First woman to serve as Leader of the Official Opposition, first woman of Métis descent elected to the Legislative Assembly (2005) and first woman of Métis descent to serve in Cabinet (2017)
Carole James was born in England and raised in North Battleford, Saskatchewan and Victoria, British Columbia.
A foster parent for many years, James has also dedicated much of her life to public service. In 1990, she was elected to the Greater Victoria School Board and, beginning in 1995, served as President of the B.C. School Trustees Association for an unprecedented five terms. James has also served at the national level as the Vice-President of the Canadian School Boards Association.
In addition to a two-year term as the Director of Child Care Policy for the Government of British Columbia, James has served on the Greater Victoria Region Social Planning Council, the City of Victoria Parks and Recreation Committee and the Task Force on Violence Prevention.
In 2001, James moved to Prince George, British Columbia to serve as Director of Child and Family Services for Carrier Sekani Family Services. She later worked as a coordinator with the Northern Aboriginal Authority for Families.
In 2003, James ran successfully for leadership of the New Democratic Party. She was later elected to represent the riding of Victoria-Beacon Hill in the 2005 provincial general election, helping return the party to Official Opposition status in the Legislative Assembly and becoming the first woman to serve as Leader of the Official Opposition, a position she held until 2010. James is also the first woman of Métis descent elected to the Legislative Assembly.
James was re-elected in 2009, 2013 and 2017 as a member of the Official Opposition. Following the change of government in British Columbia in July 2017, James was appointed Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier, becoming the first woman of Métis descent to serve in Cabinet.