Senator Dan Christmas

Cape Breton University is delighted to honour and recognize a Mi’kmaw leader who is a trusted advisor and steward of the Mi’kmaw culture and who has dedicated his professional and personal life to ensure the Cape Breton Unama’ki community and beyond, are delivering on the commitment to truth and reconciliation, Senator Dan Christmas. Senator Christmas has served in various leadership positions in the Mi’kmaw Nation of Nova Scotia. After serving five years as the Band Manager for the Community of Membertou, Senator Christmas worked for the Union of Nova Scotia Indians for 15 years –the last 10 as its Director. He was actively involved in the recognition and implementation of Mi’kmaw aboriginal and treaty rights in Nova Scotia. From 1997 to 2016, Senator Christmas held the position as Senior Advisor with Membertou and had assisted the Chief and Council and its Management Team with the day-to-day operations of the community of Membertou. Senator Christmas also served as elected councillor for Membertou for 18 years. Senator Christmas has been active in a number of international, national, provincial and local agencies in a wide range of fields including aboriginal and treaty rights, justice, policing, education, health care, human rights, adult training, business development and the environment.   Senator Christmas was awarded honorary degrees from Dalhousie University (2005), St. Mary’s University (2019) and an honorary diploma from the Nova Scotia Community College (2016). In 2008, he was the recipient of the National Excellence in Aboriginal Leadership Award from the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada. Senator Dan Christmas In December 2016, Senator Christmas was sworn in as an Independent Senator for Nova Scotia. Senator Christmas is the first Mi’kmaw senator to be appointed to the Senate of Canada. Senator Christmas also made national news when he opened a Senate office in his community of Membertou.