James Bourque

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James W. Bourque, PC (December 17, 1935 – October 19, 1996) was a First Nations activist,[1] who in 1992 became one of the few Canadians ever appointed to the Queen's Privy Council for Canada who had not previously served in an elected political office.[2]

Born in Wandering River, Alberta,[3] Bourque was of Cree and Métis background.[1] At the age of 18 he was elected president of the hunters and trappers association in Fort Chipewyan before working as a park warden in Wood Buffalo National Park from 1955 to 1963.[1]

He served as president of the Métis Association of the Northwest Territories from 1980 to 1982,[4] was deputy minister of renewable resources for the government of the Northwest Territories from 1982 to 1991[5] and chairman of the Northwest Territories' Commission for Constitutional Development.[1]

Bourque was also the founder of the Centre for Traditional Knowledge.

In 1984 he founded the Fur Institute of Canada, serving as its chairman for four years.[1] He was named co-director of policy for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People in 1994.[6] On July 1, 1992 he was sworn into the Queen's Privy Council.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e "A life of serving his people; James Bourque was at ease with trappers, diplomats". Edmonton Journal, October 22, 1996.
  2. ^ a b "Privy Council: PM's choices raise the level". Ottawa Citizen, July 9, 1992.
  3. ^ "James W. Bourque: Aboriginal activist stayed true to his roots". The Globe and Mail, October 23, 1996.
  4. ^ "Munro eases qualms over land-claims issue". The Globe and Mail, April 4, 1980.
  5. ^ "NWT vows to fight pulp mill emissions". The Globe and Mail, November 24, 1989.
  6. ^ "Respect, sharing guided native activist through life of service". Ottawa Citizen, October 21, 1996.