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Renée Dupuis

  • Mentor 2009
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Independent member of the Senate of Canada
Government of Canada

    A member of the Bar of the Province of Quebec, Renée Dupuis has maintained a private practice in Quebec since 1973. She is accreditated in civil and commercial mediation. Between 2003 and 2009, she was chief commissioner of the Indian Claims Commission. She received the Advocatus Emeritus distinction from the Barreau du Québec in 2007 and the Christine-Tourigny Award from the Barreau du Québec in 2004. She was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2005. She has chaired the Barreau du Québec's committee on the rights of Aboriginal peoples since January 2002.

    From 2001 to 2003, Ms. Dupuis was a member of the Indian Claims Commission. She was also a member of the Canadian Human Rights Act Review Panel, which submitted its report in June 2000. A distinguished writer, she received the 2001 Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction for her most recent book, Quel Canada pour les Autochtones? La fin de l'exclusion, published in June 2001 by Éditions du Boréal. The English translation was published in 2002  as Justice for Canada's Aboriginal Peoples (Lorimer Publishers). Ms. Dupuis' work also won the Quebec Bar Foundation's concours juridique [legal contest] prize for monographs in 2001 for Le statut juridique des peuples autochtones en droit canadien, published in the fall of 1999 by Carswell. She has also published La question indienne au Canada (Boréal, 1991), Tribus, Peuples et Nations (Boréal, 1997) and Max «One Onti» Gros-Louis, Constance et détermination (Éd.Varia, 2008). The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples published a report she coauthored in 1995, entitled Canada's Fiduciary Obligation to Aboriginal Peoples in the Context of Accession to Sovereignty by Quebec.

    From 1989 to 1995, Ms. Dupuis served as a commissioner with the Canadian Human Rights Commission, where she took particular interest in discrimination against women, sexual harassment, and pay and employment equity. In 1997, the Canadian Human Rights Commission published the report on a study she was asked to conduct on the processing of sexual harassment complaints. She was also associated with the research program of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, for which she produced a number of studies between 1992 and 1995. Over the past 30 years, she has participated both as a professional and as a volunteer in training activities for women and women's support organizations. From 1988 to 1999, Ms. Dupuis was a lecturer in administrative law at the École nationale d'administration publique, where she also designed and produced training programs on human rights and the development of democratic institutions for Quebec and federal public service staff as well as for high-ranking public officials in member countries of la Francophonie. Throughout her legal career, she has delved into Canadian and Quebec legislation as well as instruments of international law. Ms Dupuis has authored articles and papers that she has delivered in Germany, Denmark, France, Great-Britain and Norway as well as in Canada. She has served as legal counsel for a number of Aboriginal groups in Quebec since 1972 and has been a consultant on Aboriginal issues to the governments of Quebec and Canada. She has considerable experience with bi-party and multi-party negotiations with Canada's federal and provincial governments.

    In August 2011, the members of Quebec's National Assembly unanimously appointed Ms. Depuis the vice-president of the Commission on Human Rights and Youth Rights of Quebec. She was awarded the Quebec Bar Medal -- the Bar's highest honour -- in June 2012. Also in June 2012, Laval University awarded her an honorary doctorate of law.

    She was appointed as an independent member of the Senate of Canada on November 19, 2016.