TRU honours first Indigenous female judge

At Convocation, TRU celebrated the accomplishments of the honourable Marion Buller

The Honourable Marion Buller has committed much of her career in the pursuit of justice for Indigenous people. (Submitted)

The Honourable Marion Buller received an honour from TRU for her remarkable leadership and efforts to establish equal justice for Indigenous people.

On Oct. 8, TRU hosted its Fall 2021 Virtual Convocation honouring the newest graduating class. In that celebration, TRU also took to honouring Buller and her accomplishments. She is well-known in Canada as a strong fighter for Indigenous peoples’ legal rights, and her accomplishments have been lauded by many.

Buller is a member of Saskatchewan’s Mentawai’s Nishikawa Cree First Nation. Graduating from the University of Victoria in 1987 with her degree in law and her admittance to the bar in 1988, Buller later went on to become B.C.’s first Indigenous female judge when she was appointed to the B.C. Provincial Court in 1994.

In 2006, Buller established B.C.’s First Nations Court to promote restorative justice and traditional sentencing methods. Until her retirement, she served over First Nations Courts and laid the groundwork for BC’s Indigenous Family Court.

From 2016 to 2019, she was the Chief Commissioner of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and in June 2019, she made her first public address regarding the inquiry’s findings at Thompson Rivers University.

The 1,200-page final report provides a critical examination of the numerous ethnic, cultural, and systemic factors that contribute to Canada’s disproportionately high incidence of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people.

Buller graduated from the University of Victoria with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and went on to study law there as well.

Buller was honoured by the UVic Faculty of Social Science with the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2012.

Many stories that she heard from survivors and their families brought her to tears. At the same time, the fortitude and tenacity of all the families and survivors inspired her and gave her hope for meaningful change in our communities.

Apart from that, she has also served as the Cariboo-Chilcotin Justice Inquiry’s commission counsel and the Indigenous Bar Association’s president. She has been honoured with various honours for her contributions to the advancement of Indigenous and human rights.

The University admits that Buller’s dedication to the pursuit of justice for Indigenous people symbolizes the commitment to Truth and Reconciliation that the institution hopes to instil in its students.