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Tribute to commemorate law alum Fred Bartley

Fred Bartley ‘96, an award-winning Anishinaabe Crown attorney who helped to co-found specialized courts in Toronto dealing with Indigenous people in trouble with the law died suddenly on Sunday, September 27 of complications from liver disease. Bartley, a proud member of the Serpent River First Nation, graduated from the University of Windsor Faculty of Law in 1996 before establishing a twenty-year career in the Toronto Crown Attorney’s office. 

According to the death notice on York Funeral Centre’s website, Bartley was instrumental in providing insight and support to Indigenous initiatives, including the creation of the Gladue Court at two courthouses in Toronto. He was also involved in numerous education programs designed to address the unique challenges that face Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system. In recognition of his dedication and commitment, Bartley was gifted an Eagle feather, seen amongst many Indigenous peoples as the highest honour. 

Equally committed to volunteering, Bartley gave back to his community by coaching soccer and hockey and volunteering with the Out of the Cold program. He also found time to mentor Indigenous students at local high schools and universities. Bartley is survived by his wife Jana and their daughters Rachel and Ashley, mother Judy, sister Kelly, brother-in-law John, and his large extended family.

Friends and colleagues of Fred are establishing a memorial tribute at the University of Windsor, Faculty of Law to recognize his years of contribution to the legal profession and to his community, in the form of a scholarship or on-campus tribute. To donate to this fund, kindly contact or make a gift online at and specify “Fred Bartley Memorial” when making your gift.  All donations will receive a tax receipt.

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