For over 40 years, Jim Sinclair has championed the rights of Indigenous peoples and left an indelible mark on the international stage that will be felt for generations to come. As a founding member of both the Native Council of Canada and the Métis National Council and as current president of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples of Saskatchewan, Mr. Sinclair’s passion and commitment to his people still persists and inspires.
Widely recognized for his work, Mr. Sinclair has received numerous awards including the Lifetime Achievement Plaque from the Canadian Senate, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Métis Women of Saskatchewan, and the Merit Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Métis National Council.
Early in his career, he launched the first-ever lawsuit against a sitting Prime Minister to get the Métis into the First Conference on Aboriginal Constitutional Affairs. Then Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau settled out of court and the two became close friends. Leaders of other nations also took notice of his drive and determination. In 1990 he was invited by the Prime Minister of Australia to speak on Indigenous rights, has appeared twice before the European Parliament, and held a private audience with Pope John Paul II on four occasions to discuss Aboriginal issues.
Closer to home, Mr. Sinclair served as President of the Association of Métis and Non-Status Indians of Saskatchewan from 1970 to 1988 and during that time he helped found the Dumont Technical Institute and the Gabriel Dumont Institute. He also helped establish the Saskatchewan Native Economic Development Corporation, a lending institution operated by Métis people, and he oversaw the launch of New Breed, Saskatchewan’s provincial Métis newspaper.
If that’s not enough for one lifetime, the Provincial Métis Housing Corporation, the Saskatchewan Naive Alcohol Council, and the Métis Addictions Centre of Saskatchewan all came into being under Mr. Sinclair’s leadership.