Prime Minister Paul Martin has appointed a Maliseet woman from Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick to the Senate.

Sandra Lovelace Nicholas, who has been a driving force in securing rights for Aboriginal women, was named a Senator September 21.

She was instrumental in overturning sexist provisions of the Indian Act that saw Aboriginal women lose their rights as Natives if they married a non-native.

She helped bring the case before the United Nations Human Rights Commission and lobbied for the 1985 legislation that reinstated the rights lost by Aboriginal women and children in Canada.

In 1990 she was awarded the Order of Canada and in 1992 she received the Governor General’s Award.

Nicholas will be sitting in the Senate as a member of the Liberal Party of Canada.