Former judge and law professor Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, whose claims of Indigenous ancestry have been discredited, has returned another honorary degree.
A statement from Kim Fenwick, the acting president and vice-chancellor of St. Thomas University in Fredericton, says the former British Columbia representative for children and youth “voluntarily relinquished” the honorary degree.
The statement says a university committee reviewed documents related to questions about misrepresentation of Turpel-Lafond’s academic resume and Indigenous heritage and contacted her to offer the opportunity to respond.
Fenwick’s statement says she opted to return the degree, a decision St. Thomas University has accepted.
Turpel-Lafond has already returned degrees from a number of universities in British Columbia and Ontario, while McGill University, Carleton University and the University of Regina have rescinded awards granted to her.
The Indigenous Women’s Collective, which has called on Governor General Mary Simon to strip Turpel-Lafond of her Order of Canada, has said she should not be given the opportunity to return awards and the institutions that granted them should instead complete their investigations.
Turpel-Lafond did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.
In a statement to The Canadian Press in March, she said she was satisfied with her past work, identity and self-worth, and she found it “liberating” to be freed of honours to permit her to “focus on what really matters” in her life.
The Canadian Press