Community lost a great leader

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We lost a good friend, a great man and one of Canada’s greatest First Nations aboriginal leaders.

My friend and former boss, former chief Lawrence Paul, was a community leader who didn't go unnoticed by any means, especially for the work he did serving his Millbrook community. Chief Paul was certainly lauded in many political circles including federal, provincial, municipal and First Nations government for his political skill and tenacity, his economic vision, business insight and many ideas and, most of all, as a community builder.

He often courted controversy for the simple reason his roots as an early native activist ran deep, as he stood up to the bureaucrats and government decision makers for his people and his First Nations community. He was without question a deal clincher and a shrewd business negotiator. It truly was an honour to work with him in the early days of developing the Truro Power Center project, as well as working beside him on many other economic development initiatives, that he believed in and was so passionate about.

To date, most of his economic ideas have since come to fruition. Contrary to what some people may think of some of his personal shortcomings, let us remember and never forget, this great man deserves the credit for being an early pioneer in making native economic development his first priority. To date, many communities have since followed his economic development model and business example. Aside from his personal issues, downfalls and shortcomings, deep down Paul was a good man with a big heart and his long list of achievements has certainly earned him his place in history.

Paul was creative, innovative and most of all, he was a visionary who brought ideas to fruition bringing unprecedented growth and prosperity to his community. I'm honoured to have worked by his side and I have always appreciated the opportunity that he gave me, which helped me in my marketing career. Personally, I will miss him and my condolences go out to his family and to the band members of the Millbrook First Nation Community.

Ray Merriam

Truro

Organizations: First Nations, Truro Power Center

Geographic location: Millbrook

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