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Wildsmith honoured with distinguished service award

Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 1:22 PM | By Carolyn Gruske

The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society has named Bruce H. Wildsmith the recipient of its 2017 distinguished service award.

Wildsmith is the legal counsel with the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs and the Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuquan Negotiation Office. Throughout his legal career, he has worked on Indigenous rights issues and on behalf of individual Indigenous people.

Previously, Wildsmith was a faculty member of the Dalhousie Law School from 1979 through 2003. During that same time, he served as counsel for the Union of Nova Scotia Indians. From 2002 until 2011, Wildsmith was lead negotiator for the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia in the Mi'kmaq-Canada-Nova Scotia “Made in Nova Scotia Process.”

Nationally, he is probably best known as legal counsel in the Donald Marshall case. He also represented other Mi’kmaq on treaty-related cases including Stephen Isaac, James Simon, Joshua Bernard and Stephen Marshall.

Wildsmith, who is an international scholar on aquaculture law and policy, helped establish Dalhousie’s Marine and Environmental Law Institute.

In the past, Wildsmith has volunteered with the society and served on what was then-called the race relations committee (now, the racial equity committee), the qualifications committee and the discipline subcommittee.

He has been a frequent public speaker on the topics of systemic racism, Mi’kmaw Aboriginal title, Indigenous rights and treaty rights.