For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Ottawa, ONT – The Indigenous Bar Association in Canada (the “IBA”) congratulates Justice Stacy Ryan on her appointment to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador. An impressive accomplishment in its own right, Madam Justice Ryan is also the first Inuk and the first woman from Labrador to hold the position of Supreme Court Justice in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Born and raised in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Justice Ryan’s recent appointment as resident judge to this very same jurisdiction is particularly fitting. A graduate of the University of New Brunswick, she earned a Bachelor of Laws in 1999 and was called to the Bar of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2000. Since 2015, Justice Ryan has served as Master of the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court, and has held the position of Staff Solicitor for the Newfoundland Legal Aid Commission since 2014.
Having dedicated her career to the practice of family and criminal law throughout Labrador, and as a Beneficiary of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, Justice Ryan is known to hold a deep understanding of the justice issues and concerns facing the region, especially within Nunatsiavut communities. Among several historic firsts, she is also the first member of her immediate family to graduate from post-secondary education. A committed supporter of access to education and a force of change within her community, Justice Ryan is keenly aware of the many challenges Labradorians and Indigenous Peoples face while pursuing their goals.
The Indigenous Bar Association 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, and also because a greater understanding of Indigenous law is critical to achieving justice for Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Justice Ryan’s profound knowledge and lived experience will surely bring a much-needed Indigenous perspective to the Newfoundland and Labrador judiciary.
The IBA extends our congratulations to Justice Stacy Ryan on this historic occasion.