2011 Saskatoon Speaker
Aboriginal Achievement Foundation
Strategic Alliances with Aboriginal People
Roberta L. Jamieson, a Mohawk woman from the Six Nations of the Grand River, is a renowned consultant and keynote speaker. Recently appointed Chief Executive Officer of the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, Jamieson is leading First Nations in Canada in the realization of their educational and career goals. She accepted the post after serving three years as Chief of the Six Nations – the first woman ever to head Canada's most populous reserve. In 2004, Jamieson was appointed to the newly created National Health Council. She has won international acclaim for her passion, willingness to take risks, and high involvement in the field of dispute resolution.
Jamieson has developed and led change initiatives exemplifying the highest standards of accountability and transparency in public institutions. She has collaborated with legal and political experts in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America to advance democracy through institutional change. An inspirational speaker, her expertise includes critical analysis, problem solving, consensus building and organizational change. For an unprecedented 10 years Jamieson served as Ombudsman for the Province of Ontario, the first woman to hold that position. During this period she became the founding President of the Canadian Ombudsman Institute, and a founding Board Member of the Centre for Research in Women’s Health, a partnership between the University of Toronto and Women’s College Hospital.
Prior to her appointment as Ombudsman, Jamieson served as the Commissioner of the Indian Commission of Ontario. She was appointed by complementary federal and provincial Orders-in-Council and by agreement of the First Nations of Ontario to facilitate the resolution of issues of mutual concern. Her positions with the Indian Commission have run the gamut - from Commissioner to Senior Policy Advisor to Senior Mediator. In 1982 Jamieson became the first non-parliamentarian to be appointed an ex-officio member of a Special House of Commons Committee on Indian Self-Government, which in 1983 produced a final report that was supported by all political parties.
She is a visionary, devoted to advancing Canada’s democratic leadership in the world. Jamieson is a vocal advocate for the preservation and enhancement of human rights – indigenous rights in particular – as a vital part of realizing Canada’s potential.
Roberta Jamieson was the first Canadian aboriginal woman to earn a law degree. She has also received numerous Honorary LL.D. degrees, and is a graduate of the Harvard University Program on Negotiation for Senior Executives. She is a Member of the Order of Canada, recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award. Most recently, Roberta received the Indigenous Peoples’ Council Award from the Indigenous Bar Association. She is also one of the recipients of the prestigious 2009 Canada’s Most Power Women: Top 100 award given by The Women's Executive Network (WXN).