Heather McNeill receives 2015 Weldon Award for Unselfish Public Service

PHOTO Heather Mcneill

Heather McNeill, Q.C. (’94)

Heather McNeill, Q.C. (’94) has embraced the Weldon tradition of unselfish public service in all aspects of her life for more than two decades.

McNeill is a practicing lawyer with the Dalhousie Legal Aid Service, where she also supervises law students. As a passionate advocate for her Mi’kmaq people, she blends the traditional Aboriginal concepts of respect and sharing with her legal talents to advance the interest of marginalized individuals and communities in Nova Scotia. Through her work at Dalhousie Legal Aid and her volunteerism and leadership in the Mi’kmaq First Nation and in general, she continually demonstrates a commitment to putting others first.

I’m blessed to have a law degree, a job I enjoy and the freedom to use my skills to help those in need.

Over the years, Ms. McNeill’s community service has included serving as a member of the Indigenous Blacks & Mi’kmaq Initiative Advisory Council and the IB&M Standing Committee at the Schulich School of Law. She has also provided pro bono services to individuals through Immigrant Settlement & Integration Services and has served as the president and board of director at the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre. In addition, she serves as a board of director or committee member with Tawaak Housing Association, the Nova Scotia Health Promotion Clearinghouse, the Minister’s Advisory Committee on Child Welfare, the Racial Equity Committee and the Fitness to Practice Committee of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society.


Dean Camille Cameron and DLAA President The Honourable Michael Sherar present Heather McNeill with the 2015 Weldon Award for Unselfish Public Service.

A former commissioner with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, McNeill has never forgotten her humble yet strong roots. “I’m a member of the Millbrook First Nation, which supported me 100 per cent in my efforts to obtain a law degree,” she says.

“My entire upbringing was about service to others and giving back. My band funded my legal education, which allowed me, as a single parent, to raise my daughter and concentrate on my studies without worrying about finances.”

Call for Nominations

2017 Weldon Award for Unselfish Public Service

This annual award, sponsored by the Dalhousie Law Alumni Association, is to honour a graduate of the Law School for unselfish public service in the community. Established in 1983, this award is a tribute to the ideals of the school’s first dean, Richard Chapman Weldon, and a reminder of the Weldon tradition, which has its origins in his 31-year tenure as dean from 1883-1914.

Eligibility: A Dalhousie law graduate
Nomination: A nomination form along with a letter of nomination, a minimum of two letters of support and the nominee’s curriculum vitae
Selection: A selection committee appointed by the board of directors of the Dalhousie Law Alumni Association
Deadline: March 31, 2017

Learn more about past recipients.

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