The following ethnographies were researched and compiled by Mi’kmaw students hired through Aboriginal L.I.N.K.S. Each
is a compendium of information about Nova Scotia reserves with regard to physical description including size, location,
and proximity to other towns or villages; what businesses and other concerns comprise the reserves, including private
businesses and band operated businesses; services and facilities available in the communities; and the names of the
people who make up the band councils, administration, and educational institutions. As well, the researchers tried to
interview individuals in the communities to obtain some historical and background information on the reserves, and they
are compiling a bibliography of written materials on the culture, tradition, and language of the reserves, which will
be posted as soon as it becomes available.
Acadia ~ Malikiaq ~
History and Description
Acadia is composed of five reserves spread throughout the southwestern shore of Nova Scotia. It gained official status
May 13, 1971 – prior to that it was represented only by a spokesperson. In 1968 the elders of the region decided to
form a united band at a general meeting in Digby. Three years later Charles Labrador was elected chief by the
approximately 20 eligible voters at the time.
The band was originally supposed to operate by traditional custom. Once a chief was appointed, only death or majority
vote could remove him from office. It was also expected that upon his death, his eldest son would become the new chief.
In 1978, however, Chief Labrador resigned, and the vacancy was filled by the toss of a coin! Two candidates vied for
the position, Charles Paul and Joseph Frank Jeremy, and when voting ended in a tie, a Department of Indian Affairs
representative tossed a coin, with Charles Paul coming out as the winner.
Acadia is unique in that its five reserves are located across three counties, with approximately 1524 band members
living both on and off reserve. It is a ‘custom’ band which means that all members are permitted to vote regardless of
whether they live on reserve. The reserves are Yarmouth (Yarmouth County, established in 1887), Wildcat (Queen’s
County, established in1820), Ponhook (Queen’s County, established in1843), Gold River (Lunenburg County, established
in1820), and Medway (Queen’s County, established in 1865).
Physical Description – Yarmouth Reserve
Yarmouth Reserve is located on 27.57 hectares of land just off a busy stretch of road adjacent to the Yarmouth Airport,
about 3 kilometers east of the town of Yarmouth. Prior to 1986, the reserve was situated on swampy and inferior land,
with a Reserve Road acting as a barrier dividing native and non-native land. The town dump was near one end of the
native property and caused many health problems. In 1986, however, the band started negotiations to purchase land
opposite the reserve, the price of which was reduced when it was discovered the land’s proximity to the airport
decreased its value. The Yarmouth Reserve’s land area makes up only three percent of the Acadia Band, making it the
second smallest reserve in the band, though it has a greater population than the other reserves combined.
The Yarmouth Reserve is composed of two roads – the Reserve Road where the majority of residences are located,
providing access to the reserve and extending through the entire reserve, and the recently added extension, Luxey’s
Lane, which was named after a former chief, Louis Luxey. It intersects the main road. Development on Luxey’s Lane has
only recently started but the Band Office is at one end of the lane, and it forms the nucleus of the community and is
the centre for many of the community’s events. Underneath the band office is the Acadia First Nation Child Care
Initiative Program, which is operated in cooperation with Kina’matnewey, and provides services to the non-native
community as well. The coordinator is Marcella Simon and the teacher is Kathy Pictou.
Yarmouth Reserve recently acquired 2300 acres of land in Gardeners Mill near Kemptville in Yarmouth County. Generously
donated to Acadia by Mr. John Cook, the land is located amid pleasant rural surroundings and has potential for numerous
Physical Description – Wildcat Reserve
Wildcat Reserve is the largest reserve in the Acadia First Nation, with 465.4 hectares of land – larger than the other
four reserves combined. Approximately 170 kilometers southwest of Halifax, the reserve is beside the Wildcat River,
where the scenery is spectacular. Established in 1820, Wildcat is a native settlement that has managed to maintain its
traditional activities such as hunting, trapping, fishing, and canoeing. Wildcat River flows around a little island
positioned behind the band office. The island is the site of a picnic area that is used for community gatherings. A
camp ground resulting from a student project is in development, and it is hoped the campground’s exotic location will
make it a great tourist attraction. It is also hoped that a museum will eventually be established on the reserve. The
community itself is composed of tightly knit families, with homes dispersed along a dirt road in this bucolic setting.
