MAKERS Profile

Roberta Jamieson

Indigenous Activist

In this video

Tagged as

Roberta L. Jamieson talks about her experience growing up a member of the Six Nations of the Grand River in Ontario; her becoming the first First Nations woman to receive a law degree; how she was the first woman to be elected Chief of her territory; and her current work as the President and CEO of Indspire.

Roberta Jamieson is known as one of Canada's important visionaries and leaders. A Mohawk woman from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Ontario — where she still resides today — Jamieson hails from a close-knit family of eight brothers and sisters.   In 1970, Jamieson, enrolled as a student at McGill University in Montreal with the intention of studying medicine. However, her interest in medicine quickly dwindled after she became involved in the James Bay Cree defense — an initiative to prohibit the James Bay Hydro Development project from taking over the Six Nations territory. This political awakening eventually influenced her to switch her major from medicine to law.

Jamieson became the first woman from a First Nation in Canada to graduate from law school in 1976, after receiving a degree from University of Western Ontario.   The trailblazer hosts an impressive resume of accomplishments that culminate from her years serving as a Chief, commissioner, Ombudsman, businesswoman and activist. Many of her accomplishments can be classified as 'firsts' — she was the first woman to be appointed Ombudsman of Ontario and the first woman to be elected Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.

Currently, Jamieson serves as CEO and founder of Indspire and is the founder of the international Aboriginal Media Arts Festival "imagineNATIVE."

More From Roberta