Michèle Moreau is a native of Hauterive on the North Shore of Quebec. She has been a lawyer since 1990, after studying law at the University of Montreal. She has specialized in labour law and has acquired solid experience as an administrator by becoming involved with numerous legal organizations such as the Young of Montreal, the Montreal Bar, the Quebec Law Society, the Canadian Bar Association and the Association of Law Graduates of the University of Montréal.
Over the years, Ms. Moreau has actively campaigned for social justice and access to justice. She was the founding director of Pro Bono Québec and the Greater Montreal Community Justice Centre. In May 2011, she was recognized for her outstanding contribution to the Montreal Bar. Prior to joining the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, she was the Executive Director of the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice. She is currently the second vice-president of the Canadian Bar Association.
Director of Operations
Chantale Courcy is a native of Montréal, Quebec. She started her career in Ottawa as a human resources consultant in the federal government after graduating from the University of Ottawa in Psychology. Through a combination of hard work and destiny, her career took some interesting detours. For over ten years, she was a line manager at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, where her responsibilities at various times included capacity building in rural and remote communities, managing and developing grants and contributions programs, working in the Minister's office as the departmental liaison, and managing the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency responsible for regulating pari-mutuel betting on horse racing across Canada. She then moved to Vancouver as Regional Director with the Public Service Commission and the Canada School of Public Service before joining the National Inquiry as the Director of Operations.
Throughout her career, Chantale has learned, above all, to value people, diversity, teamwork and establishing relationships with communities and stakeholders. She has seen firsthand the benefits of fostering innovation, leadership, wellness and results in the public service. Chantale is well versed on the machinery of government and will be an asset to the National Inquiry to help fulfill their Terms of Reference.
Lead Commission Counsel
Susan Vella is the Lead Commission Counsel for the National Inquiry.
She has represented survivors of sexual and institutionalized violence for over 25 years in the civil litigation context at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada, and has achieved landmark decisions and results. She is recognized as a pioneer in developing rights and remedies on behalf of survivors and has been awarded the Law Society Medal by the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Award of Justice by the Advocates’ Society in recognition of her ground-breaking work.
Ms. Vella was one of the earliest lawyers representing Indigenous people who were sexually abused by clergy in both the on-reserve and off-reserve context, and has continued representing Indigenous people, First Nations, and First Nation organizations on issues involving sexual and physical violence towards Indigenous people. She recently obtained a decision adding two residential high schools (in northwestern Ontario) to the list of eligible Indian Residential Schools under the I.A.P. against Canada.
Ms. Vella was also Commission Counsel to the Ipperwash Inquiry which investigated the circumstances surrounding the shooting death of Dudley George by an O.P.P. officer during a land dispute.
Director of Research
Professor Craft comes to the National Inquiry with impressive research credentials. As Director of Research, she will guide a multi-person team that aims to assist the National Inquiry to diverse areas of the mandate, including the recognition of Indigenous legal traditions.
Craft is the former Director of Research at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and a member of the speakers’ bureau of the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba. She is also a leading researcher in Indigenous Perspectives on Treaties, Canadian Aboriginal law, Indigenous water laws and effects of hydroelectric projects on Indigenous communities in Northern Manitoba.
During her decade working with the Public Interest law Centre, Craft worked with several Indigenous groups related to land, resources, governance, human rights and consultation and accommodation. She is the former Chair of the Aboriginal Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association. In 2016, she was named one of the 25 most influential lawyers in Canada.
Director of Community Relations
Waneek Horn-Miller brings extensive contacts and Indigenous community connections to the National Inquiry. She will lead a country-wide team of regional liaisons and is responsible for connecting the grassroots community with the National Inquiry, including families of missing and murdered women and girls, victims and advocates, as well as National Indigenous Organizations.
Horn-Miller, a Mohawk from Kahnawake and Ohsweken, has been a strong advocate for Indigenous health and wellness across Turtle Island. She has travelled extensively in the Indigenous and non-Indigenous worlds sharing her story of how she was able to turn a very traumatic experience of being stabbed by a Canadian soldier during the Oka Crisis to becoming an Olympian 10 years later. Horn-Miller brings solid teamwork experience to her role of Director of Community Relations and looks forward to working with Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who participate in the National Inquiry to help build a stronger and safer future for Indigenous women and girls.