School of Policy Studies

School of Policy Studies
School of Policy Studies


2021 Tom Courchene Distinguished Speaker Series with Jody Wilson-Raybould

Wednesday, May 19, 2021  4:30 PM EDT (via Zoom)

Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., Q.C, M.P.

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., Q.C., M.P. (Puglaas) – Canada's first Indigenous Minister of Justice and Attorney General, and Canada's first elected female Independent Member of Parliament has been a leader among Indigenous peoples advocating for the proper recognition and implementation of Indigenous rights. Despite political rhetoric that promises change, and some incremental progress, the fact remains that this transformative change is yet to happen. Why do Governments struggle to effect true reconciliation? Why has this urgently needed change been so slow in coming? What should governments, Indigenous peoples, and the public be doing today to drive forward the real change that is needed? What role can the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples play in this work? Hear her answer these questions, and others, while sharing insights from her unique experience as an Indigenous and Canadian politician and leader.

Live Stream [image]

FREE event.
Registration is required.  Register here or click the Live Stream image above.


The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould was first elected as the Member of Parliament for the new constituency of Vancouver Granville on October 19, 2015. She was re-elected in 2019 as an Independent, making her the only elected Independent Member of Parliament in the 43rd Parliament.

On November 4, 2015, Ms. Wilson-Raybould was appointed the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada making her the first Indigenous person to serve in this portfolio. She then served as Minister of Veterans Affairs of Canada from January 14, 2019 until her resignation on February 12, 2019. 

In 2009, Ms. Wilson-Raybould was elected Regional Chief of the BC Assembly of First Nations, where she devoted herself to the advancement of First Nations governance, fair access to land and resources, as well as improved education and health care services. She was re-elected as Regional Chief in 2012 and served until 2015, holding responsibilities for governance and nation building on the Assembly of First Nations Executive. Ms. Wilson-Raybould also served two terms as a councillor for the We Wai Kai Nation.

Five years after co-writing BCAFN Governance Toolkit: A Guide to Nation Building, Ms. Wilson-Raybould released From Where I Stand: Rebuilding Indigenous Nations for a Stronger Canada in 2019. The book, which draws from a number of Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s speeches and other writings, urges readers to build upon the progress achieved through reconciliation or risk losing what advancement has been gained.

Ms. 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 peoples. She is a member of the We Wai Kai Nation. Her traditional name, Puglaas, means "woman born to noble people".