With healthy youth, the original people of North America will have a healthy future. And that’s something Hugh Braker is doing one child at a time.
One of his law firm’s major interests is Aboriginal child welfare law while litigating for aboriginal rights has been the major issue his progressive law firm has been concentrating on.
Braker’s interest in the justice system started when he was a child when Aboriginal people didn’t have the right to vote. Braker remembers the injustices committed on the people in his Nuu Chah Nulth community, and he dreamed of correcting the situation any way he could.
He excelled in law school, moving directly into the thick of it as Director of Self-Government with the Assembly of First Nations. He was the first male Nuu Chah Nulth lawyer in the country and the first BC First Nations lawyer to be made a Queen’s Counsel (Q.C.)
He moved back to his community and worked as staff lawyer for the tribal council for almost 10 years litigating and negotiating fishing and hunting rights and aboriginal child welfare instituting stronger family welfare and adoption practices. He opened his own practice in 1989 and continues to take great pride in volunteering as president of the Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of BC for 20 years.
Braker grew up with strong ties to his community. He believes Aboriginal values are distinct from non-Aboriginal values and as an Aboriginal lawyer, his focus is on the community at large. His clients see him as an Aboriginal person first who cares about his community and its future. Braker considers it his responsibility to see that children grow up safely, so he helped design customized contemporary justice methods that incorporate traditional belief systems. Braker is building a stronger community for all of us, one child at a time.