About Violet Ford, Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Research)

Violet Ford, Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Research)Violet Ford is Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Research) [AVPIR].

As AVPIR, Ms. Ford works directly with the Vice-President (Research) and other senior leaders within the research portfolio and across Memorial to achieve the strategic objectives of the research portfolio to increase the impact and integrity of research at Memorial with a primary focus on research involving and relating to Indigenous communities.

Ms. Ford focuses on building relationships with Indigenous communities and leaders in Canada, especially within Newfoundland and Labrador on both community-identified and researcher-led research priorities.

She also provides leadership on Memorial’s Research Impacting Indigenous Groups policy and the Indigenous Research Agreement and works with the Committee on Ethical Research Impacting Indigenous Groups and Peer Advisory Group on Indigenous Research Relationships.

In addition to serving as AVPIR, Ms. Ford is also appointed associate professor with the School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies of the Labrador Institute.

Ms. Ford began at Memorial in Sept. 2021.

Learn more about Indigenous Research at Memorial.


Originally, from Makkovik, Labrador, Ms. Ford is the first Indigenous woman to become a lawyer in this province, as well as Canada’s first woman lawyer of Inuit ancestry.

Deeply committed to Indigenous law and justice, Ms. Ford played a role in the drafting of provisions of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples related to intellectual property rights and cultural heritage.

Ms. Ford is currently a PhD candidate in Inuit legal traditions at the Faculty of Law, University of Lapland, Finland. She also holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Saint Vincent University.

Lauded for her work and advocacy in Indigenous law and justice, Ms. Ford received the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for her outstanding contributions to the field.

A former law professor at Lakehead University, she was also senior commission counsel with the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls National Inquiry. Ms. Ford was senior advisor on Indigenous rights with the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples and director of policy with the Native Women’s Association of Canada.

She has served as vice-president at the Inuit Circumpolar Council, where she was an advisor and negotiator on international environmental treaties and the rights of Inuit in the promotion and protection of Inuit traditional knowledge, through the work of the World Intellectual Property Organization. She has also served as chairperson of the Nunatsiavut Dispute Resolution Board for a six-year term.

Prior to joining Memorial in Sept. 2021, Ms. Ford ran her own private law office in Ottawa.



230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000