Okanagan Indian Band member to sit on B.C.’s highest court

Justice Len Marchand has been appointed to the B.C. Court of Appeal

An Okanagan Indian Band member will soon sit on the province’s highest court.

Justice Len Marchand of the B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops has been appointed to the B.C. Court of Appeal.

“This is truly an exciting announcement and I am so proud of Justice Marchand,” said Chief Byron Louis. “It fills me with pride to see a member achieve such high office. He proves that we can all achieve great things through hard work, dedication, focus and a desire to help others. Our congratulations go out to Len Marchand.”

Marchand was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2017. Having grown up in Kamloops, the OKIB member obtained a bachelor of science in chemical engineering before working in the oil industry for five years. Marchand then attended law school at the University of Victoria in 1991, graduating three years later.

Chief Justice Robert Bauman of the Court of Appeal said he was very pleased to welcome Marchand, adding he is highly regarded for his sound judgment, humility and compassion and is expected to bring those qualities, and over 26 years experience as a lawyer and trial judge, to his new job.

During his days in practice at Fulton & Company LLP in Kamloops from 1995 to 2013, Marchand focused on the liability of public authorities. He has appeared before all levels of court and many administrative tribunals and has spent a large portion of his career working on reconciliation for Indigenous peoples through, among other things, civil claims of historic institutional child abuse and representing a large number of residential school survivors.

Among his career highlights was the 2005 Indian Residential Schools settlement agreement, which he helped negotiate. He also served on the oversight committee for the Independent Assessment Process and on the selection committee for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Marchand is the son of Donna Parr and Len Marchand Sr., who was the first status Indian elected to parliament (1968) and given a cabinet post (1976).

Federal judicial appointments are made by the Governor General, acting on the advice of the federal cabinet and recommendations from the minister of justice.

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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