Dave Joe, a Vancouver lawyer and long-time advocate on behalf of First Nations communities, is the winner of the Canadian Bar Association’s 2011 President’s Award. CBA President Rod Snow callled Joe “a trailblazer, and a role model for all who followed,” as well as “a mentor and inspiration to the next generation.”
The announcement and presentation is part of the CBA’s 2011 Canadian Legal Conference and Expo in Halifax, where the Association announced the winners of all of its myriad awards. The conference began Sunday and continues through Tuesday.
Joe was born in Klukshu, Yukon, and is a citizen of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations. He was sent to a residential school, and later studied law at the University of British Columbia and established himself at the forefront of the reconciliation process in the North. He was called to the bar in 1977.
In other awards presentations, Vancouver-area MP and long-time lawyer Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Q.C. is the recipient of this year’s Cecilia I. Johnstone Award, which recognizes the advancement of women in the legal profession. Findlay was instrumental in the creation of the Women Lawyers Forum, which greatly expanded mentorship and education opportunities. The 2011 Touchstone Award went to Patricia Blocksom, Q.C., “for her outstanding accomplishments in promoting equality in the Canadian legal community.”
Former chief commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission Maxwell Yalden was honoured with the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Conference (SOGIC) Ally Award for his work to promote equality for LGBTT people, and Toronto lawyer and trailblazer Susan Ursel was recognized for her tireless efforts on behalf of the LGBTT community with the (SOGIC) Hero Award.
CBA student member and Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP articling student Preston Parsons won the Edward K. Rowan-Legg Award for student contributions, while Sherif Foda was awarded the $40,000 Viscount Bennett Fellowship for graduate legal studies. Alberta Human Rights Commission legal counsel Arman Chak picked up the Young Lawyers-Canadian Bar Association Pro Bono Award for outstanding legal services benefiting the community.
For a full list of winners of the 2011 CBA awards, click here.