Honoured guests, alumni and well-wishers gathered in the college's student lounge for a book signing and speaker event to launch new biography The Mighty Hughes: From Prairie Lawyer to Western Canada’s Moral Compass, an in-depth account of Hughes' life, work and significant achievement, by author Craig McInnes.
The pair travelled from BC to Saskatchewan for the special event, and spoke fondly of the relationship they had formed as the book developed as they signed copies of the book for guests.
Among the dignified guests in attendance were U of S President Peter Stoicheff, College of Law alumnus Merlis Belsher (LLB '63), U of S Chancellor Roy Romanow (LLB '64), and Saskatoon lawyer Dan Shapiro (JD '78).
The program opened with greetings from College of Law Dean Martin Phillipson, who spoke of lawyers' roles as public servants, and how there was no finer example of this than Hughes. This was followed by a traditional honour song and prayer by Joseph Naytowhow, a Plains/Woodland Cree singer, songwriter, and storyteller from Sturgeon Lake First Nation.
Shapiro, who was instrumental in bringing Hughes and his wife Helen to campus, spoke at the event, as did Chancellor Romanow, citing the huge impact Hughes had on the province during his time as a Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench justice.
In his greetings, Hughes spoke of his time at the College of Law fondly, recalling how when he started classes in 1947, there were only three professors and a dean, and one woman his class. Funny stories and light-hearted anecdotes were interspersed with serious messages, as Hughes spoke passionately of the atrocities and detrimental after affects of the Indian residential school system.
Read Hughes' interview with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix: Cash settlement for residential school survivors 'a beginning,' Hughes says.