Former National Chief Ovide Mercredi will receive a Doctor of Laws honoris causa (LLD) by the Law Society of Ontario at a Call to the Bar ceremony on June 17.
Each year, the society awards honorary doctorates to distinguished people in recognition of outstanding achievements in the legal profession, the rule of law, or the cause of justice. Recipients serve as keynote speakers for the new lawyers.
Mercredi, Cree from Grand Rapids, attended the University of Manitoba and graduated with a degree in law in 1977. He was a key strategist for the AFN during the Meech Lake Accord constitutional discussions, and elected regional chief of the AFN for Manitoba in 1989. He also played a critical role in resolving the Oka Crisis in 1990.
In 1991, Mercredi was elected National Chief, and led negotiations for First Nations in the Charlottetown Accord negotiations.
He served as National Chief until 1997.
Mercredi is an accomplished author, advocate of non-violent methods for change, and received the Order of Manitoba in 2006.
Mercredi challenged the Law Society to take action to better support Indigenous communities, making important recommendations for a proactive approach towards meaningful reconciliation, including developing cultural competency for lawyers and paralegals who represent Indigenous peoples and deal with Indigenous issues, reads an article in the Law Society of Ontario Gazette.