Myrna McCallum is the founding lawyer of Miyo Pimatisiwin Legal Services in North Vancouver, British Columbia. She is a Métis-Cree mother and grandmother from Treaty Six territory (Green Lake & Waterhen Lake First Nation) in northern Saskatchewan.
As a teen Myrna knew that she would become a lawyer and work with Indigenous people and victims of violence but she did not know exactly how she would do that work in a safe and empowering way. A decade and a half later, she became a prosecutor and eventually an adjudicator (in the Indian Residential School Independent Assessment Process). Myrna’s repeated exposure to the traumas of others in courtrooms and hearing rooms caused her to realize that she was missing a critical competency: trauma-informed lawyering.
As a former Indian Residential School student who carried a lot of personal traumas, Myrna had to learn to cope and adapt her approach to ensure that she did no further harm to herself or those she served. She failed several times before she succeeded in finding a better way. Myrna’s commitment to finding a safe and empowering way forward coupled with the stories of resilience and trauma she heard from hundreds of survivors of crime, especially survivors of sexual violence, inspired her to begin the important work of transforming the legal profession and judiciary into understanding, accommodating and respecting trauma – in themselves and those they serve.
Myrna is the host of "The Trauma-Informed Lawyer" Podcast which serves to educate on trauma-informed lawyering, cultural humility, vicarious trauma, vicarious resilience, and Indigenous intergenerational trauma. Myrna also educates through keynotes, training sessions, and lunch and learn lectures. She offers one-on-one customized trauma-informed advocacy coaching sessions for legal professionals and organizational leaders. Myrna serves as a subject matter expert and consultant on trauma-informed lawyering, workplace investigations, adjudications, and policy development for several organizations.
Myrna is the recipient of the Federal Department of Justice’s 2020 Excellence in Legal Practice and Victim Support Award: https://www.victimsweek.gc.ca/symp-colloque/award-prix/win-gagn/mccallum.html
Wanna tune into the trauma-informed lawyer podcast? Excellent idea. It's available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Itunes, CastBox, Podcast & Radio Addict, Stitcher or by following the link: https://thetraumainformedlawyer.simplecast.com/
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