Justice Harry Smith Laforme Receives the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Community Section Ally Award

  • February 06, 2019

OTTAWA – In recognition of Justice Harry S. LaForme’s commitment to advancing the cause of equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and two-spirited people with the Canadian legal profession, the Canadian Bar Association is awarding him the SOGIC Ally Award. 

The award will be presented to Justice LaForme at the CBA’s President’s Dinner on February 12, 2019 in Ottawa.


“Throughout his career, Justice LaForme has worked tirelessly to furthering the rights of aboriginal peoples, Canada’s LGBTQ2 communities and the rights of all other marginalized groups living in Canada.  He has fought against marginalization at every stage of his career and has furthered the rights of all Canadians who share experiences of oppression.  He cultivates understanding and bridges the divides across differences.  His ongoing efforts to educate Canadians about the effects of marginalization benefit those who continue to suffer from historical disadvantages.”

- CBA President, Ray Adlington

Quick facts:

  • Justice Harry LaForme is a Mississauga Indian and member of the Eagle Clan of the Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation.
  • He graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1977 and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1979.
  • He was appointed Commissioner of the Indian Commission of Ontario in 1989.
  • He has served as Co-Chair on the independent National Chiefs Task Force on Native Land Claims from October 1989 to June 1990.
  • In 1991, he was appointed Chair of the Indian Specific Claims Commission, also known as the Indian Claims Commission.
  • He has taught the “Rights of Indigenous Peoples” law course at Osgoode Hall Law School (1992-1993). 
  • He has an Honorary Doctor of Laws from York University and Windsor University; an Honorary Doctor of Education from Nipissing University and an Honorary Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa from the Law Society of Upper Canada.
  • In 1994, he was appointed a judge of the Ontario Court of Justice (General Division), now the Superior Court of Justice, Ontario.
  • In 1997, he received the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in the area of Law & Justice.
  • In November 2004, Justice LaForme was appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal and is the first Aboriginal person to be appointed to sit on any appellate court in the history of Canada and the Commonwealth.
  • He has represented Canadian Aboriginal interests in Geneva, Switzerland, New Zealand and the British Parliament.

Related links:

The CBA Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Community Section (SOGIC) – Ally Award

The Canadian Bar Association


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About the CBA

The CBA is dedicated to support for the rule of law, and improvement and the administration of justice.  Some 36,000 lawyers, notaries in Quebec, law teachers and law students from across Canada are members.