A man who spent 20 years as the chief of the Shubenacadie Band is being remembered as a leader who stood proud for Mi’kmaq people.

Reg Maloney died Tuesday at the age of 72.

Maloney was active in Shubenacadie Band politics for more than 45 years.

He was often at the forefront of Mi'kmaq struggles to reclaim treaty rights long neglected by the federal government. 

“He didn’t stand alone,” said Cheryl Maloney, his daughter. “But he certainly stood tall and proud for our people throughout his whole life.”

'He was the kind of person when he spoke, people listened' - Bruce Wildsmith

Maloney said her father was always adamant that government had not respected its 18th-century agreements with the Mi'kmaq.

“Our treaties are as valid today as the day they were signed. I hear my dad saying that.”

Reg Maloney was active in claims around hunting rights, logging and fishing after the Marshall decision of the Supreme Court.

“Under his leadership, they decided that rather than sign away their rights, they would attempt to fish in accordance to their rights,” said Bruce Wildsmith, a lawyer who worked on many of the cases.

He said Maloney had a strong presence at the negotiating table.

“He didn't speak a lot. He didn't get emotional,” Wildsmith said. “But he was the kind of person when he spoke, people listened.”

His daugther said her family's grief is tempered with intense pride.

“I want the world to know how much of his life he gave to our people. How much he believed in and loved the Mi'kmaq people. And believed and in our rights.”

A public wake will be held in Indian Brook. A funeral at the community church is planned for Saturday afternoon.