Human Rights Awards

Each year on or around International Human Rights Day the Commission recognizes our province’s human rights champions through the presentation of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Awards.


The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission presents awards annually to acknowledge the courageous work of Nova Scotians who advance human rights in the province. Recipients are nominated by their peers and chosen by committee. Nominations can be submitted year-round via this simple online form.


All Nominees must:

  • have not received an Award in the same category within the previous five (5) years,
  • espouse human rights values and not discriminate based on race, gender, disability or other protected characteristics of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act,
  • include a component of education and leadership in their human rights-related work,
  • be a resident of Nova Scotia, and
  • not nominate themselves.

Additionally, nominees for a Group or Organization Award must:

  • be comprised of two (2) or more people, and
  • have operations in Nova Scotia.

Youth Award

Presented to an individual aged 20 or younger whose work promotes equity and inclusion, advances understanding of human rights and its importance in empowering youth to advocate for themselves, their peers, and their communities.

Individual Award

Presented to an individual aged 21 or older who demonstrates leadership and whose work has contributed to change in their community by advancing equity, inclusion, and the value in promoting and protecting human rights.

Dr. Burnley Allan “Rocky” Jones Award

Presented to an individual of African descent whose work reflects and builds upon the legacy of Dr. Burnley Allan “Rocky” Jones in championing racial equality, advancing justice and fostering socio-economic empowerment.  Learn about Rocky Jones.

Wel’lukwen Award

Presented to an L’nu individual (youth or adult), group or organization whose work advances the rights of Mi’kmaq/Indigenous people while creating a just, equitable and inclusive society. Wel-lukwen, (Well-loog-wen) is a Mi’kmaw word which loosely translates to mean “congratulations, you are doing extremely well. Your work does not go unrecognized.”

Group Award

Presented to a group or organization whose collective action serves to protect dignity, advance equity, promote inclusion, and raise awareness of human rights in Nova Scotia.

Submit a nomination using this online form.

Award Recipients


Read the announcement.
Watch a recording of the the event.

  • Nia Summit Youth Ambassadors, Group Award
  • Veronica Merryfield, Individual Award
  • Sheila Wildman, Individual Award
  • Tia Upshaw, Dr. Burnley Allan "Rocky" Jones Award
  • Pamela Glode-Desrocher, Wel'lukwen Award
  • Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia, Group/Organization Award


Read the announcement.

  • Elder Dr. Daniel N. Paul, Wel'lukwen Award
  • Grandmother Water Protectors, Wel'lukwen Award (group)
  • The Karma Closet, Youth Award (group)
  • Michael Tutton, Individual Award
  • Terena Fraicn, Individual Award
  • Stepping Stone, Group/Organization Award
  • Carolann Wright, Dr. Burnley Allan "Rocky" Jones Award


Read the cnnouncement.

  • Andreas Robinson, Halifax (Youth Award)
  • Steven Esty. Dartmouth (Individual Award)
  • Dr. Margaret Dechman, Howie Centre (post-humous, Individual Award)
  • Dr. Ron Milne, Halifax (Dr. Burnley Allan "Rockey" Jones Award)


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  • Clayton Murphy, Halifax (Individual Award)
  • Pamela Brown, Halifax (Individual Award)
  • Elder Jane Meader, Membertou (Individual Award)
  • Association of Black Social Workers & Health Associaton of African Canadians (Group Award)
  • Preston Township Emergency Response Team (Group Award)


Read the announcement.
Human Rights Award Rescinded.

  • Cassidy Megan, Halifax (Youth Award)
  • Trayvone Clayton, Halifax (Dr. Burnley Allan "Rocky" Jones Award)
  • 902 ManUp, Group Award
  • African Nova Scotian Decade for Persons of African Descent Coalition, Group Award


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  • Kardeisha Provo, North Preston (Youth Award)
  • Eric Smith, Halifax (Individual Award)
  • Huwaida Medani, Halifax (Individual Award)
  • DeRico Symonds, Halifax (Dr. Burnley Allan :Rocky" Jones Award)
  • Inverness Development Association, Inverness (Group Award)
  • South End Environmental Justice Society, Shelburne (Group Award)


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  • Joshua Cochrane, Yarmouth (Youth Awaed)
  • Angela Simmonds, Cherry Brook (Dr. Burnley Allan "Rocky" Jomnes Awaed)
  • Nicole Doria, Halifax (Individual Award)
  • Wade Smith, Halifax (post-humous, Individual Award)
  • Syria-Antigonish Families Embrace, Antigonish (Group Award)
  • Bill 59 Community Alliance (Group Award)
  • Women’s Wellness Within, Halifax


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  • Samuel Gregan, Halifax (Youth Award)
  • David Leitch, Halifax (Dr.nBurnley Allan "Rocky" Jones Award)
  • El Jones, Halifax (Dr. Burnley Allan "Rocky" Jones Award)
  • Raymond Tynes, Truro (Dr. Burnley Allan "Rocky" Jones Award)
  • Alexa McDonough Institute, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax (Group Award)
  • Immigrant Settlement Association of Nova Scotia, Halifax (Group Award)