The Top 25 Most Influential 2019 winner
Counsel, Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmag Chiefs, Barrs Corner, N.S.
Bruce Wildsmith serves as legal counsel with the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs and the Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office. His pursuit of Mi’kmaq access to natural resources and treaty rights has resulted in the clearer understanding of Aboriginal rights and their place in Canada. Wildsmith was lead negotiator for the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs and the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia. He is also a retired law professor from Dalhousie University. He has been working with the Mi’kmaq since 1974 when he acted on a case that established Mi’kmaq hunting rights on reserve land. He has advocated for Indigenous rights in a number of Supreme Court cases since then, including Simon v. The Queen in 1985, which upheld a Mi’kmaq man’s hunting rights based on a 1752 treaty that had previously been disregarded.