MNO citizen travels the globe for social justice

SocialJustice (1)André Moreau, 29, of Penetanguishene, is seen in
Pangnirtung, Nunavut where he is working with the
government on adoption law. Click here to view a larger
version of this picture.

Submitted by Scott Carpenter, MNO Manager, Education, Way of Life and Special Projects

Written by Gisele Winton Sarvis, Midland Mirror

This is a shortened version of a story that originally appeared online at https://www.simcoe.com/

A Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) citizen from Penetanguishene is one semester away from being a lawyer, but André Moreau is already making a mark in the field of social justice.

This summer, he is working in Iqaluit, Nunavut updating policy with its Department of Health.

Moreau’s summer work is with regard to an act that allows the names of more than two parents on a birth certificate, in cases of same-sex parents or adoptions.

“It’s interesting and also kind of strange that a territory of only 30,000 is running these policies,” he said.

One of Moreau’s passions is advocating for the rights of Indigenous people. He’s done work for four organizations including the Indigenous Law Association at McGill and the Provost’s Task force on Indigenous Students and Education.

With regard to Indigenous people, there is a lot of room for improvement he told Simcoe.com.

Starting with education, students being educated on reserves (federally funded) only get two-thirds the funding compared to students off reserve (provincially funded).

“It’s a major issue. It means passing rates is much lower and the attrition rate is much higher,” he said.

In addition, Indigenous youth, men and women are incarcerated in the prison system at much higher rate per capita than the rest of Canadians. Nearly half of all youth who end up in custody across Canada are Indigenous.

“That is quite alarming.”

Moreau is also dedicated to helping people everywhere.

His interest in social justice has also led him to work as a summer intern in Uganda in 2016, where he worked on legal research pertaining to right to access to emergency medicine and advocating for sexual reproductive health with the Center for Health, Human Rights and Development.

For his efforts in the social justice field, Moreau was the 2017 winner of the Justice Main Award, which is given to individuals who demonstrate a commitment to bringing justice to their community through academic study and community involvement.

“André has put into action his belief that equity, economic stability, education and social supports are at the crux of achieving justice in a community,” read the award statement.

The McGill University law student will complete his last semester of school in Budapest, Hungary from September to December. Moreau’s next step after graduation is to do 10 months of articling. He has recently confirmed a position in Ottawa for the National Judicial Institute, which looks after training for judges.

Posted: July 26, 2018

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