledgeable, and dedicated group of high caliber individuals. I am confident that together we can tackle the issues to address the crisis of First Nations in the justice system. Justice Iacobucci's recommendations will guide us in our work to ensure that all First Nations can exercise their right to serve on juries."
Irwin Glasberg, Co-Chair
Co-Chair Irwin Glasberg is a lawyer and public servant who has led a number of initiatives aimed at improving access to justice for First Nation people, as well as improving services for Aboriginal victims of crime.
During his time as Director of the Ministry of the Attorney General's Policy Branch, Mr. Glasberg had oversight of the Aboriginal Courtworker and Aboriginal Community Justice Programs.
Later, as Assistant Deputy Attorney General for Ontario Victim Services, he led the roll out of a grants program designed to address violence against Aboriginal women, and administered funding for under-served Aboriginal victims in remote northern areas. The key component of this initiative was a collaborative project with the Mushkegowuk Tribal Council to develop and fund community-based services for Aboriginal victims. Mr. Glasberg was also the Assistant Deputy Minister assigned to the Roots of Youth Violence Review.
In addition to his duties as co-chair, Mr. Glasberg will continue to serve as Assistant Deputy Attorney General of the ministry's Policy and Adjudicative Tribunals Division.
"It will be an honour to work with Co-Chair Deputy Grand Chief Fiddler and the committee members to find innovative and enduring approaches to address the Hon. Frank Iacobucci's recommended improvements to our jury system. The creation of a joint Aboriginal-provincial government implementation committee presents some unique opportunities to foster collaboration and open dialogue among members with different backgrounds and life experience."
Barney Batise is a respected Nishnawbe Aski Nation Elder and former Chief of Matachewan First Nation who brings a vast amount of knowledge and wisdom to the Implementation Committee, as well as an eagerness to identify ways to make meaningful change to the justice system.
Beginning his career in the service of First Nations as an Executive Director of the North Bay Indian Friendship Centre in 1974, Mr. Batise went on to become president of the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres and later, the National Association of Friendship Centres. In 1988, Mr. Batise was elected Chief of Matachewan First Nation, a role he held for three consecutive terms. During this time, he was heavily involved in the development of Kunuwanimano Child and Family Services and had a leading role in the foundation of the Wabun Tribal Council.
Retiring in 2000, Mr. Batise continues to work to improve conditions for First Nation people by developing governance models for First Nations, acting as an Elder Advisor for the Nishnawbe Aski Police Service, and supporting Health Canada and Chiefs of Ontario in the development of e-Health models in support of First Nation needs.
Rosella Cornaviera is the Deputy Director who leads the Criminal Policy Group at Crown Law Office-Criminal at the Ministry of the Attorney General. The Criminal Policy Group provides legal, policy, strategic and legislative reform advice to the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General on criminal law matters. This group is responsible for developing criminal policy in every aspect of criminal law in Ontario including Aboriginal Justice, mental health, wrongful convictions, domestic and sexual violence and youth justice. As Deputy Director, Ms. Cornaviera oversees participation of counsel in several working groups dedicated to improving access to justice for First Nations, Metis and Inuit people, including Violence Against Aboriginal Women and Girls, Social Directors Aboriginal Affairs Committee, Fly In Court Working Group and the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Justice Working Group. Ms. Cornaviera also oversees advice provided to the Ministry’s Aboriginal Justice Unit which coordinates the delivery of Aboriginal Justice programs.
Ms. Cornaviera joined the office as Crown counsel upon her call to the bar in 1990 and was promoted to the rank of Deputy Director in 2005. Ms. Cornaviera has prosecuted trials and argued appeals at all levels of court in Ontario and in the Supreme Court of Canada, and has been involved in criminal policy issues throughout her prosecutorial career. Ms. Cornaviera has developed expertise and has been involved in education in various areas of criminal law including race relations, sexual and domestic violence, advocacy and prevention of wrongful convictions. Ms. Cornaviera is a member of a number of committees and groups that seek to improve the criminal justice system including the Heads of Prosecutions’ Working Group on the Prevention of Miscarriages of Justice, the FPT Aboriginal Courtworkers Working Group and the Ontario Criminal Conviction Review Committee.
