Justice Murray Sinclair
Chair, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair was appointed Associate Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of Manitoba in March of 1988 and to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba in January 2001. He was Manitoba’s first Aboriginal Judge.
Justice Sinclair was born and raised in the Selkirk area north of Winnipeg, graduating from his high school as class valedictorian and athlete of the year in 1968. After serving as Special Assistant to the Attorney General of Manitoba, Justice Sinclair attended the Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba and, in 1979, graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba.
He was awarded the A. J. Christie Prize in Civil Litigation in his second year of law and articled with a law firm in his home town. He was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1980. In the course of his legal practice, Justice Sinclair practiced primarily in the fields of Civil and Criminal Litigation and Aboriginal Law. He represented a cross section of clients but by the time of his appointment, was known for his representation of Aboriginal people and his knowledge of Aboriginal legal issues.
Shortly after his appointment as Associate Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of Manitoba in 1988, Justice Sinclair was appointed Co-Commissioner, along with Court of Queen’s Bench Associate Chief Justice A. C. Hamilton, of Manitoba’s Aboriginal Justice Inquiry. In November 2000, Justice Sinclair completed the “Report of the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Inquest,” a study into the deaths of twelve children in the pediatric cardiac surgery program of the HSC in 1994.
He has been awarded a National Aboriginal Achievement award in addition to other community service awards, as well as three Honourary Degrees for his work in the field of Aboriginal justice. He has been an adjunct professor of Law and an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Manitoba. He is married to Katherine Morrisseau-Sinclair, and is the father of four children: Misko, James, Dene and Gazheek.