By Roman Hayter

Judge Gerald Morin, born and raised in Cumberland House and a member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, was recently named to the Order of Canada.

Morin attended the Charlebois School up to grade 10 and later left to complete high school at the L.P. Miller High School in Nipawin in 1971.

He acquired his Certificate in Social Work from the University of Regina in 1978 and 1987, he attended the University of Saskatchewan for his law degree.

He has practiced law in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, at the Pandila-Morin Law Office and appeared in all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

During his time as a judge, he helped create the Cree Court in Saskatchewan. He recently spoke with MBC News about his history in the legal system and receiving the prestigious honour.

“Working as a judge, my main thing was establishing a Cree court in Pelican Narrows, Sandy Bay, Ahtahkakoop, and Whitefish,” said Moring. “I did that because it covers the three linguistic groupings in Cree.”

Morin said that doing this helped to enhance the use of Cree within the court system in terms of communication.

“I think as a judge I was able to listen to representations made by individuals strictly in Cree and enhance the level of communication that occurred between the judge and the person that was attending court,” he said.

The PBCN member also said the Order of Canada was a great way to cap a career but said that it wouldn’t be possible without the help of others.

“One has to understand that you don’t make these journeys alone; you have a lot of support, and I certainly think of that; I think of my personal family, my mom and dad, and their belief in education,” he said.

The Order of Canada is one of our country’s highest honours.

It honours individuals from all walks of life who have made outstanding and persistent contributions to our country.

The Governor General makes appointments based on the recommendations of the Advisory Council for the honour.

Appointees will be invited to an investiture ceremony at a later date to acquire their insignia.

(Photo courtesy of the University of Saskatchewan)