The Abenaki Council of Odanak would like to congratulate Mrs O’Bonsawin on being the first Abenakise Judge.
Previously general counsel with the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group in Ottawa, Mrs O’Bonsawin is appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice in Ottawa.
Justice Michelle O’Bonsawin was born in Hanmer, Ontario, a small Francophone town east of Sudbury. She is a fluently bilingual Abenaki member of the Odanak First Nation. Justice O’Bonsawin holds a B.A. (Laurentian University), an LL.B. (University of Ottawa), and an LL.M. (Osgoode Hall), and is currently enrolled in the University of Ottawa’s Ph.D. program in law. She began her legal career with the RCMP Legal Services and later was counsel with Canada Post Corporation, specializing in labour, employment, human rights, and privacy law. Prior to her appointment, Justice O’Bonsawin was general counsel for the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group, where she developed a specialization in mental health law. She has taught Indigenous law part-time in the University of Ottawa’s French common law program.
In addition to her legal work, Justice O’Bonsawin is a frequent guest speaker on mental health, labour and privacy law. She serves on the Board of Governors of the University of Ottawa, as well as its Executive Committee. Justice O’Bonsawin also acts as a mentor in the Canadian Bar Association, Ontario Bar Association, and University of Ottawa mentorship programs and is the legal coach for the Collège catholique Samuel-Genest high school team for the OBA/OJEN moot competition. She resides in Ottawa with her family.
It is with great pride that we wish her all the best in her new function.