Chief Lawrence Paul
Doctor of Civil Law
Chief Lawrence Paul was born in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1934 and at the age of 8 moved to Nova Scotia. As a youth, he grew up in a community which did not have running water or indoor toilets. It was at that juncture that he pledged that someday he would make life better for his family and his community. He has more than fulfilled that pledge.
In the period from 1984 to the present, he has been serving as the elected Chief of the Millbrook First Nation, which comprises not only the Millbrook Band in Truro, but satellite reservations at Sheet Harbour, Beaverdam, and Cole Harbour. He is also the Chairperson of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Chiefs. In the area of community leadership, he is or has been the Co-Chairperson of the Atlantic Policy's Congress of First Nations; the Co-Chairperson of the Mikmaq Taxation Committee and the Aboriginal Title Project as well as a board member of the Confederacy of Mainland Mikmaq; as well as a committee member of the Premier's Innovation and Technology Committee.
Not only the members of the First Nations, but also many in the business community from across Canada, have been inspired by Chief Lawrence Paul's ability to build up his community from a poverty stricken backwater to a thriving area with a fast-growing business development, including new housing and inclusion in corporate relations with many non-native private business partners. He firmly believes self-sufficiency means eradicating poverty, building wealth, and creating jobs not only for natives but for everyone in society. He has made his community a true model of economic development for other First Nations and indeed other communities across Canada.
A few of the many entities which he has spearheaded include a 400 acre Business Park and Lifestyle Centre, whose tenants include Tim Horton's Sobey's Express, Empire Theatre, Aquatic Agriculture Facility and Green House, and Leon's Furniture to name but a few; a new $2.5 million band administration building; a new health centre; a fleet of 14 offshore fishing boats with a new $1.8 million wharf in Sheet Harbour and also one in Joggins. Then on 19 April 2004, General Dynamics Canada and the Millbrook First Nation announced a joint teaming agreement to pursue opportunities to work together on the Maritime Helicopter Project for Canada. These are but a few examples of the many which could be cited for the leadership and vision of this man who has made such a significant contribution in shaping his aboriginal community and in so doing, his country.
A number of significant awards and recognitions have been bestowed on Chief Lawrence Paul, including being ranked in the top 50 CEO's in Atlantic Canada; being the Business Person of the Year as selected by the Truro and District Chamber of Commerce; awarded the Queen's Jubilee Award; and selected as one of the Doers and Thinkers for the New Era (the Atlantic Progress Magazine) as well as the aboriginal Inclusion Award for Private Partnering (the Atlantic Economic Summit).