MNO citizen appointed to Canadian Senate
Updated: Aug 5, 2020
MNO citizen Yvonne Boyer (photo courtesy of Brandon University)
For the first time, a Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) citizen has been appointed to the Canadian Senate.
Yvonne Boyer has more than two decades of experience practising law and will be sworn in on Tuesday, March 20.
“I will be speaking from my heart all the time, and I think it’s critical that there is a woman’s voice and it’s just as important to have a Métis woman’s voice in the Senate,” Boyer said after the announcement.
As an MNO citizen, she is the first person appointed from Ontario to identify as Indigenous.
When she spoke with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, he asked that she carry on her work involving human rights, Métis rights and Indigenous rights in the Senate so she can serve all of Canada.
“I’m feeling really humbled by this great responsibility and honour that the Prime Minister has bestowed on me,” Boyer said.
Boyer runs her own law practice, is the Associate Director for the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics at the University of Ottawa and teaches in the Faculty of Law. She is also a former Human Rights Commissioner, where she was also the first to identify as Indigenous.
As a Senator, she’s hoping to carry on her work in the area of Indigenous health. As a former nurse, she completed a Doctorate of Law from the University of Ottawa and completed a fellowship with the Indigenous People’s Health Research Centre at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy University in Regina. She is also a former Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Health and Wellness at Brandon University in Manitoba.
“I‘ve been working my whole life looking at Indigenous rights and how they can advance Indigenous health and that’s where I hope to carry on my work at the Senate,” she said.
“I feel really fortunate that I am able to do this. I’m going to get in and roll up my sleeves and it’s going to be good work. I’m really looking forward to it,” she said.
MNO President Margaret Froh said the MNO looks forward to working with Boyer in her new role and noted that "We are very pleased to have one of our Métis Nation of Ontario citizens appointed to the Senate. Dr. Yvonne Boyer brings a vast amount of experience and knowledge to her new role as Senator. She will provide an important voice, not only for women, for Métis and all Indigenous people, but for all Canadians."
In a news release, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was delighted to welcome Parliament’s newest Senator.
“I am confident that Parliament will benefit from Dr. Boyer’s knowledge and experience, and that she will be a great ambassador for Ontario, the Métis Nation, and all of Canada.”