A well-known Yellowknife resident and advocate for Indigenous people is the newest lawyer in the Northwest Territories.
Jennifer Hunt-Poitras was called to the bar during a ceremony at the Yellowknife courthouse Friday.
She was sworn-in while Supreme Court Judge Andrew Mahar presided over the ceremony.
The public gallery in the courtroom – the largest in the NWT – was filled to capacity with family, including Hunt-Poitras’ parents, friends, colleagues and other well-wishers.
Hunt-Poitras, a married mother of six, grew up in Pond Inlet, Nunavut, in the eastern Arctic.
Becoming a lawyer is the latest in Hunt-Poitras’ impressive public career.
She was a reporter at CBC North for some 15 years.
Hunt-Poitras also worked on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) for two years.
She has also done work for the Native Women’s Association of the NWT.
Hunt-Poitras is a former colleague of current CKLB journalists Judi Kochon and Mary Rose Blackduck.
She says that those endevours prepared her well for the challenges that lie ahead as a lawyer.
“My time on the Truth and Reconcilation Commission was both a blessing and a curse. I saw things that I will never be able to un-see,” she said. “But I also heard incredible stories of resilience.”
Hunt-Poitras has accepted a position with the firm Lawson Lundell in Yellowknife.
She becomes one of the few lawyer in the NWT fluent in Inuktitut, a language she learned growing up in Pond Inlet.
Former NWT Commissioner George Tuccaro and Sheila Bassi-Kellett, Yellowknife’s senior administrative officer, were among those on hand for the ceremony.