"I am honoured to have been invited to participate in the important work of the Debwewin Implementation Committee. I look forward to working collaboratively with committee members to find ways to improve access to justice for First Nations, Metis and Inuit people in Ontario."
Currently serving as Acting Director, Divisional Support with the Ministry of the Attorney General's Court Services Division, Sheila Bristo oversees the administration of Ontario's jury selection system, including the Provincial Jury Centre. With extensive experience in court operations, Ms. Bristo recently participated in a Ministry of the Attorney General and Ontario Court of Justice joint working group that looked for ways to improve the delivery of justice services, and to improve access to justice, for fly-in communities. The working group's final report contains concrete recommendations that seek to improve the accessibility, safety and overall effectiveness of fly-in courts across northern Ontario.
An accomplished public service leader, Ms. Bristo has received numerous honours in recognition of her contribution to various innovative justice initiatives, as well as her commitment to public service and improving access to justice.
"It is an honour to be a member of the Jury Review Implementation Committee and to work with such esteemed individuals who are committed to the justice system and the participation of First Nation individuals on juries. I look forward to the committee providing thoughtful advice to the Deputy Attorney General and advancing the recommendations of the Honourable Frank Iacobucci."
Margaret Froh is a Métis lawyer and educator whose work focuses on promoting and supporting strong and healthy First Nation, Métis and Inuit organizations and communities through effective governance, law, policy, boards/committees and reconciliation processes.
A former president of the Indigenous Bar Association in Canada and former board member and president of Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto, Ms. Froh continues to promote access to justice for indigenous peoples in Canada through her community-based work. Having served as legal counsel for the Chippewas of Rama First Nation for eight years, Ms. Froh now works with a diverse range of clients as Director of Strategic Policy, Law and Compliance for the Métis Nation of Ontario, as faculty member for the Banff Centre's Indigenous Leadership and Management Program, and as founder and lead consultant for Turquoise Buffalo Consulting in Barrie, Ontario. Through her ongoing volunteer work with the Indigenous Bar Association, Ms. Froh leads projects and helps coordinate events that bring together indigenous and non-indigenous legal professionals to promote access to justice for First Nations, Métis and Inuit in Canada, and promotes respect and recognition of indigenous laws and legal traditions within the Canadian legal system.
"Justice Iacobucci's report considered the lack of representation of First Nations people on Ontario juries and, like so many other reports before it, has identified systemic discrimination against Indigenous Peoples within the Canadian justice system. Now is the time for action. I am honoured to have been appointed to this committee and look forward to doing my part in guiding the report's implementation. Access to justice for First Nations, Métis and Inuit people in Canada should be every citizen's concern, for a justice system that denies access to its most vulnerable citizens is a failing justice system."
Sara Mainville, Ba-ba-aa Mise Migizikwe, is a member of Couchiching First Nation in the Anishinaabe territory of Treaty #3. She is from the Bear clan (Makwa do-dem) and has been a lawyer since her 2005 call to the Ontario bar. She has a Bachelor of Laws from Queen’s University and a Masters of Law from University of Toronto.
Sara has presented at a number of legal conferences regarding her research about Treaty 3, the historic Anishinaabe Grand Council at Couchiching Falls and about Anishinaabe Inakonigaawin (Indigenous law).
Sara recently completed a term as Chief of Couchiching First Nation and now she is currently a senior associate at Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP. Sara Mainville was keen to be on the Debwewin Committee and her favourite meeting was with the Elders in the early new year. The work to improve juries and justice system will have a real impact on the Northwestern Ontario communities she works with.
Amanda Carling is a Métis lawyer whose career goal is to ameliorate the Canadian criminal justice system and eliminate Indigenous overrepresentation. Ms. Carling grew up and earned her undergraduate degree in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in June 2012. While there, Ms. Carling co-chaired the Aboriginal Law Students Association and earned several awards, including the President’s Award for the Outstanding Native Student of the Year (2012). Ms. Carling also co-coordinated the first Aboriginal Youth Summer Program at the University of Toronto in the summer of 2012. After completing her articles with the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC), Ms. Carling became the organization's first National Legal Education Counsel in July 2013. In her current position with AIDWYC, Ms. Carling works to engage and educate marginalized youth about the justice system and their rights through public legal education sessions, the AIDWYC website and social media channels.
