Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck:
Honourable senators, I had the pleasure of attending the
seventeenth annual National Aboriginal Achievement Awards
Gala held in Regina on Friday, March 26. The gala recognizes
14 outstanding Aboriginals from across Canada for their work
in various areas, such as lifetime achievement, youth,
health and so on.
recipient in the law and justice category this year was Don
Worme. Don was the only recipient from Saskatchewan. He was
raised on the Kawacatoose First Nation, about 100 kilometres
north of Regina.
Over the years, Worme was involved in
the Ipperwash Inquiry that placed blame on the Ontario
Government and police in the death of protester Dudley
George; he represented an inmate at the Kingston
Penitentiary Inquiry where cruel practices were deemed to
have been undertaken; and he represented the family of Neil
Stonechild in the Neil Stonechild Inquiry, which
investigated the freezing death of the Saskatoon teen.
More recently, Mr. Worme has been
appointed as the chief counsel for the residential schools'
Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He stated:
The injustice that is faced by many in
our society — and not just First Nations communities —
deserves to be responded to. The sense of social justice I
was raised with, that my grandfather instilled . . . his
view of the world was that if you see wrong, then you must
speak out about it. If you can do something about it, beyond
speaking, then you must do it. That is our duty.
Honourable senators, congratulations
to Don Worme, his wife Helen Semaganis and his family on
receiving this latest honour.