Aboriginal lawyers stride in footsteps of legal pioneer

The Thunderbird: Aboriginal lawyers stride in the footsteps of legal pioneer

This article was originally written for publication on The Thunderbird. Below is an excerpt. For the full article, please click here

Former lieutenant-governor Steven Point isn’t sure most British Columbians will remember his pal Alfred Scow. He doubts if many people even realize that Scow was the province’s first — and, for a long time, only — aboriginal judge.

Scow died in February at 86. He represented a beacon for many indigenous people hoping to enter the legal field. However, challenges still impede the progress of aboriginal people, both within the profession and the justice system in general.

Amid the tumultuous years of the 1960s, Scow became the first indigenous student to graduate from law school in British Columbia. Soon after, he would achieve another first: the first indigenous lawyer to be called to the bar.

“He was the only one, and the big thing that sticks out is: Why is that? Why is there only one native judge?” asked Point, a himself an ex-lawyer and, in the generation that came after Scow, also one of only a few aboriginal judges.

To read the full article at The Thunderbird news service, please click here

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