Western Law graduate Roberta L. Jamieson, LLB'76, LLD'93, is known in Canada and around the world for her work in dispute resolution. A woman of many firsts, she is a leader and role model for both aboriginal and non-aboriginal people alike. She is a Mohawk woman from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory where she has resided throughout her life.
Since 2004, she has been the CEO and President of Indspire, formerly the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, and is opening doors for First Nations across the country.
Jamieson received her law degree in 1976 from Western's Faculty of Law, the first woman from a First Nation to graduate from law school. She is a graduate of the Harvard University Program on Negotiation for Senior Executives. She has also received 14 honorary Doctor of Laws degrees (Carleton University, Dalhousie University, McMaster University, Lakehead University, Western University, University of Windsor, Waterloo Lutheran University, University of Sudbury, Ryerson University, Trent University, Law Society of Upper Canada, York University, University of Toronto, and Nipissing University).
Before her post with Indspire, Jamieson was Commissioner of the Indian Commission of Ontario and for ten years, Ombudsman of Ontario, founding president of the Canadian Ombudsman Association, and a vice-president of the International Ombudsman Institute. Again applying her Mohawk traditional values, Roberta Jamieson is well known as an authority on non-adversarial methods for conflict resolution. Her work in this area was recognized in 1991 when she was named the Goodman Fellow at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. In 1992, she was selected by the International Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution as the first recipient of the Mary Parker Follett Award, paying tribute to "an individual, who, with passion, willingness to take risks, and high involvement of those affected, is tackling a contemporary problem in the field of dispute resolution." In 2009, she was for the second time given the Women's Executive Network "Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award".
Roberta has enjoyed a distinguished career of "firsts": the first First Nations woman to earn a law degree; the first non-parliamentarian to be appointed an ex-officio member of a House of Commons Committee; the first woman to be appointed Ombudsman of Ontario; and in December 2001, she was the first woman to be elected Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.
Jamieson has been appointed a member of the Order of Canada. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious Harmony Award in recognition of her significant contribution towards eliminating racial and social barriers in Canada as well as the first Deo Kernahan Memorial Award presented by the Urban Alliance on Race Relations in Toronto; a National Aboriginal Achievement Award (Law and Justice 1998), and the Indigenous Bar Association's highest award, Indigenous Peoples Council Award (IPC).
Roberta is on the Board of the Empire Club of Canada. She is also the founding Chair of ImagineNATIVE, an international media arts festival that showcases the work of indigenous artists from around the world working in film, television, video, radio and multimedia formats, and has also served as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Minister of Heritage Canada on the National Gathering on Aboriginal Artistic Expression, and the National Gathering on Cultural Tourism. She was a founding board member of the Centre for Research in Women's Health, the Canadian Native Law Students Association, a Board member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, a member and vice-chair of the Health Council of Canada, the Ontario Press Council and the Canadian Policy Research Network. She is one of 10 experienced Canadian leaders assigned to mentor promising doctoral students awarded the prestigious Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship.
She lives with her husband at their home at Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. They have a daughter and granddaughter.
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