After earning a Masters of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1974, Mr. Nicholas returned to New Brunswick to work with the Union of New Brunswick Indians. He went on to serve as the organization’s chairman of the board between 1976 and 1980 and president between 1980 and 1988.
In 1989, Mr. Nicholas was appointed chair of Native Studies at St. Thomas University and remained a part-time lecturer in the Native Studies Program until 1999.
Mr. Nicholas was active in the New Brunswick Law Society, the Canadian Bar Association and the Indigenous Bar Association. On May 31, 1991, he was appointed to the bench as a provincial court judge. During his tenure at the provincial court, Mr. Nicholas was appointed co-facilitator of New Brunswick’s Aboriginal Task Force on Aboriginal Issues.
For his longstanding service and community leadership, Mr. Nicholas has received the New Brunswick Human Rights Award, the Fredericton YMCA Peace Medallion and the Canada 125 Medal. He was an inaugural recipient of the Golden Jubilee Medal.
Mr. Nicholas has served on the board of governors at St. Thomas University and as a member of the Canadian Bar Association Working Group on Racial Equality. He has received honorary degrees from Mount Allison, St. Francis Xavier, and Wilfrid Laurier universities. In 2004, he was awarded the Ilsa Greenlblatt Shore Distinguished Graduate Award at the University of New Brunswick Law School.
An active participant in the Christian Life Community, Mr. Nicholas lectured at the Vancouver School of Theology as part of the Native Ministries Consortium Program. He has spent much of his career working in the field of indigenous political development at the regional, national and international levels and maintains a keen interest in these areas.
Mr. Nicholas and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Fredericton and have two sons, Brian and Michael, a grandson, Cato, and a granddaughter, Allison.