Eleanor Catherine Bernard

Doctor of Letters, honoris causa

Born and raised in Eskasoni, NS, Eleanor holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dalhousie University, a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of New Brunswick and a Master of Education from St. FX. She is currently enrolled in the Inter-doctoral program in Education at St. FX.

Eleanor Bernard has a long, distinguished career in Aboriginal Education, including being a part-time lecturer in Mi’kmaw language at CBU, a Mi’kmaw language teacher in Eskasoni, and for the past 13 years, she has been the Executive Director of Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey (MK). MK is a unified team of chiefs, staff, parents and educators who advocate on behalf of and represent the educational interests of First Nation communities in Nova Scotia and protect the educational and Mi’kmaw language rights of the Mi’kmaq people.

Under Eleanor’s direction, MK has the highest graduation rate for Aboriginal students in Canada and is a national example for best practices in secondary education. Through her leadership, Eleanor ensures that the people in her communities have a common opportunity that provides the best possible educational experience. Eleanor is a Director of the National Association of Indigenous Institutes of Higher Learning and is Co-Chair of Canada-Nova Scotia-Mi’kmaq Tripartite Forum of the Education Working Committee.

Dr. Bernard and her husband, Barry, have five children, sons Keenan, Barry and Hunter, daughter, Candace, and their foster child, Ted. They have seven grandchildren. They reside in Eskasoni, NS.