DONALD E. WORME, Q.C., I.P.C., a Cree lawyer from the Kawacatoose First Nation, Treaty Four, Saskatchewan, is one of the leading advocates in the province for human rights, criminal law and treaty litigation.
Mr. Worme graduated with his Bachelor of Laws in 1985 from the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan. He articled with the Federal Department of Justice in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, prosecuting federal offences and received his call to the bar in 1986. He continues to practice law at Semaganis Worme Lombard in Saskatoon and, through his national affiliation with the Indigenous Law Group, with offices in Ontario and British Columbia.
Mr. Worme is founding member of the Indigenous Bar Association of Canada, a national advocacy group comprised of Indigenous lawyers, judges and law students, where he served as president from 1990 – 92. Mr. Worme has also been a vocal member of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal since 2001.
Mr. Worme has served on several Judicial Commissions of Inquiry in various capacities including:
- representing Sandra Paquachon in the 1995 Commission of Inquiry into Certain Events at The Prison For Women in Kingston, Ontario;
- acting as lead counsel to the family of Neil Stonechild in the 2002 Judicial Inquiry into the Saskatoon Police Service’s involvement with the teen’s freezing death in Saskatchewan;
- acting as Commission Counsel during the 2004 Ipperwash Judicial Inquiry in Ontario which looked into the killing of the unarmed Indigenous land protester Dudley George;
- acting on behalf of the Assembly of First Nations in the 2009 Oppal Commission in Vancouver, British Columbia which examined the critical issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls; and
- serving as Lead Commission Counsel for the 2010 Truth & Reconciliation Commission which over its six year mandate examined the 150 year legacy of the Indian Residential School experience in Canada and its devastating aftermath.
As part of the 100th anniversary of the University of Saskatchewan, Mr. Worme was included in the list of the university’s Top 100 Alumni of Influence. In 2010 he was awarded a National Aboriginal Achievement Award for his longstanding commitment to Aboriginal justice in Canada.
Currently, among other work, Mr. Worme is involved in the historic Robinson Treaties litigation taking place in Ontario which seeks to compel the Crown to live up to the treaty promises and to renew the treaty relationship between the Lake Huron treaty signatories and the federal and provincial governments.
Consistently named as a Lexpert-ranked lawyer for his work in Indigenous law in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, Mr. Worme received his Queen’s Counsel appointment in 2002 and his Indigenous People’s Counsel designation in 2006 in recognition of his service to Indigenous peoples and the Creator.