For Immediate Release
1 July 2021
Ottawa, ONT – The Indigenous Bar Association (the “IBA”) celebrates the distinguished career of Professor Catherine Bell. A law graduate of both the University of Saskatchewan and the University of British Columbia, Professor Catherine Bell has served as a Professor of Law at the University of Alberta for a remarkable thirty-two years. Known for having dedicated her career to the scholarship and instruction of Aboriginal law and Indigenous legal issues, Professor Bell rightfully holds deep and abiding respect within the Indigenous legal community. A specialist in the fields of Indigenous rights, Aboriginal law, and access to justice, she is celebrated not only for her significant contributions to law and policy within Canada, but also for her continued and sustained excellence as an educator and colleague.
Among a long list of extraordinary accomplishments, Professor Bell is published widely on Métis and First Nation legal issues and has acted as an advisor to both Indigenous and state organizations. She has been a visiting professor and scholar at numerous national and international institutions including the Akitsiraq Law School with the University of Victoria, the Banff Centre’s programming for Indigenous leadership, and the University of Saskatchewan’s Native Law Centre. Esteemed for her innovative approach to research and education, Professor Bell has also been the recipient of numerous research grants and prestigious awards such as the Canadian Bar Association’s Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Law.
Within her sizable body of work towards understanding the diverse legal systems present in Canada, Professor Bell has assisted in the interpretation of Indigenous laws, trained Indigenous lawyers to better understand the relationship between Indigenous and Canadian legal orders, and encouraged Indigenous Peoples to use their own legal traditions within self-government systems. In doing so, not only has she cultivated a profound impact within the field of legal studies but has also stimulated meaningful change for the everyday lives of Indigenous populations.
As an organization dedicated to the continuing education of Indigenous lawyers, as well as the revitalization, respect, and promotion of Indigenous laws and legal traditions, the IBA wishes to recognize the deeply-aligned and significant contributions made by Professor Catherine Bell.
Congratulations to Professor Bell, and thank you for an exceptional career.