The Honourable Graydon Nicholas

Ottawa, Ontario
10 September 2009

The Honourable Graydon Nicholas’ distinguished record of leadership includes over 18 years of service as a New Brunswick Provincial Court Judge.  Throughout his career, Mr. Nicholas has also proven to be a dedicated advocate on behalf of New Brunswick’s Aboriginal communities.

Mr. Nicholas was born and raised on the Tobique Indian Reserve.  After receiving a Bachelor of Science from St. Francis Xavier University he chose to pursue a legal career.  Mr. Nicholas received his Bachelor of Law degree from the University of New Brunswick in 1971, becoming the first Aboriginal person to receive a law degree in Atlantic Canada.

After receiving a Masters of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1974, Mr. Nicholas returned to New Brunswick to work with the Union of New Brunswick Indians.  He would go on to serve as the organization’s Chairman of the Board between 1976 and 1980 and President between 1980 and 1988.

In 1989 Mr. Nicholas was appointed to serve as the Chair of Native Studies at St. Thomas University and remained a part-time lecturer in the Native Studies Program until 1999. 

Mr. Nicholas was active in the New Brunswick Law Society, the Canadian Bar Association and the Indigenous Bar Association.  On May 31 1991, he was appointed to the bench as a Provincial Court Judge.  During his time on the Provincial Court, Judge Nicholas was also appointed Co-Facilitator of New Brunswick’s Aboriginal Task Force on Aboriginal Issues.

For his longstanding service and community leadership, Mr. Nicholas has received the New Brunswick Human Rights Awards, the Fredericton YMCA Peace Medallion, and the Canada 125 Medal.  He was also an inaugural recipient of the Golden Jubilee Medal.

Mr. Nicholas has served on the Board of Governors of the St. Thomas University and as a member of the Canadian Bar Association Working Group on Racial Equality.  He has received Honorary Degrees from both St. Francis Xavier and Wilfrid Laurier Universities.  In 2004, he was awarded the Ilsa Greenlblatt Shore Distinguished Graduate Award at the University of New Brunswick Law School.

An active participant in the Christian Life Community, Mr. Nicholas lectured at the Vancouver School of Theology as part of the Native Ministries Consortium Program.  He has spent much of his career working in the field of indigenous political development at the regional, national and international levels and maintains a keen interest in these areas to this day. 

Mr. Nicholas and his wife Elizabeth live in Fredericton and are the parents of two sons.