MISSISSAUGAS OJIBWE CANADIAN JUDGE HARRY SMITH LAFORME BORN
LaForme, born and raised on the Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation reserve in southern Ontario (ON), graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School (1977) and joined Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt before starting his own practice in Aboriginal law. Prior to becoming a judge, he served as: Commissioner, Indian Commission of ON (1989); Co-chair, National Chiefs Task Force on Native Land Claims (1989-91); Chair, Royal Commission on Aboriginal land claims (1991); and Chief Commissioner, Federal Indian Claims Commission (1992-94). In 1994, he was appointed a judge of the ON Court of Justice (General Division). In November 2004, LaForme was appointed to the ON Court of Appeal—the 1st Aboriginal person to sit on an appellate court. In 2008, Harry was appointed Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but soon returned to his appellate duties, retiring in 2018. Awards include: 1997 National Aboriginal Achievement Award (Law & Justice); Olympic Torch carrier, 2010 Canada Winter Games.
Sources: “Harry Laforme, Mississaugas of New Credit, 1947-,” Native Leaders of Canada. Retrieved 4/18/2022, Native Leaders of Canada - Harry Laforme (newfederation.org) Photo: Padraic Ryan, 11/11/2007. Aboriginal War Veterans Monument, Ottawa, Canada. Permissive Use.