Grace Auger is Cree from the Bigstone Cree Nation in Treaty 8 Territory in Northern Alberta, and is a proud mother to three adult children and grandmother to five grandchildren. Grace was called to the Alberta Bar in 1997, and while attending Law School she had three children under the age of eight. She articled and then worked for the Alberta Justice Calgary Crown Prosecutors office for almost seven years.
She currently works for Legal Aid Alberta as a Staff Lawyer/Duty Counsel on the Siksika First Nation, in a program that is unique to Legal Aid and Siksika Nation. She has been a lawyer for over 20 years and truly enjoys the practice of law. Through her work she encounters many Indigenous people who are fearful of the system and afraid to speak up due to the scars and historical trauma of residential school. This profession has given her the opportunity to help empower people and give them a voice, especially Indigenous people.
In 2009, Grace received the Esquao Award for Justice by the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women (IAAW). She is the recipient of the 2018 Women in the Law in Leadership Award (WILL) for Leadership in the Profession (Government). In 2019 Grace was awarded University of Calgary Alumni, ARCH award for Career Achievement.
Grace was Chair and Co-chair for the First Nations Women's Economic Security Council. She was also, Vice President and Acting President for the Indigenous Bar Association. Grace has spent many years to help bridge the gaps in both the Western and Indigenous societies. She encourages young Indigenous people to believe in themselves and to have the courage to go for their dreams. She often says, “If I can do it, anyone can, it just takes hard work, determination and dedication”.
The privilege of being a lawyer coincides with the responsibilities to work towards change in our Justice system that can work for everyone and she is grateful for the opportunities this career has given her.
Photo Credit: Neepin Auger