She was the first woman of East Asian heritage to be appointed a judge in Canada
Justice Maryka Omatsu, the first woman of East Asian heritage to be appointed a judge in Canada, will receive an honorary LLD from Ryerson University at an Oct. 16 ceremony.
Omatsu was named to the Ontario Court of Justice in 1993, according to a statement from Ryerson. She is the first-ever recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers. In 2013, she became the first Canadian to receive the Trailblazer Award from the United States-based National Asian Pacific Bar Association.
In the 1980s, Omatsu was legal counsel for the National Association of Japanese Canadians and was a member of the organization’s strategy and negotiation team, playing a key role in achieving redress for the internment of Japanese Canadians during World War II, the statement said.
Recently, she was named to the special advisory council of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, and appointed co-chair of NAJC’s BC redress community consultations.
Omatsu will receive the honorary degree during the university’s two-day fall convocation ceremonies. On Oct. 17, Pakistani Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist Sajjad Ebrahim will also receive an honorary LLD.