Bruce Wildsmith stepped into the position of Legal Counsel, after an extensive role as the Lead Negotiator for the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs and the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia. Mr. Wildsmith is a lawyer and a retired Professor of Law from Dalhousie University. His first involvement representing Mi’kmaq was in 1974 in the Stephen Isaac case, establishing the right of Mi’kmaq to hunt on reserve land free of provincial hunting regulations.
Later, in 1984-85, he conducted the James Simon case before the Supreme Court of Canada, resulting in the Treaty of 1752 made with Jean Baptiste Cope being upheld for the first time. Bruce has worked regularly with the Union of Nova Scotia Indians ever since 1985, serving as the UNSI’s legal counsel until his appointment as Lead Negotiator. He was the lead counsel in the Donald Marshall case, and conducted the Joshua Bernard case from New Brunswick and, along with Eric Zscheile, the Stephen Marshall et al. logging case, from trial through the Supreme Court of Canada.
While at Dalhousie Law School, he taught Aboriginal Peoples and Constitutional Law, among many other subjects. Bruce is married, and he and his wife Ardythe have two boys. B.W. is a organic farmer, and James is finishing a master’s degree at Dalhousie. When not working, Bruce likes to fly fish for salmon and trout.