Justice Murray Sinclair was appointed Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in June 2009. He was born and raised on the former St. Peters Indian Reserve in the Selkirk area north of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
His traditional Anishinaabe name is Mizhana Gheezhik (Pictures in the Sky). He is a member of the Water Clan (Rainbow Trout) and is a Third Degree Midewiwin. He graduated from his high school as Class Valedictorian and Athlete of the Year in 1968. He attended the Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba, and graduated from the University of Manitoba Faculty of Law in 1979.
Manitoba’s first Aboriginal judge, and the second in Canada, he was appointed Associate Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of Manitoba in 1988 and to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba in 2001. In 1988, he was appointed Co-Commissioner of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba along with Court of Queen’s Bench Associate Chief Justice A.C. Hamilton.
In his legal practice, Justice Murray represented a cross-section of clients and was known for his representation of Aboriginal peoples and his expertise in Aboriginal legal issues. He is the recipient of a National Aboriginal Achievement Award and many other community service awards. He holds honourary degrees from the University of Ottawa, St. John’s College at the University of Manitoba, Dalhousie University, the University of Winnipeg, Ryerson University, Red River College, Keewatin Community College, and the University of Manitoba for his work in the
field of Aboriginal justice. Justice Sinclair and his wife Katherine have been together for 33 years.
He is a father of four and a Mooshim (Grandfather) to Sarah.