Each home is divided from the next by a large section of trees, and it makes living in the community both peaceful and
Physical Description – Gold River Reserve
Gold River Reserve is situated on 270.2 hectares of land off of Highway 103 near Chester Basin in Chester County. Local
myths claim the the first settlers in the area panned for gold in the river adjacent to the reserve, which is how it
got its name. The Gold River Reserve is quite large in comparison to some of the other reserves in the band. Despite
its rural setting, however, the community is still affected by the problems associated with industry. Opposite the
river power lines run right through the reserve, somewhat detracting from the natural beauty of its location. The
arsenic level in the vicinity can cause difficulties – with the level sometimes making the water undrinkable.
Physical Description – Ponhook Reserve
Ponhook Reserve’s isolated rural environment makes it an ideal summer time resort. Its 101.8 hectares of land are a
perfect place to take a family vacation or just get away from the hectic pace of urban life. Ponhook Lake is next to
the reserve, where there is ample privacy for swimming, boating, or canoeing, and the wilderness provides great shelter
for camping. Ponhook is located just off Highway Eight on the Indian Garden Road, about 40 kilometers northwest of
Milton. There is little activity on the reserve, with the season dictating the number of people present in the
community. In summer people come to vacation, while in winter native people arrive to participate in more traditional
activities such as hunting, with the band occasionally sponsoring craft projects in the community.
Background and History
Though a quiet community, Ponhook has had its share of controversy. In 1930, Nova Scotia Power dammed five lakes to
make a single lake for a hydroelectric dam. The flooding produced by the dams submerged part of the reserve. Acres of
traditional native hunting land were lost and sacred burial grounds were destroyed. In 1974 a land claim was filed by
the Acadia First Nation against the Nova Scotia government for lost lands. Though it has been nearly twenty-five years,
this issue still remains unresolved. About fifty acres have been regained by the band, but there is still uncertainty
regarding how much property was originally lost. The band claims there are still fifty acres under water and another
two hundred acres that were sold illegally. During the period of the flooding, native people and their land were the
responsibility of Indian agents, none of whom were natives. The land was rich in natural resources and especially
attractive to logging companies in the vicinity. Indian agents recognized the opportunity to make substantial profits
and sold the land without regard to the inhabitants of the reserve who were subsequently forced to leave their homes.
Physical Description/Location – Medway Reserve
Medway Reserve, on 4.3 hectares of land, is the smallest reserve in the Acadia First Nation, lying approximately 155
kilometres southwest of Halifax and 40 kilometres south of Bridgewater. It is located on the shores of the Medway River
in Queen’s County. Very few band members inhabit the land, and it remains essentially virgin property.
Acadia Band Council
Head of Acadia is the charismatic Chief Deborah Robinson. In 1987 she became the first woman to be elected chief of the
band. The Council is comprised of the following councillors (as of June 2012): Darlene Coulton, Debra Wentzell, Edwin
Benham, Charmaine Stevens, Michael Paul, Todd Labrador, Thomas Pictou, and Andrew Francis. The number of councillors
elected depends on bylaws – less than fifteen years ago, for example, there were only three councillors elected, and
the number increased from six to eight in 2005.
Research for this outline of Acadia collected and compiled courtesy of Curtis Falls.
Annapolis Valley ~ Kampalijek ~
Physical Description – Annapolis Valley
Annapolis Valley is located in King’s County, Nova Scotia, ten kilometers southwest of the township of Kentville and
one hundred and fourteen kilometers northwest of Halifax. The reserve encompasses 144.9 hectares of land, surrounded by
two mountains. The mountain to the north has an elevation of 600 feet above the valley floor, while the southern
mountain reaches a height of 500 feet. Beyond the mountain to the north lies the Bay of Fundy, a natural habitat of
lobster where the community normally harvests its stock of seafood. The fresh water Cornwallis River, a good source of
trout, flows through the southern part of the reserve.
Annapolis Valley was established February 9, 1880. The land had originally been purchased by the province of Nova
Scotia from Albert A. Webster. In addition to this 34.8 acres, the band also owns 200 acres of woodland in Hants
County. Until 1950, the community was monitored by an Indian agent, Mr. Rice, who travelled from Indian Brook reserve
to deliver ration certificates. These cheques or certificates allowed people to purchase foodstuffs. By 1950, however,
John Toney had been elected chief and a band council was created. The services of the Indian agent were no longer
required. As of June, 2017 the population was 290.
Annapolis Valley Band Council
Since 1968 there have been eight chiefs of the Annapolis Valley:
1968 – 1970 – Chief Charles Philips
1970 – 1976 – Chief Gerald Toney
1976 – 1982 – Chief Rita Smith
1982 – 1993 – Chief David Toney
1993 – 1997 – Chief Lawrence Toney
1997 – 2003 – Chief Brian Toney
2003 – 2005 – Chief John Toney
2005 – 2007 – Chief John Toney
2007 – 2011 – Chief John Toney
2011 – 2013 – Chief Janette Peterson
In addition to the chief, there are also two band councillors, Tassa Kennedy and Laurence Toney.
