Indigenous lawyer from Thunderchild uses position to speak for those who can’t
- EFN Staff | March 07, 2019
An Indigenous lawyer from Thunderchild First Nation has had a remarkable career so far. Eleanore Sunchild has been practicing law since 1999. It was a passion that she longed for and a dream that she made happen.
“I always liked reading. I wanted to find a job where I can make a difference,” she said. “In high school, I had an aptitude for law from doing one of those self-tests. I was in grade 11 that I decided that I wanted to be a lawyer.”
Sunchild obtained her education from the University of Alberta. She currently has her own law firm in North Battleford called Sunchild Law which has been in operation for almost 14 years. Her practice focuses on Indigenous law and specializes in residential school claims. She credits her greatest mentors in law who are two strong Mohawk women, the late Patricia Monture and her adopted sister Beverly Jacobs.
Back in December 2018, Sunchild was amongst other distinguished lawyers who were honoured with 2018 Queen’s Counsel Designations for their contributions to the legal profession and public service.
“These individuals have made significant contributions to the legal profession, the justice system and their communities,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan said in a prepared statement. “I’m pleased to recognize their hard work and dedication to our province.”
The Queen’s Counsel appointments are based on recommendations from a selection committee consisting of Saskatchewan’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General, the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan or the Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench and the past presidents of the Saskatchewan branch of the Canadian Bar Association and the Law Society of Saskatchewan.
Sunchild dedicated her honour to those she worked hard for in her career.
“I am honoured to receive the appointment from the Province. I have worked hard and dedicate it to Indian residential school survivors and the Boushie family as these have been the most rewarding and challenging matters of my career,” she said.
Sunchild offers other Indigenous women who want to pursue a career in law is to be fearless.
“Don’t allow self-doubts or self-sabotaging fears to stand in your way of speaking out for what you want,” she said. “A lot of times, I felt very alone. Speaking out against issues that affect our people, issues of injustice, genocide. My opinion wasn’t [and still] isn’t popular but I speak out because I have a role as a lawyer to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.”