Ms. Carling has served on the Board of Directors for Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto since 2010 and is currently the Board president. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Carling taught English to junior high and high school students in Tosu, Japan.
"It is a privilege to be asked to assist with this important work. Growing up in Winnipeg, I witnessed bias and often outright racism in the justice system and, more generally, the community at large. Aboriginal people in Ontario, and especially Northern Ontario, face many of the same issues and barriers as our communities in Manitoba. I became a lawyer with the goal of working towards the macro-level change that I believe Justice Iacobucci envisioned when he wrote the recommendations contained in the report on First Nations Representation on Ontario Juries. I look forward to helping "build it right.""
A member of Dokis First Nation, Jenny Restoule-Mallozzi is from the Muskrat Clan and holds the name Jiin Keens Kwe (Little Roots Woman).
As legal counsel for the Union of Ontario Indians, Ms. Restoule-Mallozzi provides legal assistance to the Anishinabek Nation on a variety of matters, such as dispute resolution, Aboriginal and treaty rights and land claims, and has facilitated numerous workshops and retreats and coordinated the Indian residential school commemoration project for Anishinabek survivors and families. In this role, Ms. Restoule-Mallozzi also led the design of a dispute-resolution system for the Anishinabek Nation as part of its self-government negotiations, which was recently highlighted in the Canadian Human Rights Commission's A Toolkit for Developing Community-Based Dispute Resolution Processes in First Nations Communities. She was also responsible for facilitating and reporting on the Ontario Jury Information Forums conducted between the Anishinabek Nation and the Ministry of the Attorney General in 2009 and 2010.
An active member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Canadian Bar Association, Ms. Restoule-Mallozzi holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from McMaster University and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of British Columbia.
"As an Anishinabek person, and as a legal professional, I am confident that the work of the Implementation Committee will be vital to changing the relationship between Aboriginal people and the Ontario justice system as it is charged with exploring both the problem and creating solutions. The problems have been well documented in the First Nations Representation On Ontario Juries report, as others; now it is time to work together to develop the necessary changes to ensure that fair, positive, and long-term solutions are made to ensure that justice for all is achieved. I welcome this responsibility and am honoured to be a member of the Implementation Committee."
The Honourable Erwin Stach
The Honourable Erwin Stach retired from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in 2013. Later the same year he was re-appointed as a deputy judge on the Supreme Court of Yukon. Justice Stach spent most of his 42-year law career in northwestern Ontario, first as a practising lawyer and then as a judge, presiding over courts in the City of Kenora and throughout Ontario. He travelled to many First Nation communities.
During this time, Justice Stach became familiar with the many factors which he feels have made access to justice more difficult for First Nation people, such as logistical and travel hurdles, as well as cultural practices and beliefs. In addition, after more than two decades of presiding over jury trials, Justice Stach developed an abiding respect for the enormous value of the jury process. He believes that the jury process will benefit immensely from a greater infusion of the knowledge and life experience of First Nations residents.
"Substantive amendment to the Juries Act in Ontario is long overdue. Participation on this committee offers the opportunity of recommending positive changes both large and small, changes that will improve the jury experience for generations still to come. Some proposals in the Iacobucci report lend themselves to prompt implementation. Others will require meaningful dialogue with First Nation leaders and other major stakeholders, or more extensive study.
All in all, it stands to be an engaging and exciting process that will bring lasting improvements to one of the most important components of our justice system. How could I say no to that?"
Aboriginal Justice Advisory Group
The Aboriginal Justice Advisory Group will provide advice to the Attorney General on Aboriginal justice issues. The group serves as a forum for the Attorney General to collaborate with Aboriginal leaders and communities on ways to improve the manner in which the Ontario justice system impacts Aboriginal peoples.
Meet the group members:
- Warren White (Ogichidaa), Co-Chair
- Murray Segal, Co-Chair
- Elder Gilbert Smith
- Conrad Delaronde
- Patricia Faries
- Margaret Froh
- Peshaanakwut Jeff Kinew
- Robert Lapper
- Kelly LaRocca
- Sylvia Maracle
- David McKillop
- Morris Zbar
Ogichidaa Warren White
Since 2012, co-chair Warren White has served as Grand Chief, or "Ogichidaa" of the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3. Prior to this, Mr. White was the Chief of Naotkamegwanning First Nation, a position he held for over six years and was previously a two-term Councillor. Mr. White is from the Pii'zhew (Lynx) clan and is well known at Ontario regional and national Chiefs meetings for his strong advocacy on behalf of Treaty #3.
