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September 13th 2023
On July 25, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled on a historic case that has been winding through the court system for more than three years. It concluded, as observers knew from the beginning, that significant errors were made by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick. Among the errors, she was found to have convicted an Indigenous elder, who was performing a pipe ceremony, without proper consideration of the facts.
This case has inspired a play opening at the Vancouver Fringe Festival in September, “The Judge’s Daughter,” which invites audiences to consider the actions of the Canadian judiciary in the treatment of Indigenous land defenders and climate protectors.
The conduct of this judge relates to the injunction for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project (TMX) — a globally criticized megaproject on the lands of many Indigenous Peoples who oppose this toxic incursion.