05/29/2014 11:27 EDT | Updated 07/29/2014 05:59 EDT

Lawrence Paul, longtime Mi'kmaq chief in Nova Scotia, dies at age 79

TRURO, N.S. - Lawrence Paul, a former chief of Nova Scotia's Millbrook First Nation, has died at the age of 79.

Premier Stephen McNeil is expressing his condolences, calling Paul a tireless and dedicated leader who championed the economic success of his community.

McNeil says Paul helped place Millbrook on solid financial footing — efforts that led him to be named one of Atlantic Canada's top 50 CEOs by Atlantic Business Magazine.

Born in Saint John, N.B., Paul served as chief of the Millbrook First Nation near Truro between 1984 and 2012 after winning 14 consecutive two-year terms.

One of his achievements was the development the Truro Power Centre, considered an important economic driver for the area.

Paul also served as a co-chairman of the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs.

Scott Armstrong, the Conservative MP for Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, says he has fond memories of working with Paul.

Armstrong says Paul believed education was key to the economic and social success of First Nations.