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Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond

Director of the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre / Professor

UBC

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond was appointed as the inaugural Director of the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre and as a professor with the Peter A. Allard School of Law, in April 2018.

Ms. Turpel-Lafond, or Aki-kwe, is recognized internationally for her pioneering work as British Columbia’s first Representative for Children and Youth. As a lawyer and provincial judge, Ms.Turpel-Lafond has also been involved in projects relating to improving supports for Indigenous peoples, especially in addressing the unique circumstances and needs of children and youth involved in the justice system.

Ms. Turpel-Lafond is Cree and Scottish with kinship ties in First Nations in both Saskatchewan and Manitoba. During her decade of advocacy for children and youth, she worked with First Nations and Métis families and communities across B.C. She has deep connections with Elders, individuals and community leaders working to address the legacy of residential schools for children and youth today by reforming child welfare, language revitalization and criminal justice innovation.

As Director of the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, Ms. Turpel-Lafond will ensure that the centre provides residential school survivors access to the records gathered by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).