Roberta L. Jamieson

Roberta L. Jamieson is the first Aboriginal woman to earn a law degree, the first non-Parliamentarian to be appointed an ex-officio member of a special House of Commons committee on Indian self-government, the first Aboriginal Commissioner of the Indian Commission of Ontario, and the first woman appointed Ontario’s Ombudsman. Raised on the Six Nations of the Grand River, she learned to be an effective conciliator within her large family, a skill that would define her career. She wanted to study medicine when she entered McGill University in 1970, but her involvement in the political struggle for Aboriginal rights led her to study law, and she graduated from the University of Western Ontario’s Law School in 1976. As Ombudsman, Ms. Jamieson has instituted consultations with the Aboriginal community to ensure that the province hears its voice. Her work in non-adversarial conflict resolution has been recognized around the world. She received the Goodman Fellowship from the University of Toronto in 1991 for developing and promoting non-adversarial methods of conflict resolution, and became the first recipient of the Mary Parker Follet Award in 1992, as a tribute to her passion, willingness to take risks, and high involvement in the field of dispute resolution. She received the Order of Canada in 1994, and was recently elected the North American Regional Vice-President of the International Ombudsman Institute in Buenos Aires, Brazil.