All research for this outline of Annapolis Valley collected and compiled courtesy of Adam Kennedy.
Bear River ~ L’setkuk ~
Bear River Physical Description
Bear River, or Muin Sipu, is located twenty kilometers northeast of Digby, Nova Scotia. Two fresh water rivers flow
through the reserve, which is near the Bay of Fundy. The Surveyor – General of Nova Scotia referred to the land this
way in 1801: “One thousand acres described as follows, vis. beginning on the western side of the south branch of Bear
River at the distance of twenty-eight chains on a course south. Sixty – six degrees east from the south eastern angle
of land granted Christopher Benson, thence to run south twenty – four degrees west one hundred chains – thence north
twenty – four degrees west one hundred chains to the rear line of said Benson land. Thence south sixty – six degrees
east along said rear line and vacant land one hundred chains to the place of beginning containing one thousand
according to the plan.” The land base itself exceeds 1600 acres, with a pipeline owned by Nova Scotia Power running
through the east branch of the community. In recent years Bear River has tried to come to an agreement with N.S. Power
to bury the pipeline so that the movement of wildlife is not obstructed.
The community built an area behind the church to use as the site for a sacred fire. In 1988, Muin Sipu began
construction of a multi-purpose building, 40′ x 80′, for community use. In 1989, Steve Meuse opened a variety store at
the band hall. In October of 1993 Bear River officially opened their school, along with a swimming pool, playground,
and tennis and basketball courts. As of June, 2017 the population was 342.
Brief History of Muin Sipu (Bear River) and Early Porpoise Hunting
In 1801 Indian Affairs allotted Muin Sipu or Bear River 1000 acres, with an additional 600 acres granted in later
years. By the 1830’s Bear River had become one of the most thriving reserves in the province due to the increasing size
of its population. In August of 1831 the community established its own church.
In the summer months of the nineteenth century, the people of Bear River hunted porpoise in the Bay of Fundy. Meat from
the porpoises was used by the community, while the oil that was rendered was bottled and sold as machine lubricant both
locally in Digby, and in Saint John, New Brunswick. In 1936, Dr. Alexander Leighton of Smith’s Cove interviewed and
recorded on film several elders from Bear River and Lequille who remembered the heyday of the porpoise hunt when they
travelled from forest to coast during May and June. Their twenty foot canoes carried whole families and materials to
make wigwams for the summer long hunt. Hunters often took 150-200 porpoises a season, sometimes harvesting as many as
13 a day. Of particular note was the reknowned porpoise hunter Malti Pictou, reputed to have killed 400 porpoises in a
single season, along with blackfish, white whales, and seals.
In 1988 Bear River began a forestry management project. Ash trees have been planted on 445 acres of reserve land.
Additionally, the community began efforts to enhance wild atlantic salmon stocks for a native fishery. A goal of the
project is to identify where salmon spawn in the river and build spawning beds at these locations.
Band Council and Political Affiliation
Bear River separated from the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, a tribal council incorporated in 1970 to act as a unified
political voice for Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq, in 1987. Since that time, Bear River joined the Confederacy of Mainland
Micmacs, a Mi’kmaw controlled group incorporated in 1986 which provides reserves with financial management and economic
development advisory services.
The band council is presided over by Chief Frank Meuse. The councillors are Carol Ann Porter and Frederick
Robar-Harlow. Elections are slated for December, 2013.
All research for this outline of Bear River collected and compiled courtesy of Adam Kennedy.
Eskasoni ~ Eskisoqnik ~
Physical Description and History – Eskasoni
Eskasoni is located on the north side of East Bay, Nova Scotia on the shores of the Bras d’OrLakes, about 50 kilometres
from Sydney along Route 4, exiting at Route 216. The word ‘Eskasoni’ is derived from the Mi’kmaw word ‘We’kwistoqnik’,
which means ‘where the fir trees are plentiful’. Its permanent boundaries were first charted by the Surveyor-General of
Cape Breton in 1832, and consisted at that time of 2800 acres of land. Eskasoni officially became a reserve in 1834,
though there were few families living in the area at the time.
The main thoroughfare in Eskasoni is the Shore Road, five and a half miles long with many smaller streets and roads
branching off it. The Shore Road was paved as far as Castle Bay in 1960, and by the 1980s the paving had been
completed. Eskasoni is the largest reserve in Nova Scotia at 14.7 square miles or 3504.6 hectares of land. The region
is quite steep, reaching an elevation of 150 metres at the top of the Boisdale Hills. Two freshwater brooks, Indian
Brook at the eastern end of the reserve, and Christmas Brook in the centre of the reserve, provide drainage. All
development is based at the foot of the hills along the shores of the Bras d’Or Lakes, which are also suitable areas
for oyster and salmon fisheries.
According to the census of 1871, there were 125 people living in Eskasoni, whose various trades were recorded as
fishermen, farmers, basketmakers, and quillworkers. Twenty years later, in 1891, the population had dwindled to 80. The
federal government began a policy of centralization during the 1940s that involved moving Mi’kmaq families from
surrounding reserves to Eskasoni. With this insurge of people, the government decided to expand the boundaries of the
reserve to include land from the Castle Bay area, so that today, Eskasoni is comprised of approximately 8860 acres. It
is interesting to note that the majority of the residents of Eskasoni (55%) are under twenty years of age, and the
birth rate is four to five times greater than the rest of the island’s. The population as of June, 2017 is 4469.
Band Administration and Support
The Eskasoni band council is comprised of a chief and twelve councillors: Chief Leroy D.C. Denny, and Councillors –
Bertram (Muin) Bernard, Charles Leon Denny, Oliver (Sappy) Denny Jr., Barry C. Francis, Gerald Robert Francis, Eldon
Gould, Allan Wayne Jeddore, Derek Robert Johnson, Dion Levi Denny, Christian Dylan Thomas Stevens, John Frank Toney,
and Charles Blaise Young. Telephone numbers for the band council are 902-379-2800, 902-379-2172 (Fax).
All research for this outline of Eskasoni collected and compiled courtesy of Florence Dennis and Denise Toney.
Glooscap ~ Pesikitk ~
Physical Description – Glooscap
Glooscap is a small community located approximately 70 kilometers southwest of Halifax, Nova Scotia. It lies within the
boundaries of Kings County, about six kilometers from the town of Hantsport. Glooscap is made up of 171.1 hectares of
land, primarily undeveloped forest, though forestry management is ongoing. The easiest way to find the reserve by car
is to exit Highway 101 to the Ben Jackson Road until the intersection at Bishopville Road is reached. Turn right on
Bishopville Road and continue for 2 kilometers until the entrance to Glooscap is visible on the right. Since this
entrance is obscured by trees, the entrance to the reserve is quite difficult to find for the uninitiated! Glooscap has
two residential streets – Smith Road and Pater Road, which extend through most of the community’s hilly terrain.
Band Funding and Membership
The Glooscap band is funded through contribution agreements with Health Canada and DIAND. Other agreements are also in
place for economic development, education, and with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The band has 275 members
with approximately half living off reserve. It is one of several bands in the province that are “custom”, which refers
to the method of band elections. Under custom, all band members of voting age participate in the elections held every
three years, regardless of residency. Glooscap includes all of its members, both on and off reserve, in meetings,
referendums, votes, by-laws, programs, and activities. The population as of June, 2017 is 377.
The band office was completed in June of 1995, and houses offices for staff as well as the Community Hall. Chief of
Glooscap is Sydney Peters (as of 2012). Band councillors are Kristen Halliday, Larry Peters, and Jean Labradore Power.
Technical support services are provided by the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq.
All research for this outline of Glooscap collected and compiled courtesy of Curtis Falls.
Physical Description – Indian Brook
Sipekne’katik is approximately 8 kilometres west of the village of Shubenacadie, 40 kilometres south of Truro, and 80
kilometres north of Halifax. Established on May 8, 1820, lands near Shubenacadie, New Ross, Pennel, and Grand Lake,
were allotted to the ‘ Shubenacadie Band of Indians’. These lands totalled 3,050 acres, and the Shubenacadie Mi’kmaq
occupied and used most of the lands in what is now mainland Nova Scotia. There were extensive settlements from Pictou
to western portions of the province though the lands weren’t surveyed until 1820. Indian Brook was also the site of an
historically important event. A most significant treaty – one that has been referred to as the “Magna Carta of native
Aboriginal rights” – was signed there in 1752. Dealing with lands, hunting, fishing, trapping, gathering, and trading,
this treaty forms the very foundation of aboriginal rights settlements in Canada today.
Some Early Background and History
During the 1970s the Shubenacadie community discovered its original name had been changed by a priest named Father
Henri Boudreau upon his arrival. The band had reverted to its original name – “Indian Brook” – though the “Shubenacadie
Band Council” remained the legal name of the organization respresenting the five communities of Indian Brook, New Ross,
Pennal, Dodd’s Lot, and Grand Lake. The people of the community referred to it as Indian Brook or “Shubie” depending
upon the age of the speaker. As more and more community members are embracing the Mi’kmaw language and culture, it was
officially decided to use the name Sipekne’katik in July of 2014. The population in June, 2017 was 2653.
Band Administration and Support
As of November 5, 2012 – November 1, 2014, the Chief of the reserve is Rufus Copage. The Band Councillors are Ronnie
William Augustine, Michelle Glasgow, Thomas J. Howe, Keith Joseph Julian, Colleen Knockwood, Doreen E. Knockwood,
Thomas Maloney, Alexander McDonald, Jim Nevin, Earl Sack, Jerry Sack, and Michael Sack.
All research for this outline of Shubenacadie collected and compiled courtesy of Darin J. Googoo and Leslie Googoo;
population statistics from Indian Affairs.
Membertou ~ Maupeltuk ~
Physical Description – Membertou
Membertou is located off Alexandra Street in the city of Sydney. The original Membertou reserve was situated along the
shore of Sydney Harbour and was known as the Old King’s Road Reserve. In 1927, Membertou was relocated to where it now
exists, a 65 acre lot on damp and swampy land. Today Membertou has increased in size to about 401.9 hectares in total.
The population of Membertou has grown from about 100 members in the late 1920s. As of June, 2017 the population was
History of the Relocation
The following document is an account of the process involved in moving the reserve from lands on King’s Road in Sydney
to the location where Membertou stands today:
RE INDIAN RESERVE, CITY OF SYDNEY, N.S.
Exchequer Court of Canada, Audette J., 16 March 1916
INDIANS (II–36)–REMOVAL TO NEW RESERVE–EXPEDIENCY COMPENSATION.
The Exchequer Court, pursuant to the provisions of s.49a of the Indian Act, will recommend the removal of Indians from
their Reserve to a new site, if, in the interest of the public and the welfare of the Indians, such removal seems
expedient. Under s. 2 (4) of the Act, they are to be compensated for the special loss or damage in respect of their
buildings or improvements upon the Reserve.
REFERENCE to the Exchequer Court of Canada under the authority of an order-in-council passed on April 24, 1915,
pursuant to the provisions of s. 49 of the Indian Act, as amended by 1 & 2 Geo. V., c. 14, s. 2, for enquiry and report
as to whether it was expedient, having regard to the interest of the public and of the band of Indians then resident on
the Sydney (N.S.) Indian Reserve to another place outside the limits of the city of Sydney. J. A. Gillies, K.C.,
appeared on behalf of the party interested in the removal of the Indians; G. A. R. Rowlings was appointed by the judge
to represent the Indians on the hearing of the reference. AUDETTE, J., made his report to the
Governor-General-in-council as follows:–
To His Royal Highness, the Governor-in-Council:
The question as to whether or not it is expedient–having regard to the interest of the public and of the Indians, that
the latter should be removed from the Reserve at Sydney, and for further action under the provisions of the Act–having
been referred to the Exchequer Court of Canada for inquiry and report, under both the provisions of the
order-in-council of April 30,1915, and of 1-2 George V., c. 14–the undersigned has the honour to report as follows:–
The notice, provided by s. 2 (2) of the Act, fixing the time and place for the taking of evidence and the hearing of
the investigation respecting the above matter, having been published in the “Canada Gazette” and in a local newspaper
at Sydney, I assigned counsel to represent and act for the Indians, who might be opposed to the proposed removal, they
having previously declared their unwillingness to surrender.
The hearing of the matter was proceeded with at Sydney, on the 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th days of September, 1915,
and upon hearing read the pleadings, and upon hearing the evidence adduced, both on behalf of the party seeking such
removal, and on behalf of the Indians–and upon hearing J. A. Gillies, K.C., of counsel on behalf of the party seeking
the removal, and Mr. Rowlings, on behalf of the Indians, the undersigned humbly submits the following finding:–
The Reserve in question, which is numbered 28 in the Official Schedule of Indian Reserves, is located on the eastern
shore of Sydney Harbour, and was acquired by the Dominion government on April 28,1882, under a grant from the Province
of Nova Scotia, for the use of the Micmac Tribe.
It had been surveyed under direction of the federal government in 1877, and at that time contained 2 acres, 2 roods and
37 perches–the area mentioned in the provincial grant above mentioned.
When the Cape Breton Railway was built in 1887 or 1888, sixty-six hundredths of an acre of the Reserve was expropriated
for the purposes of that public work, severing the land in two parcels, leaving the Reserve, already of irregular
shape, with the contents of 2 acres and 12 perches, and a small piece of land on the water side of the track. This
small piece of the Reserve, severed by the railway from its main part, is of no value and cannot be utilized for
settlement purposes–and in the result leaves the Reserve, for practical purposes, still smaller than its apparent and
Joe Christmas, the present chief, or captain, of the band on the Reserve, has lived on the Reserve back and forth since
1875. In 1887, two more Indian families arrived upon the Reserve. In 1899 there were 85 Indians on the Reserve, and on
February 15, 1915, there were 23 houses and 115 Indians. At present there are between 120 and 122 Indians and 27
houses, without counting the school-house and the brick building with sanitary closets.
The present Reserve is really an adjunct of the Eskasoni Reserve, composed of 2,800 acres, and which is about 24 to 25
miles from Sydney. The Grand Chief of the Micmacs resides at Eskasoni, and there is only a sub-chief, or captain, at
the Sydney Reserve. There are in the vicinity of 155 Indians at Eskasoni, who do some agricultural work. When these
Eskasoni Indians come to Sydney to sell their handicrafts and products, they reside on the Sydney Reserve. There is
also the Cariboo Marsh Reserve, of about 5,385 acres. The land on that Reserve is so poor that no Indians reside upon
it, but as there is considerable timber upon it they use it to cut their supply for fuel and for making ties, which
they sell to the Steel & Coal Co. There are also Indians residing at North Sydney and Little Bras d’Or who, like the
others when they come to Sydney, put up at the Indian Reserve.
Now, this Reserve abuts on King’s Road, which is one of the principal arteries of the city, a highway very much
travelled and used by the public, and upon which a large number of fine residences are built. No one cares to live in
the immediate vicinity of the Indians. The overwhelming weight of the evidence is to the effect that the Reserve
retards and is a clog in the development of that part of the city. On this branch of the case I may say I would have
come to a final decision with more satisfaction, had I heard the present mayor of the city, some representatives from
the Board of Trade, and some prominent public-spirited citizens.
It is worth passing notice to mention that the two medical doctors who respectively held the position of Indian agent
for this Reserve since 1899 favour the removal of the Indians, provided larger and better quarters are given them. Dr.
McIntyre says, he thought the Reserve congested with 20 houses and 100 Indians, and there are now 27 houses and 122
Indians. The removal would make the property in that neighbourhood more valuable for assessment purposes–and it is no
doubt an anomaly to have the Indian Reserve in almost the centre of the city, or on one of its principal thoroughfares.
The racial inequalities of the Indians, as compared with the white man, check to a great extent any move towards social
development, a state of affairs which, under the system now obtaining, can only grow worse every day, as the number of
Indians is increasing.
I do, therefore, without hesitation, come to the conclusion, on this branch of the case, that the removal of the
Indians from the Reserve is obviously in the interest of the public.
Coming to the second branch of the case, as to whether it is in the interest of the Indians to be removed to a larger
place, I may say that during the trial or investigation, I had occasion, accompanied by Counsel on both sides, to view
and examine the Reserve in question. It was on that day quite clean and in good sanitary condition; but it is
established that this condition did not always obtain.
The majority of the Indians is opposed to the removal. They find their present Reserve well located, close to the place
where they earn their livelihood, and it suits their methods of life. They want to stay where they are, and do not wish
to accept any place offered to them. However, if a better, larger and more suitable place is found it will be
acceptable to some of them. This state of things carries us thus far and no further. But the Reserve is getting too
small, too congested and too limited, to accommodate its increasing population, besides the fact that the sanitary
conditions are unsatisfactory and can only grow worse with an increase in population in the settlement.
The brick sanitary closet in the Reserve has been closed as a result of misuse, and the several draught-houses, now in
use to replace it, have proved to be very objectionable to the neighbourhood. Although provided with a number of such
draught-houses, the Indians have not been always considerate and mindful of their neighbours in respect of cleanliness.
They are also charged with disturbance, but that part of the evidence is meagre and not very reliable, and in that
respect they may not be any worse than white men of certain classes. And while it can be said in one sense they may be
undesirable neighbours in that locality, they could be considered as reasonably well-behaved Indians. They are healthy
Indians and the Reserve is free from tuberculosis.
These Indians have abandoned the nomadic life of their ancestors, and are now employed as labourers all over the city
at different works, while the women do some charring and washing.
This Reserve has become too small for the present requirements. There are too many buildings upon it, and the band of
Indians has become too numerous to be located under the present conditions for sanitation on such a small area. An
undesirable and objectionable congestion is the necessary result. Moreover, the band is growing, the young men are
marrying and desire to settle there. And while the Reserve is too small for the Indians actually in occupation, we must
not overlook that all the Indians of Cape Breton who come to Sydney reside on the Reserve during the time of their
visit. And, looking to the future, made wise by looking on the past of this Reserve, it appears that the desirability
of a larger Reserve, a matter of expediency now, will become imperative in the near future.
The Indians, in their own interest, should be removed to a larger place where they would be given a small plot of land
to cultivate. But this removal, while it should be to a place outside of the city, to avoid a further removal in the
future, must be consistent with and considerate of the interest of the Indians. They should remain as close as possible
to the city, although outside its limits, to allow them to pursue the same manner of earning their livelihood by doing
work in the city, where, indeed, they have become quite a factor in the labour market. They must also be kept close to
their Church, because it is insisted upon, in the evidence, that their priest has a very salutary influence over them,
and when the Indian loses the influence of his Church, he goes on the down grade. These Indians are labourers of all
classes: brick-layers, masons, plasterers, carpenters, pick and shovel men, and some of them work on the Cape Breton
Electric Tramway. They are much employed during the winter, for the removal of snow from the tramway. They also make
pick handles, tubs and baskets.
The evidence establishes in the result that the removal would be in the interest of the Indians, provided they are
given a better and larger reserve in some place convenient to their church and their work. And in doing so, to place
them in the neighbourhood of the Coke Ovens district must be avoided–that locality is undesirable in many respects–and
occasion for intemperance is sure to arise there.
Both the unsatisfactory condition of the present Reserve with respect to sanitation, and the advantage to be derived by
the Indians from larger grounds, make it expedient to recommend their removal to a better and larger place, consistent
with the relatively close proximity to their work and church.
What the Indian, on the one hand, may lose from the convenience of close neighbourhood to his place of labour, in the
future perhaps made costly by the expense of a ferry or car-fare–which with that class must be reckoned–will be offset
by the advantage of a larger territory for his Reserve, where he can have his little plot of ground under cultivation,
giving him a vegetable garden, helping materially in support of his family.
The removal of this band of Indians from the Reserve will open to improvement at once that part of the city of Sydney,
while the Indian, in the result, will not suffer anything serious, save perhaps a disadvantage in the degree of
convenience in going to and from his work, and his morals can be looked after just as well upon the new Reserve. He
will be able to attend his church just the same, and he will, moreover, be perhaps further away from the temptation in
the way of intemperance and kept busy and interested in his Reserve by attending to his vegetable garden. Having each a
small plot of land would also be an incentive to keep it in proper condition.
Having found the removal of the Indians from this Reserve expedient and advisable, it becomes my duty now, under the
provisions of s. 2 (4) of the Act:
To ascertain the amounts of compensation, if any, which should be paid respectively to individual Indians of the band
for the special loss or damages which they will sustain in respect of the buildings or improvements to which they are
entitled upon the lands of the Reserve
On that branch of the case, ex. “E,” testified to by 3 witnesses, establishes the value of each building upon the
Reserve, with the name of the proprietor opposite the figures. This valuation, however, has been arrived at on a basis
of re-instatement value. That is, it does not shew the actual market value of the buildings, taking into consideration
the depreciation for wear and tear. That document shows what it would cost to build these, however,,, anew to-day.
While the Indian, the ward of the nation, should be treated as well as possible, it is quite conceivable that a great
part of the old buildings could be used in the erection of the buildings on the new Reserve. The total value of the
buildings, owned by the Indians on the Reserve, is placed by these three witnesses at $8,850, subject to what has just
been said. This is exclusive of the value of the brick sanitary closet and the school-house.
Passing now to the question of the selection of the site for a new Reserve, it may be said that a deal of evidence has
been adduced in that respect. Indeed, the selection of a site is a question not free from difficulty, and upon which a
deal of evidence has been adduced. A large plan of the city has been filed, and upon it has been shewn as prospective
or available sites, the places marked respectively “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” “E,” “F,” “G,” and “H.” On that plan is also
shewn the site of the present Reserve.
