Indigenous Leaders in the Alberta Legal Community Series | Carolyn Buffalo

Today on the LESA blog, we are featuring Carolyn M. Buffalo, B.A., LL.B. who has been a member of the Law Society of Alberta since 1996. Carolyn has served in many roles over the course of her career including in-house counsel and policy analyst with the Yellowhead Tribal Council, Chief and councillor of the Montana Cree Nation, Public School Trustee for Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools, Prime Minister of the National Youth Parliament of Canada, and sessional instructor of Business Law at the Maskwacis Cultural College and Environmental Law at the Yellowhead Tribal College (YTC). Carolyn has also served as a board member for the Akahmihk Kispatinow Opihkihowawasowin Child and Family Services Society, Indigenous Bar Association, and Yellowhead Indigenous Education Foundation.

Carolyn has been married to Richard Jackson of Saddle Lake Cree Nation for 29 years.  She is the proud mother of Chloe (aged 28) and Graham (aged 24), who identify as members and allies of the LGBTQ2+ community, and of Noah (aged 20), who has severe cerebral palsy.  She is currently completing her 8th year with YTC and looks forward to serving them for many more. She is a Nehiyewskwew, and is a descendant of Chiefs Big Bear, Aiemsees, Papaschase, and Bobtail. She was a member of the legal team in the seminal Victor Buffalo et al v Her Majesty the Queen et al (2016 FCA 223) which was a breach of Treaty, fiduciary, trust, and trust like duties of the Crown in Right of Canada.  Her area of practice has always been in Indigenous law and the protection of Treaty Rights. Carolyn is proud member of the Great Nation of the Plains Cree in Treaty No. 6 of 1976 territory.

Carolyn, Noah, and Richard are representative plaintiffs in a national class action lawsuit on behalf of handicapped children and their families on reserve on the implementation of Jordan’s Principle.  Canada has signed an agreement in principle, totaling $40 Billion, which is the largest settlement in Canadian history and third largest in the world (so far as Carolyn knows), settling this claim.  The claims are awaiting approval by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and the Federal Court of Canada.

The LESA blog is publishing a series of articles highlighting the achievements of Indigenous members of the Alberta bar. If you, or someone you know, is interested in being involved, please send a note to [email protected].

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