Dr. Bridglal Pachai

Dr. Bridglal Pachai, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.

Doctor of Civil Law

Born in Ladysmith, South Africa, he received three degrees from the University of South Africa, a Bachelor of Arts, Honours Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts; and from the University of Natal, and in the early 1960?s moved to Ghana where he taught at the University of Cape Coast. Teaching was his stepping stone to become Dean of Arts and later Dean of Social Science at the University of Malawi.

In 1975, he came to Canada as a Senior Killam Fellow in the Department of History and Political Science at Dalhousie University where he also held a Full Professorship in the Department of History, teaching both at Dalhousie and Mount St. Vincent Universities. In 1977, he was appointed the first full time Director of the International Education Centre ay Saint Mary?s University, where he lectured on South Africa, Blacks in Canada for the History Department, and also multicultural and human rights education for the Faculty of Education. Over the next several years, he organized a number of major conferences on human rights and multiculturalism, and from 1977 to 1979, taught the only course ever offered during summer sessions to senior school teachers and administrators for the Nova Scotia Department of Education on the subjects of multicultural and human rights education.

In 1979, he accepted an invitation to serve as Professor of History, Head of the History Department, and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Islamic Studies at the newly established University of Sokoto, Northern Nigeria.

In April 1985, he returned to Canada and two days later assumed the position of Program Director at the Black Cultural Centre of Nova Scotia, followed a year later by his appointment as Executive Director of the Centre. In August 1989, he was appointed Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, a position which he held until earlier this year. That same year, he was appointed for a three-year term as a member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Panel.

He is author of seven published books, including his own autobiography entitled My Africa, My Canada, published in October 1989. In addition, he has served as editor of seven published books and has presented papers in various countries of the world including Africa, Europe, North America, Asia, and the Caribbean, primarily in the areas of multiculturalism and human rights. Active in the life of this community, he has held various provincial and national positions including chairperson of the following: Halifax-Darthmouth Host Family Association, Multicultural Education Council of Nova Scotia, Post-Apartheid South Africa Education Conference Committee, and Canadian African Studies Association Conference Community Participation Committee. Earlier this year, he was appointed as Equity Consultant and Ombudsperson for the Nova Scotia Power Corporation.

Dr. Pachai and his wife Leela have four sons and two daughters.