|Legal Aid Alberta Grace Auger, right in the photo above, won a Leadership in the Profession Award|
Auger was awarded the Leadership in Profession (Government) award for extraordinary leadership in areas including legal skills and capabilities, contribution to legal education, mentoring of law students and junior lawyers, demonstrated leadership in law and diversity initiatives, and a commitment to being a positive role model for other lawyers.
“Grace has inspired everyone who knows her to be a better lawyer, judge and community member,” wrote Supreme Court of Canada Justice Sheilah Martin in a support letter to the WILL nominating committee. “Grace has dedicated her career to public service in the broadest and most noble sense. She has consistently inspired those around her, both within the profession and in her community, to be a part of her vision for a better Alberta.”
Auger has spent her career serving the Indigenous people of Alberta, and working to bridge the cultural gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups. Having worked as a Crown prosecutor in Calgary prior to her work at Twinn Law and now Legal Aid Alberta, her efforts have always been focused on working for the betterment of Indigenous people and communities.
Ongoing commitment to indigenous people
Grace is well liked and appreciated by the Provincial Court in Siksika, Turner Valley and Tsuu T’ina, said Danny Lynn, Auger’s former boss and Senior Counsel at Legal Aid for Edmonton Criminal Law “She also has an excellent working relationship with Siksika Justice. She is a valued member of Legal Aid providing essential services to Indigenous Communities in Southern Alberta.”
Grace is recognized as a leader in the Indigenous community and is sought out for her expertise and knowledge in matters impacting Indigenous people in Alberta and across the country, said Helen Rogers, Senior Counsel for Legal Aid Alberta’s Regional Law Office. “Grace served for a number of years as Co-chair and Chair of the First Nations Women’s Council on Economic Security, an appointment that recognized her ongoing commitment to helping Indigenous women throughout Alberta.”
Working to right injustices
As noted by Justice Martin, Auger recently led a working group tasked with looking at the treatment of Angela Cardinal, the Indigenous woman who was shackled and incarcerated during her testimony against her sexual assaulter. The report produced as a result of the inquiry has led to changes being implemented within the Edmonton Police Force, Alberta Justice and Solicitor General, and the court system.
“In terms of results achieved – for victims of sexual assault, Indigenous women, and all Albertans – the impact of this report should not be underestimated. Grace’s work on this commission demonstrates a commitment to the highest calling of our profession: to ensure that injustice is righted and does not repeat itself.”
Legal Aid Alberta would like to congratulate Grace for receiving this award and for her continued dedication to her profession, Legal Aid Alberta, and working to Albertans who are facing difficult times in their lives.