Who is Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller?

Marc Miller is a 46-year-old Canadian Liberal politician, elected as an MP in 2015 and re-elected in 2019. He is currently a member of cabinet, appointed Minister of Indigenous Services in November 2019. He was previously the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennet. His riding is in Southwest Montreal. 

He is a friend and political compatriot of Trudeau’s. They went to the same elite private french-language school — College Brebeuf. When Trudeau was running for the Liberal leadership, Miller acted as an adviser and fundraising director to his campaign. He’s also been a chair of the Quebec Liberal Caucus.

Miller has been public about learning the Mohawk language in the “spirit of reconciliation.” He delivered a speech in parliament in Mohawk for the first time ever. He is an anglophone but fluently bilingual and lives in the wealthy Montreal neighbourhood of Westmount. 

Marc Miller speaks at the AFN Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa Dec. 3, 2019

Miller said learning Mohawk has been difficult because there are more than 80 pronouns to master, and punctuation that does not come naturally to speakers of Latin- and Germanic-based languages like English and French.

Miller is married to Elin Sandberg, a former Swedish diplomat and has 3 children. 

Mr. Miller is a former lawyer who focused on international and commercial law and worked in Montreal, Stockholm and New York City. He worked for the firm Stikeman Ellis, one of the top 7 Canadian corporate law firms. The firm has several Liberal politician alumni, including Catherine McKenna (former Minister of the Environment & Climate Change), John Turner (former Prime minister and Minister of Finance & Minister of Justice under Trudeau Sr.), and others. Stikeman Ellis was founded over 50 years ago, with the intent “not to explain to clients why the law prohibited them from doing what they wanted to do, but instead to use the law to find a means of accomplishing their objectives.” 

Federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and Liberal candidate Marc Miller listen to a speech at the Liberal convention in Montreal February 22, 2014

Charlie Angus (NDP MP) has said about him: “He proved himself to be a dedicated parliamentary secretary. I think with Mr. Miller we’re turning the page and I’m looking forward to sitting down and going through a number of issues with him.” 

Prior to his career in law, Miller was an infantry section leader. 

In his mandate letter to Miller upon his appointment in November 2019, Trudeau said: “There remains no more important relationship to me and to Canada than the one with Indigenous Peoples. We made significant progress in our last mandate on supporting self-determination, improving service delivery and advancing reconciliation. I am directing every single Minister to determine what they can do in their specific portfolio to accelerate and build on the progress we have made with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples.”  

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