New judge appointed to the Territorial Court of the NWT

News Releases

Yellowknife — December 14, 2022

Minister of Justice R.J. Simpson announced today the judicial appointment of Stephanie Whitecloud-Brass to the Territorial Court of the Northwest Territories. This appointment is effective as of December 13, 2022.

Ms. Whitecloud-Brass holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Regina and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan.  She was called to the bar in the Northwest Territories (NWT) in 2017.

Ms. Whitecloud-Brass has been a lawyer for 14 years, including approximately five and a half years as a Legal Aid Criminal Defence Lawyer in the Northwest Territories.  Ms. Whitecloud-Brass has enjoyed a reputation as a skilled criminal lawyer practicing at the Territorial Court level since 2017 and has varied experience as a lawyer in Saskatchewan. This includes experience as private criminal defence counsel, as counsel for claimants in the Independent Assessment Process under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, as counsel with the City Solicitor’s Office in Saskatoon, and various roles with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations.

Throughout her professional career she has been active in volunteer work, including as a volunteer barrister and solicitor with a community-based program designed to support young mothers in Saskatchewan called ‘Healthy Mother, Healthy Baby’, as well as for the Community Legal Assistance Services for Saskatoon Inner City Inc. Ms.Whitecloud-Brass has also served her professional community as a member of the Territorial Court Bench and Bar Committee and the Saskatchewan Aboriginal Courtworker Program Advisory Committee.

Ms. Whitecloud-Brass is Indigenous of Dakota/Lakota descent and is a proud member of the Standing Buffalo Dakota Nation in southeastern Saskatchewan.


“I wish Judge Whitecloud-Brass every success as she takes on her new role. She has demonstrated her skills as a criminal lawyer and has made significant contributions to the practice of law. I am confident she will serve the people of Northwest Territories well as a member of the Territorial Court.”

- R.J. Simpson, Minister of Justice

Quick facts

  • This appointment fills a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Garth Malakoe.
  • In addition to Chief Judge Robert Gorin, the Territorial Court includes Judge Jeannie Scott and Judge Donovan Molloy.
  • The Territorial Court hears both criminal and civil matters, including, but not limited to, child protection cases and civil claims of up to $35,000.
  • The Territorial Court Act establishes the Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee, which reviews and recommends candidates to the Commissioner in Executive Council for appointment to the Territorial Court.

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For media requests, please contact:

Ngan Trinh   

Senior Communications Advisor

Department of Justice

Government of the Northwest Territories


Phone Number: 867-767-9256, ext. 82083