Throughout his time in elected office, Mr. White has worked toward the implementation of Anishinaabe Inakonigaawin (law and governance) based on treaty relationships with Crown governments. Warren has held a variety of leadership positions with several organizations, including Bimose Board of Governors, Kenora Chiefs Advisory, Treaty #3 Police Board, Anishinaabe Abinoojii Family Services, and as an Education Board member for his community. Most recently, prior to his selection as Grand Chief, Chief White was the Chair of the Social Sustainability Chiefs' Committee for Grand Council Treaty #3, an active Executive Council member and he represented Treaty #3 and the Kenora-area Chiefs at several regional tables and committees.
Mr. White grew up in Noatkamegwanning First Nation.
Following a distinguished career with the Ontario government, co-chair Murray Segal currently practises as independent legal counsel, consultant and mediator.
During his time in government, Mr. Segal held a number of leadership positions, including serving as Deputy Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs and eight years as Deputy Attorney General. In this role, Mr. Segal was the chief legal advisor to the government and trusted advisor to Cabinet, the Attorney General, other Ministers and Deputy Ministers. Mr. Segal oversaw all government litigation and helped guide the modernization of Ontario's justice architecture with a focus on updating its technological infrastructure. Mr. Segal also led the transformation of a number of justice system segments, including human rights, administrative law tribunals, police oversight, civil law and criminal justice. In addition to the justice portfolio, Mr. Segal became a go-to negotiator and problem solver for some of the most complex, sensitive and difficult challenges facing the government.
Prior to his time as the Deputy Attorney General, Mr. Segal was the Chief Prosecutor for the Province of Ontario, leading the largest prosecution service in Canada.
Elder Gilbert Smith was born in Naicatchewenin First Nation near Fort Frances, Ontario, and has lived in the community his entire life. He retired in 2012 as an Addiction Counselor for the First Nation.
In his capacity as Elder, Mr. Smith promotes traditional culture by sharing his wisdom and personal experiences, and offers traditional advice and counseling to First Nation communities in Canada and the United States. He performs many traditional ceremonies, including sweat lodge, naming ceremonies, drum and sacred item feasting, fasting and funerals. Mr. Smith is also is a powwow singer and announcer, and participates in a variety of other traditional cultural activities. Gilbert is fluent in the Anishinaabemowin language.
Conrad DeLaronde currently serves as Operations Inspector at the Dakota Ojibway Police Service. Mr. DeLaronde came to the service in November 2013, following twenty-three years with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, where he retired as the Manitoba East District Commander. Mr. DeLaronde also worked for five years as Chief of Police for Treaty Three Police Service, based in Kenora, Ontario. Mr. DeLaronde is of Cree and Saulteaux descent, a member of Skownan First Nation. He was born and raised in The Pas, Manitoba.
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Patricia Faries was born and raised in Moose Factory, Ontario.
A graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and called to the Bar in 1998, Ms. Faries opened Moose Factory's first legal practice where she served clients until 2005 when she was elected as Chief of the Moose Cree First Nation. After serving three years as Chief, Ms. Faries returned to her private practice, which focuses on child protection, criminal and family law in Northeastern Ontario.
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Margaret Froh is a Métis lawyer and educator whose work focuses on promoting and supporting strong and healthy Métis, First Nation and Inuit organizations and communities through effective governance, law, policy, boards/committees and reconciliation processes. Ms. Froh serves as the Director of Strategic Policy, Law & Compliance for the Métis Nation of Ontario and is an active member of the Debwewin First Nation Jury Review Implementation Committee. A former President of the Indigenous Bar Association in Canada and President of Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto, Ms. Froh served for more than eight years as an in-house legal counsel for the Chippewas of Rama First Nation before joining the Métis Nation of Ontario's management team. Ms. Froh is a faculty member for the Banff Centre's Indigenous Leadership & Management Program is founder of Turquoise Buffalo Consulting based in Barrie, Ontario.
