Thursday, July 16, 2021

OTTAWA, ONT – Please join the Indigenous Bar Association in Canada (the “IBA”) in congratulating Judge Grace Auger on her recent appointment to the Alberta Provincial Court. A member of the Bigstone Cree Nation, former Vice President of the IBA, and a tenacious voice for Indigenous Peoples throughout her career in legal practice, Judge Auger’s designation is both merited and encouraging. Auger is a central and leading figure within the Alberta bar, a prominent leader in Indigenous rural and urban communities, and a proud mother and grandmother.

Grace Auger is an inspiring example of the strength, dedication and resilience of Indigenous Women throughout Turtle Island. While earning her Bachelor of Laws from the University of Calgary, not only was Judge Auger the sole Indigenous legal student in her cohort, but she also earned her degree while concurrently raising three young children. Called to the Alberta Bar in 1997, Auger would go on to serve as a Crown prosecutor for almost seven years before working with Legal Aid Alberta as Duty Counsel until her judicial appointment. As a lawyer and advocate, she has been the recipient of the Esquao Award for Justice, the Women In Law Leadership Award, and the University of Calgary’s ARCH Award for Alumni Career Achievement.

Throughout her exemplary career, Judge Auger has remained steadfast in her promotion of Indigenous restorative justice practices and the culturally appropriate sentencing of Indigenous offenders. She was a fixture at the community-oriented Tsuut’ina and Siksika Courts, and a reliable, consistent voice for those unable to represent themselves in criminal, family and administrative proceedings. As is undoubtedly true for the appointment of Judge Auger, the IBA believes that any candidate for the Canadian judiciary must be fully aware of the desirable and necessary systemic changes that are needed to ensure justice for Indigenous Peoples within Canada’s ongoing process of reconciliation. Once stating that “my whole goal in going to law school was to work with my own people,” the legal knowledge, Indigenous perspectives, and breadth of experience that Judge Auger brings to the Alberta judiciary are sure to benefit the provincial administration of law.

The IBA has long advocated for increased representation of Indigenous voices at all levels of court, in part because it is important for Indigenous Peoples to see themselves represented in the judiciary, but also because a greater understanding of Indigenous law is critical to achieving meaningful justice for Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

Towards her momentous and well-earned designation as Provincial Court Judge, The IBA extends our compliments and congratulations to Judge Grace Auger.