The BC First Nations Justice Council (BCFNJC) is delighted to congratulate Justice Ardith (Walpetko We’dalx) Walkem, Q.C., on her momentous appointment as a judge to the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
Rosalie Yazzie, BCFNJC Vice-Chair and lead director on First Nations Courts, provided the following comment. “For more than 30 years, Justice Walkem has dedicated herself to the law and to advocating on behalf of Indigenous Peoples with an admirable determination that has resulted in numerous accomplishments including this latest one.”
Yazzie further stated that, “Justice Walkem is deeply respected amongst her colleagues and peers for her legal rigour, principled approaches and brilliant scholarship she has carried out throughout the course of her professional career. She has been a voice for many while also furthering the goals of fairness and her role as a tireless advocate for Indigenous self-determination through her work.”
“Justice Walkem embodies all the qualities one would expect in a leader and it is gratifying to see her recognized in this manner – one in which she is truly deserving. On behalf of the BC First Nations Justice Council, we offer our gratitude and respect to this tremendous individual in this historic moment on being the first First Nations woman to be appointed to the BC Supreme Court,” says Yazzie.
“The appointment of Justice Walkem is to be celebrated for many reasons, including that it is in alignment with the BC First Nations Justice Strategy which calls for more appointments of Indigenous lawyers to the bench,” noted Doug White, Chair of the BC First Nations Justice Council.
Justice Walkem grew up in Spences Bridge, B.C., and is a member of the Nlaka’pamux Nation. After completing a B.A. in Political Science and Women’s Studies at McGill, she attended law school at the University of British Columbia. She also earned a Master of Laws degree from UBC with a research focus on Indigenous laws.
In a statement, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, also added his congratulations. “I wish Justice Walkem every success as she takes on her new role. I am confident she will serve the people of British Columbia well as a member of the Supreme Court of B.C.”
Nancy Argyle, Acting Communications and Engagement Manager
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