Cape Breton University is delighted to honour and recognize a true leader who has relied on the traditions and teachings of his culture to guide him in becoming the Chief of the largest Mi’kmaq speaking community in the world, Chief Leroy Denny.
Chief Leroy Denny is a graduate of Cape Breton University where he received his Bachelor of Arts, Community Studies in 1999.
Chief Denny is a strong advocate for education and wants to see true revitalization of the Mi’kmaw language. He has been a strong advocate for language both in his own province, most recently working to see that Mi’kmaq is legislatively recognized as the original language in Nova Scotia, and at the National level, through his work with the Assembly of First Nations on Bill C 91 – An Act Respecting Indigenous Language.
Chief Denny is the Chair of Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey (MK), a self-governing Mi’kmaw organization which operates under the Mi’kmaq Education Act . Chief Denny was integral to the negotiation of a new $600 million, 10-year educational self-government funding agreement, which was signed in March of 2019.
In 2015, Chief Leroy assumed the important role as the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs’ lead on social reform. His mandate is to create a new Mi’kmaw social assistance program, aimed at improving the quality of life for social clients and to reduce poverty, for the Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw communities.
From a young age Leroy was committed to living a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle and has proudly spoke about his choice to follow the Red Road, particularly to youth. Under Chief Denny’s guidance, the Eskasoni Fitness Center opened in 2013 and over the years the gym has seen an increase in youth and adults in the community who are committed to a healthy lifestyle as well.