The commissioners for native reconciliation
Judge Murray Sinclair, Marie Wilson, Wilton Littlechild
More than a year after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for residential schools was established, then Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl introduced a second panel of leaders for the group on June 10, 2009.
Judge Murray Sinclair, a judge in Manitoba who became the province's first aboriginal associate chief justice in 1988, was chosen to chair the panel after months of internal wrangling among its former members — all of whom resigned.
The other members of the commission are Marie Wilson, who served as a senior executive with the N.W.T. workers compensation commission, and Wilton Littlechild, formerly the Alberta regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations.
Following his appointment, Sinclair said he would work to restore the commission's credibility, adding that many had lost faith in the panel after the infighting of his predecessors.
Here is a look at the commissioners.
Judge Murray Sinclair
Judge Murray Sinclair brings "impeccable credentials" to his post as chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Strahl said in June 2009.
Manitoba's first aboriginal judge and a citizen of the Ojibway nation, Sinclair was raised on St. Peter's reserve in the Selkirk area north of Winnipeg.
After high school, he worked as special assistant to the attorney general of Manitoba. He studied at the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba, where he graduated from the school of law in 1979.
As a lawyer, Sinclair practised mainly aboriginal law and civil and criminal litigation. According to a news release from the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, he was known for his representation of aboriginal people and knowledge of aboriginal legal issues.
Not long after his 1988 appointment as associate chief justice of Manitoba provincial court, he was chosen as co-commissioner of Manitoba's aboriginal justice inquiry, a probe launched after a Winnipeg police officer shot native leader J.J. Harper to death after he was mistaken for a car thief. Sinclair was also at the helm of a study into the deaths of 12 children at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg.
Marie Wilson worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. for 25 years in radio and television, serving during that time as regional director for CBC North. She was also vice-president of operations for the Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
For nearly 40 years, Wilson has "dealt effectively with aboriginal, church and political organizations at the operational, executive and political levels," the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs said in a news release in 2009.
A graduate of the University of Western Ontario in London, Wilson has a bachelor's degree in French language and literature, and a master's degree in journalism.
The northern newsmagazine Up Here recognized Wilson with the "Northerner of the Year" award in 1999.
A former Alberta regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations, Wilton Littlechild was the first treaty First Nation person to graduate in law from the University of Alberta. That accomplishment in 1976 followed his bachelor of physical education degree in 1967 and a master's in the same field in 1975.
A member of Parliament for the riding of Wetaskiwin-Rimby from 1988 to 1993, Littlechild runs a law firm on the Ermineskin reserve. In a news release, the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs described him as a "strong advocate" for the rights of indigenous peoples.
Described by the department as an avid sportsman and athlete, Littlechild has won more than 50 provincial, regional, national and international championships and been inducted into seven sports walls of fame.
He was also chair of the Commission on First Nations and Metis Peoples and Justice Reform, which examined Saskatchewan's justice system.