We have wonderful news to share.
Ardith Walpetko We’dalks Walkem, KC, has been appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
Madam Justice Walkem was the founding chair of the CLEBC Truth and Reconciliation Committee, chair of our Indigenous Legal Orders Conference, and contributor to many of our programs as chair, presenter, and author.
She has guided our work in leading the legal community toward a deeper understanding of Indigenous Peoples and Reconciliation, and we have benefited greatly from her generosity and commitment.
We are extremely proud and pleased that Ardith has been elevated to the bench, and we wish her all the very best in her new role.
Here is an excerpt from the official announcement:
Ardith Walkem, Q.C., Lawyer at Cedar and Sage Law Corporation in Chilliwack, is appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Madam Justice Walkem replaces Madam Justice M. Gropper (Vancouver), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective April 14, 2020.
“I wish Justice Walkem every success as she takes on her new role. I am confident she will serve the people of British Columbia well as a member of the Supreme Court of B.C.”
—The Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Justice Ardith (Walpetko We’dalks) Walkem, Q.C., grew up in Spences Bridge, B.C., and is a member of the Nlaka’pamux Nation. After completing a B.A. in Political Science and Women’s Studies at McGill, she attended law school at the University of British Columbia. She also earned a Master of Laws degree from UBC with a research focus on Indigenous laws.
Madam Justice Walkem articled at Mandell Pinder and McDonald and Associates. Practising with Cedar and Sage Law, she has worked extensively with Indigenous communities and organizations to support them in asserting their Aboriginal Title Rights and Treaty Rights. She is a mediator who also works within Indigenous dispute-resolution mechanisms. Her work has focused on the rights of children. She authored “Wrapping Our Ways Around Them: Indigenous Communities Child Welfare” (for the ShchEma-mee.tkt project) to support Indigenous communities in implementing their own child welfare laws or to work within existing child welfare regimes and to educate the legal community on how to work effectively with Indigenous peoples.
Access to justice has been a focus of Justice Walkem’s practice, and she has worked with organizations such as the Legal Services Society (Legal Aid B.C.), the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, and the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal (authoring “Expanding Our Vision: Cultural Equality & Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights”). She co-chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) advisory committee of the Law Society of B.C. and sat on the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia’s TRC advisory committee, with the aim of encouraging reconciliation and understanding.
Justice Walkem lives in Chilliwack with her wife, Halie, and their two daughters, Sophia and Hannah.
Congratulations to Ardith – Madam Justice Walkem!