866 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2018
Her work as Representative for Children and Youth included a detailed
and systemic examination of the child-serving system, and she advocated
for the human rights of children, resulting in many needed improvements.
In this role she was responsible for case advocacy for more than 17,000 children,
youth and families in all parts of British Columbia and across Canada,
with the majority of matters involving Indigenous children and families.
Turpel-Lafond holds a doctorate in law from Harvard Law School (S.J.D.),
a masters in international law from Cambridge University (Gonville and
Caius College), a J.D. from Osgoode Hall at York University and a bachelor of
arts from Carleton University. She also has a certificate in the international
and comparative law of human rights from the University of Strasbourg.
Early in her career she was a tenured law professor at Dalhousie Law
School. She instructed in a number of other law schools across Canada and
the United States. She has appeared at all levels of court in Canada and
served as a mediator and negotiator on land claims, Indigenous and human
rights matters. She has also worked in public law litigation. She is the author
of more than 50 published works and reports.
Turpel-Lafond was awarded the distinction of Indigenous Peoples’ Counsel
from the Indigenous Bar Association in 2006. She has been awarded honorary
degrees from nine Canadian universities and law schools.
Turpel-Lafond enjoys family activities with her relations at Muskeg Lake
Cree Nation and her close friends and relations in the First Nations communities
throughout British Columbia and Canada. She relaxes and finds joy
during the time she spends on the water captaining her tugboat, the Alpha
Rose, in the Pacific Northwest.
Assistant Professor Sara Ghebremusse’s family arrived in Edmonton as
Eritrean refugees in the early 1980s, during the height of Eritrea’s bitter
30-year war of independence from Ethiopia. It was not until after the war
ended in 1991 that Ghebremusse and her family were able to travel back to
Eritrea for the first time since their departure. During this life-changing
visit she learned about the extreme poverty and socioeconomic devastation
caused by war, which would later be a central consideration in her decision
to pursue a career in law.
Visiting Eritrea as a ten-year-old impacted Ghebremusse profoundly. She
notes: “I always thought that by studying law and by gaining a better understanding
of how lives and society can change through law, I could contribute
to bettering the lives of so many who are disadvantaged in Sub-
Saharan Africa, including so many members of my own family.”