Two Indigenous judges have been appointed to Saskatchewan provincial courts.
Natasha Crooks and Mary McAuley will join the bench in Saskatoon and La Ronge respectively. Both women are Métis and have grown up and practiced law in the province.
Crooks was raised in southern Saskatchewan and has dedicated her legal career to public service. She got a law degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 2004 and began her career articling with the Department of Justice Canada.
She was appointed to the Parole Board of Canada in 2013 and has served as a board member ever since.
Crooks also chairs the Aboriginal Circle, a national committee for the Parole Board of Canada that provides advice on issues affecting Indigenous offenders, victims and communities.
McAuley was raised in Northern Saskatchewan and is one of the only fluent Cree-speaking Métis female lawyers in the province.
The province said as a Métis woman who grew up in Cumberland House, and a lawyer whose clients are largely First Nations and Métis people, she has a unique awareness and understanding of their circumstances and needs.
She got her law degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 2006 and articled with the provincial Ministry of Justice. She went on to practice law in Prince Albert. She’s spent time as a Crown prosecutor, legal aid defence lawyer and in private practice.
She founded McAuley Law Firm in Prince Albert and has practiced there since 2012.