Three CBU Alumni Among the First L’nu to Graduate from Law School
In November, 2020, Alumnus Trevor Bernard posted a Twitter photo. The photo showed Trevor along with Regional Chief Paul Prosper and Doug Brown. The three were gathered with a group of Atlantic Canadian Indigenous lawyers to celebrate Brown’s career and retirement. All three are CBU graduates, and the Alumni office decided to see what they have been doing since their time at CBU.
Trevor Bernard graduated from CBU with a Bachelor of Arts in 1990. After graduation, Trevor moved across the country to study law at the University of British Columbia, knowing that there would be many course offerings with an Indigenous focus and a large Indigenous student population. Trevor stayed in Vancouver for several years after graduation and eventually met a Mi’kmaw woman from New Brunswick, Carola Knockwood, who became his wife and mother to their two children. The couple moved to New Brunswick, then to Halifax and eventually back to Unama’ki.
Working closely with Chief Terry Paul and the Council, Trevor currently serves as Executive Director and Legal Advisor for Membertou and has played a key role in the growth and success of that community.
Doug Brown graduated from CBU in 1992 with his Bachelor of Arts. After leaving CBU, Doug studied Atlantic Canada Studies for a year at Saint Mary’s University before being accepted into law school at Dalhousie University. Doug spent his very successful career lobbying governments and providing legal services within the Nova Scotia legal system around Indigenous rights concerning hunting for celebration and tradition. He often dealt with unfair decisions on cases and biases within media coverage, but that did not deter his efforts throughout his career. After a personal healing journey, Doug looks back at his career with a new mindset and will continue his advocacy efforts even in retirement. Doug plans to write a book detailing his experiences.
Doug would like to share this message with Indigenous youth, “Creating change is hard, and oftentimes you don’t see results from your efforts right away. Change is multi-generational, and we all need to work together to create meaningful and impactful change throughout many generations.”
Regional Chief Paul Prosper first came to CBU from Paqtnkek in 1985. After a challenging first year, Chief Prosper gave post-secondary education a second chance in 1987, which would prove to be a decision that would change the course of his life. In his first year, after returning to CBU, he lived in the community of Membertou where he became roommates with Doug Brown. Chief Prosper graduated in 1992 with his Bachelor of Arts and went on to study law at Dalhousie University. After graduation, Chief Paul worked in several capacities within the Maritimes in the area of Mi’kmaw legal support and treaty rights. He would eventually become Chief of his home community of Paqtnkek. Regional Chief Prosper served his community for six years before becoming Regional Chief of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland with the Assembly of First Nations. He was involved in many initiatives and organizations that had a significant impact on aboriginal treaty rights, Chief Prosper feels honored and grateful to have been of service to his community.
Trevor, Doug and Chief Prosper, your CBU Alumni family is deeply proud of your success and accomplishments and for paving the way for so many generations that will come after you.