Canada's Red Chamber is welcoming a pair of new senators.

Ontario lawyer Josee Forest-Niesing and Mi'kmaq leader Brian Francis from Prince Edward Island have been appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau through the open nomination process he created.

Forest-Niesing is from Sudbury, where she has specialized as a trial lawyer dealing with family, civil litigation and employment cases while also serving as an active member and volunteer in the local francophone community.

Francis is the high-profile chief of the Abegweit First Nation on PEI's northern coast and has served in a variety of positions, including with the federal fisheries department as a contact for local First Nations.

The new pair will serve as independents, joining the largest bloc in the chamber with 47 members; there are also 31 Conservatives, 10 independent Liberals, 11 who are not affiliated with any group and four vacancies.