Peshaanakwut Jeff Kinew
Peshaanakwut Jeff Kinew is a member of the Golden Eagle clan and currently resides in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Mr. Kinew is an active member of the Treaty #3 Anishinaabe nation, where he sits on the Executive Youth Council and is also a member of the Ontario First Nation's Young Peoples Council and the Nuclear Waste Management Organization Elder's Council.
Mr. Kinew is currently studying law at the University of Manitoba.
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Robert G.W. Lapper
Robert G.W. Lapper, Q.C., joined the Law Society of Upper Canada as Chief Executive Officer in 2012.
Mr. Lapper previously held a number of executive positions in the British Columbia government, including Deputy Minister of Labour, Deputy Cabinet Secretary and Associate Deputy Minister, Cabinet Operations and Intergovernmental Relations in the Office of the Premier, and Assistant Deputy Attorney General in the Legal Services Branch.
Mr. Lapper joined the government as a lawyer in the Ministry of Attorney General in 1994 to focus on aboriginal law issues. His work included acting as a counsel to the Nisga'a Treaty negotiations, which concluded the first “modern” treaty in British Columbia. In 1998, he was appointed to head the Aboriginal Law Practice Group in the Legal Services Branch.
Prior to joining government, Mr. Lapper worked in private practise for 10 years.
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Kelly LaRocca is the Chief of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, located in Port Perry, ON.
Ms. LaRocca graduated with an Honours B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario, and completed her law degree at the University of Windsor. After her call to the Ontario Bar in 2001 and a number of years in civil litigation practice, Ms. LaRocca undertook coursework in Aboriginal law at the University of Victoria’s law school.
Ms. LaRocca served as an elected Councillor for her First Nation since 2008, and was elected as Chief in 2013.
Sylvia Maracle, a Mohawk from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory and member of the Wolf Clan, is currently the Executive Director of the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres; a position she has held for the past thirty-five years. Ms. Maracle has also served as Vice President of the National Association of Friendship Centres, President of the Native Women's Resource Centre and President of Native Child & Family Services of Toronto.
Ms. Maracle is currently chair of Aboriginal Housing Services in Ontario and is part of the national facilitation team for the Roundtable on Aboriginal Peoples for the Federal Government and National Aboriginal Organizations. Ms. Maracle has chaired a number of initiatives and organizations, such as the National and Ontario Region Aboriginal Headstart Committees, the provincial Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy, and the City of Toronto Taskforce on Access and Equity. Since 2010, Ms. Maracle has co-chaired the Joint Working Group on Violence against Aboriginal Women, an initiative of the Government of Ontario's Women's Directorate.
David McKillop is currently Vice President, Policy, Research and External Relations at Legal Aid Ontario (LAO). Mr. McKillop joined LAO in 2004 and has been responsible for a variety of functions, including policy development, quality assurance, communications, French language services, public legal education and external relations functions.
Mr. McKillop also leads the agency's Aboriginal Justice Strategy, which has the goal of achieving measurable improvements in legal aid services to Aboriginal people, regardless of whether they live on or off-reserve, are status or non-status or live in rural or urban contexts.
A lawyer for 25 years, Mr. McKillop's previous roles include Manager of Employee Relations at Extendicare (one of the largest operators of nursing homes in North America) from 2003 to 2004 and Manager of Professional Regulation at the Law Society of Upper Canada from 1987 to 2002.
Morris Zbar has worked in correctional services for the better part of the last five decades. Starting as a Correctional Officer at the Ministry of Correctional Services, Mr. Zbar has held a variety of line, management and executive positions over his career and retired as the Deputy Minister of Corrections for Ontario.
Following his retirement from the Ontario Public Service, Morris has served as a Special Advisor to the Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada, working on a major transformation agenda and focusing on community employment programs for offenders, among other initiatives.
Mr. Zbar has also been an active volunteer serving in leadership roles at a variety of institutions, including the Ontario Corrections and Criminology Association, the North York Library Board, Operation Springboard, Centennial College, and the Ontario Heritage Foundation. He has also served on a number of boards in the not-for-profit sector.
Mr. Zbar has recently been appointed as the President and CEO of the United Jewish Appeal of Greater Toronto, an organization he has been associated with for over two decades.