Presented to The Honourable Donna Jean Martinson, K.C.

November 2, 2023

The certificate below represents the honour which was bestowed upon the Honourable Donna Jean Martinson, K.C. on November 2, 2023 at a special event held for her.  It is most appropriate that the inaugural presentation of the award is made to her.  It provides recognition for her many voluntary contributions toward the FREDA Centre’s specific mandate of working to end violence against women and children through participatory action research within the community and legal systems.


Please watch the following video of the November 2nd event which provides information about the specific reasons for the Award.


The video contains (with time markers):

0:01 – Tap Dance Performance The event begins with an introduction of and performance by the award-winning tap dance group Donna has danced with for over 20 years.

8:04 – Ken Novakowski is Donna’s husband. He introduces Donna’s multi-faceted pro bono contributions since she retired from judging.

17:15 – Kasari Govender is now B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner. She speaks about Donna’s contributions to equality for women and children with a focus on their shared work at West Coast LEAF and Rise Women’s Legal Centre.

23:05 – Caterina Tempesta is a Senior Counsel with the Office of the Children’s Lawyer in Ontario and Chair of the national Canadian Bar Association section on Child and Youth. She describes their Canadian Bar Association joint work over several years, the numerous webinars and conferences where they spoke, and their many writing projects, all focused on children’s rights – treating them as the rights bearers they are.

29:00 – Cheyenne Stonechild is one of Donna’s friends. She talks about listening to Donna speak about the importance of the rights of children at a 2015 CLE conference. She and other Indigenous youth spoke about their experiences in the BC child welfare system. She emphasized both how she and Donna have worked numerous times together since then to support children, and the importance to her of the friendship they have developed.

38:23 – Dr. Peter Jaffe is a very well-known Canadian psychologist whose primary work involves addressing violence against women and children. He and Donna have worked together over many years, and he describes her outstanding contributions to the education of judges, lawyers and other professionals throughout those years.

43:11 – Dr. Margaret Jackson is the Director of the FREDA Centre on Research on Violence Against Women and Children and the person who presented the Award. She notes that Donna joined FREDA in 2011 and also became an Adjunct Professor in the School of Criminology at SFU, working closely with the Centre. She describes in some detail her many FREDA contributions.

51:54 Donna Martinson makes her concluding remarks.