Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond is no longer at UBC law school
Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond is no longer employed by the University of B.C.’s prestigious law school after controversy this fall surrounding her long-standing claims of Indigenous heritage.
The university did not say why the former judge and high-profile advocate for children’s and Indigenous rights is no longer a tenured professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law, only confirming that she is no longer with the school as of Dec. 16. UBC cited privacy law in not giving more details.
Turpel-Lafond, whose celebrated career has often centred around Indigenous legal issues, was appointed as the inaugural director of UBC’s Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, a term that ended in June.
She is perhaps best known in B.C. as the province’s representative for children and youth from 2006 to 2016, and for a 2020 report on systemic racism against Indigenous people in B.C. health care.
In October, the CBC published a lengthy investigation into Turpel-Lafond’s claims of Indigenous ancestry and statements that she grew up in Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba. The media outlet said the claims of Cree ancestry and treaty Indian status are inconsistent with publicly available documents.
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