Lillian Dyck

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The Honourable
Lillian Eva Quan Dyck
Senator from Saskatchewan
Assumed office
March 24, 2005
Personal details
Born (1945-08-24) August 24, 1945 (age 70)
North Battleford, Saskatchewan
Political party Independent NDPLiberal
Occupation neuroscientist, university professor

Lillian Eva Quan Dyck (born August 24, 1945) is a Canadian senator from Saskatchewan. She was appointed to the Senate on the recommendation of Prime Minister Paul Martin on March 24, 2005.

Upon appointment, Dyck wished to sit as a New Democratic Party senator, but NDP spokesperson Karl Belanger immediately indicated that the party would not recognize her as a member of the NDP caucus: as the party platform specifically favours abolition of the Senate, it refused to confer legitimacy on the body by accepting Dyck; additionally, Dyck's membership in the NDP was revealed to have lapsed.[1] Under the rules of the Senate, senators are free to designate themselves however they see fit, and Dyck changed her designation to say Independent New Democratic Party.[2] On January 15, 2009, she joined the Liberal Senate caucus.[3][4]

On January 29, 2014, Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau announced all Liberal Senators, including Dyck, were removed from the Liberal caucus, and would continue sitting as Independents.[5] According to Senate Opposition leader James Cowan, the Senators will still refer to themselves as Liberals even if they are no longer members of the parliamentary Liberal caucus.[6]

Before being appointed to the Senate, Dyck was a neuroscientist with the University of Saskatchewan, where she was also associate dean. On March 12, 1999, Dyck, who is of Cree and Chinese heritage and was one of the first Aboriginal women in Canada to pursue an academic career in the sciences, was presented with a lifetime achievement award by the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation. She continues to teach at the university as well as conduct research on a part-time basis.

She is a member of the Gordon First Nation.

In 2014 Dyck accused Conservative MP Rob Clarke, who is also native, of "behaving like a white man" by pushing the Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act. She later said she recognized the comment could be hurtful.[7]


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