Backgrounder: Alumna Marion Buller named UVic’s next chancellor

Social Sciences, Law

Renowned legal scholar and judge Marion Buller has been appointed the next chancellor of the University of Victoria. Her term begins Jan. 1, 2022.

The titular head of the university and the chair of its convocation, the chancellor confers degrees and performs other ceremonial functions as well as serving on the UVic board of governors and the senate. In accordance with the University Act, the chancellor is appointed by the board of governors on nomination by the alumni association and after consultation with the senate. Read more here.

Buller succeeds Chancellor Shelagh Rogers, who was first appointed in 2014. Rogers completes her term on Dec. 31.

  • Buller received her undergraduate degree in anthropology (’75) and her law degree (’87) from UVic. In 2012, Buller received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the UVic Faculty of Social Sciences.
  • In 1994, Buller became the initial First Nations woman to be appointed as a judge in British Columbia after working as a civil and criminal lawyer for six years.
  • She was the chief commissioner for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls from 2016 to 2019.
  • She is a member of the Mistawasis Nêhiyawak, a Cree First Nation in Saskatchewan, but lives in the Lower Mainland, where she served as a provincial court judge.
  • In 2006, she established and presided in the First Nations Courts—now known as Indigenous Courts—and provided the foundation for the Aboriginal Family Healing Court conferences, meant to incorporate traditional restorative justice principles into sentencing proceedings and child protection matters.
  • She served as both a director and president of the Indigenous Bar Association and has been a member of B.C.’s Law Courts Education Society, the province’s law foundation and the B.C. Police Commission. As well, she was commission counsel for the Cariboo-Chilcotin Justice Inquiry and published reports and articles dealing with Aboriginal rights and legal services for First Nations in B.C.
  • In October 2021, Thompson Rivers University bestowed on Buller an honorary Doctor of Laws.

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Keywords: community, Indigenous, international, sustainability, administrative, colonialism, research, law, reconciliation

People: David Zussman, Kevin Hall, Shelagh Rogers, Marion Buller

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