Judith Sayers Appointed as Visiting NAEDC Chair by UVic Law and Peter B. Gustavson School of Business

Judith Sayers has been appointed as the Visiting National Aboriginal Economic Development Chair (NAEDC) for one year, from May 1, 2012, to April 30, 2013. Sayers is well known for her work in economic development. She has been an Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Law and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business. The joint appointment in the Law and Business Faculties will enable her to continue the good work of the Chair that was begun by Professor James Hopkins and allow students in both Faculties to benefit even more from her experience and wisdom. In her new role as the Visiting Chair, Judith will continue to teach cross-listed courses in both Faculties, as well as organize a symposium on Aboriginal economic development and engage in other Chair-related activities in British Columbia and across Canada. Sayers will be working closely with students and faculty members to raise awareness of issues and challenges related to Aboriginal economic development and its impact on the financial and social well-being of First Nations communities throughout Canada. She will contribute her considerable knowledge and experience to the university's ongoing research in this field.

Sayers holds a business degree and was one of the first Indigenous law school graduates of the University of British Columbia. She also holds an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Queen's University. Sayers practised law for 18 years in Alberta and British Columbia and has extensive experience working with international agencies and government bodies to advance the causes of First Nations rights, sustainable development and Aboriginal title issues. She was Chief of the Hupacasath First Nation in Port Alberni for 14 years, acted as its chief negotiator for many years, served as president of the Upnit Power Corporation and was also named to the political executive of the First Nation Summit in 2006 and was part of the Leadership Council of BC. Her many honours include the 2008 Silver Medal in Climate Change from the Canadian Environmental Association, induction into the Canadian Aboriginal Business Hall of Fame and a Bora Laskin Fellowship on Human Rights. She was twice honoured with a Woman of Distinction Award from the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce.