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Joyce Milgaard

Honorary Doctorate


Joyce Milgaard’s name is synonymous with justice. Her relentless twenty year pursuit of justice in clearing her son David’s name, of a crime and sentenced to life in prison for a crime he did not commit in 1969. After her son was freed in 1992 she spent another seven years fighting for his complete exoneration and compensation for time served.

Her relentless pursuit of clearing her son David Milgaard of a wrongful conviction has made her an icon for truth and justice. Her dedication is also an example of the unyielding love of mother for her son.

Milgaard has been named to the Maclean’s Magazine Honour Roll and was awarded the Canada 125 Anniversary Medal for “significant contribution to fellow citizens, their community or Canada.” She remains involved with the John Howard Society as an Honorary Board Member and she is regional director of the Association in Defense of the Wrongfully Convicted which is a national organization.

Milgaard frequently speaks at schools and universities in Canada and the U.S. in defense of the wrongly convicted. She has written a book, A Mother’s Storyand has been the subject of numerous documentaries. She has also inspired a symphony piece entitled Milgaard written and performed by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra that premiered at the 2000 Winnipeg New Music Festival. She appears frequently on television on various community issues. Prior to be being her son’s advocate she was trained and working as a Christian Science Nurse and is the mother of four including David.