Myrna McCallum is an Indigenous (Métis-Cree) lawyer from the historical Métis village of Green Lake, Saskatchewan in Treaty Six territory and she is also a registered Indian at nearby Waterhen Lake First Nation.
Myrna spent most of her 12-year legal career working in Indigenous communities and more specifically, serving survivors of sexual violence, as a Crown prosecutor, an Indian Residential School adjudicator and an Investigations Director. Throughout her career, she learned a great deal about trauma, its impacts on memory, communication and behaviour and the significant difference applying a trauma-informed approach has on the survivors who entrust her to witness their pain, receive their stories and assess their evidence.
As a former Indian Residential School student (Lebret IRS) and foster kid (Sixties/Seventies Scoop) Myrna has become passionate about educating lawyers, judges and police officers on Indigenous intergenerational and direct trauma as well as trauma-informed practice because she holds a deep awareness of how our justice system unnecessarily fails and traumatizes those involved in sexual assault and gender-based violence cases.
Myrna believes that the eventual transformation towards a trauma-informed justice system will not only benefit those who look to police officers, lawyers and judges for protection or justice, but also the professionals regularly exposed to traumatic incidents and graphic evidence. She recognizes that legal professionals and officers of the court are highly vulnerable to vicarious trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder which can manifest into anxiety disorders and depression. Therefore, in the interests of career longevity and maintaining a high standard of quality work, a trauma-informed justice system will support those legal and justice professionals who are taking preventive measures to safeguard their own mental health.
Myrna’s greatest achievement has been the privilege of raising her three children as a single parent, all of whom have gone on to become beautiful, whole-hearted, compassionate and generous adults. Myrna is the proud kokom (grandmother) of Addilyn Rose and River Rhys.
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