Jody Wilson Raybould, LLB, MP

JWR, LLB (UBC '99) as she is known, was born on March 23, 1971 in Vancouver, BC. She is a member of the We Wai Kai Nation and a descendant of the Musgamagw Tsawataineuk and Laich-Kwil-Tach peoples who are part of the Kwakwaka'wakw and Kwak'wala speaking peoples.

Her native name,"Puglaas", means "woman born of noble people". JWR is the daughter of outspoken First Nations advocate and Chief Bill Wilson, LLB (UBC Law '73) who drafted the first and only amendment to the Canadian Constitution when it was repatriated under Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau in 1982. Chief Wilson famously stated to PM Trudeau in 1983 on national television that he had 2 daughters who hoped to be lawyers and Prime Minister one day. Her mother of Euro-Canadian ancestry, was a teacher raising JWR and her sister Kory Wilson--Goertzen, LLB (UBC Law '99) single handedly after her divorce from Wilson. 

JWR started her career in law as a provincial Crown Prosecutor in Vancouver's Main Street criminal courthouse in theDowntown Eastside from 2000 to 2003.

In 2003, she took a position as a process advisor at the B.C. Treaty Commission which negotiates treaties between First Nations and the Crown. She was elected commissioner in 2004 serving for 7 years, one and half years of which she spent as Acting Chief Commissioner.

Wilson-Raybould was first elected Regional Chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations in 2009. In 2011 and 2012, Wilson-Raybould co-authored the BCAFN Governance Toolkit: A Guide to Nation Building. Part 1 of the Governance Toolkit - The Governance Report, which "has been acclaimed as the most comprehensive report of its kind in Canada, setting out what First Nations in B.C. are doing with respect to transitioning their governance from under the Indian Act to a post-colonial world based on recognition of aboriginal title and rights". (Wikipedia) 

Wilson-Raybould was elected in the October 19, 2015 as a federal Liberal MP obtaining 43.9% of the vote. Wilson-Raybould is only the third woman to become Minister of Justice and Attorney General and the first Aboriginal person.

Due to a controversy surrounding the SNC Lavalin affair, she stepped down as a cabinet minister and eventually was removed from the Liberal caucus. She ran in the 2019 federal election as an independent and won her Vancouver Granville seat by 32.6% of the vote. 

In September 2019 she released her book From Where I Stand about how to move forward with reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.


In Wilson-Raybould's own words, "True leadership is about the person who demonstrates passion and commitment to what they believe in and what they choose to do in life. True leaders are all around us and they lead by example." (Heather Conn, UBC Law Alumni Magazine) 

Photo credit: ourcommons

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