Lucien Dubuc Monument

Judge Lucien Dubuc and Family

Sources: Photo: Provincial Archives of Alberta A3654

Judge Dubuc at Herschel Island, Yukon

Photo: Provincial Archives of Alberta A3685.

Judge Dubuc with a group of Inuit during his visit to the Yukon in 1923.

Travelling Court Members in Aklavik, Northwest Territories

Photo: Provincial Archives of Alberta A3655

The court team for the Rex vs. Ikalupiak trial in Aklavik, Northwest Territories, in 1924: (from left to right): J. Boyd McBride (defence counsel), Judge Dubuc, Yvette Richard (secretary and court reporter), and J. B. Howatt (Crown Attorney).

Text version of the audio

Edmonton, in the early 20th century, was an ideal place for a lawyer to carve out a place for himself in the judiciary. For young Lucien Dubuc, it was also a way to avoid living in the shadow of his father Joseph, a Quebec native who had been invited by Manitoba by Louis Riel and who had become a judge and politician of renown in his province of adoption. 

Lucien Dubuc arrived in Edmonton in 1900 to practice law. Twenty years later, he was appointed judge for the Northwest Territories. Previously, anyone charged with a crime in the Territories was transported to Edmonton for trial. Lucien Dubuc was the first judge to be sent on a judicial tour of the Northwest Territories with a delegation. Over the years, he traveled to Fort Smith, Fort Providence, Herschel Island and many other locations to hear multiple criminal cases. 

He presided over the first trial to sentence an Inuk to death, a case that is considered controversial today. Dubuc was also the first Alberta judge to allow court proceedings in French. He then presided over the courts of the Peace River district, and later the entire northern part of the province until 1948. 

His professional responsibilities did not prevent him from taking the development of the Francophone community to heart, as he was president of the Association canadienne-française de l'Alberta from 1932 to 1934. In 1952, Lucien Dubuc was appointed King's Counsel, a largely honorary title that he held until his death in 1956. His house was located not far from here, on Victoria Avenue, near the LeMarchand Mansion.

Extract of
Francophone Heritage in Edmonton

Francophone Heritage in Edmonton image circuit

Presented by : Conseil de développement économique de l'Alberta (CDÉA)

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