Besides these sites so indicated on the plan, there is also across the harbour at Westmount, almost opposite the
present Reserve, a place recommended by some of the witnesses. It is entirely outside of the limits of the city, and
quite accessible to the city for the most part of the year. However, in the autumn and in the spring the ice makes the
crossing quite impossible at times for a period varying from one week to three weeks and perhaps more. Were it not for
that last difficulty, the place would be ideal. The Murphy farm of 50 acres is there available–and there is also a
large quantity of land in that neighbourhood which could easily be secured at a reasonable price. The soil is very
good, the site beautiful and abutting on the harbour. If the Indians were established at Westmount on a really good
farm, would it not be possible for them to keep a few horses, and when the ice on the river prevents them from coming
across, they could drive to town, a distance of only 5 or 6 miles? They would be there away from the liquor shops and
the undesirable foreigners settled at the Coke Ovens, where they often get liquor–always a source of trouble to them.
Of all the other sites above mentioned and referred to by the letters “A” to “H,” I would only recommend in the
alternative, either “A” or “E.”
The “A” site lies outside of the eastern part of the city between the Grand Lake Road and the Sydney and Glace Bay R.
Co.’s line; and “E,” which is also outside the eastern part of the city, at the top of the Cow Bay Road.
Jos. Christmas, one of the Indians, although objecting to the removal, says if they must be removed, he would prefer
the Westmount site to any other. Ben Christmas, another Indian, speaking for himself, says “E,” at the top of the Cow
Bay Road, would meet with his approval if they are given a little assistance in building and larger grounds. The soil
there, however, seems to be of doubtful character for farming purposes.
Under all the circumstances, I would humbly recommend, as prospective alternative sites, “A” at the top of the Grand
Lake Road, or “E” at the top of the Cow Bay Road, or Westmount. The prospective sites within the limits of the city
should be discarded, because the same question of removal would arise again at some future date. The price at which
these prospective properties could be acquired has been estimated by some of the witnesses.
It may be said that while the present site can only be sold at public auction, Mr. Gillies, K.C., has offered to
purchase it at $5,000. If the sale is made this amount may be used as an upset price. Agent Parker valued the land at
$4,800–witnesses Ross and Midgley at $5,000–Rev. Father Cameron at $150 an acre– and Rev. Father McDonald, in his
letter of January 8, 1914, at $12,000. The valuation of $5,000 would appear to be about fair and right.
Therefore, the undersigned has the honour to report he finds it expedient, having regard to the interest of the public
and of the Indians located on the small Sydney Reserve, that the said Indians should be removed from such Reserve.
Furthermore, it is found that the compensation above set forth should be paid respectively to the individual Indians of
the band for the special loss or damages sustained by them in respect of their buildings or improvemts upon the
Reserve, or an adjustment be made for their claims in respect thereto, and a suitable new Reserve be obtained for them
before they be removed from or disturbed in the possession of the present Reserve.
The undersigned would further recommend that the Indians should, on their removal, be treated with great consideration
and kindness, and that such removal should be made quietly without undue haste, trouble or inconvenience, to the
Indians. The site to be first selected and the compensation for their buildings or improvements adjusted on the basis
In witness whereof I have set my hand this 15th day of March,
(Sgd.) L. A. AUDETTE,
Grand Chief Donald Marshall Monument
The Mi’kmaq Nation honours the late Grand Chief (Kji-Saqmaw) Donald J. Marshall Senior with a ten foot high monument
that stands above his grave in the Membertou Memorial Gardens. Funding for the monument was provided by the Grand
Council and the whole Mi’kmaq Nation. The monument has a photograph of the late Grand Chief and reads: Kji-Saqmaw
(Grand Chief) Donald Joseph Marshall, May 28, 1925 – August 25, 1991, Son of Joseph and Margaret (Stevens) Marshall of
Membertou, Married August 15, 1949 to Caroline Googoo, Daughter of John P. Googoo and Madeline Gould of Whycocomagh,
Children – Six Boys & Six Girls & Numerous Foster Children, Trade – Dry Waller, Donald Marshall Was Elected Kji-Saqmaw
(Grand Chief) in 1964 as Predicted by the Previous Kji-Saqmaw Gabriel Sylliboy; Donald Marshall Was the Grand Chief for
27 Years Until His Death in 1991; Kji-Saqmaw Donald Marshall’s Presence Was Magnified a Thousandfold Through the
Efforts He Pioneered in Every Facet of His Work and Office – A Man Who Seemed to Be Everywhere; Donald Has a Zealous
Conviction of Reaching Out and Providing a Helping Hand to Those Who Needed It Most. Kji-Saqmaw – Rest In Peace.
Putus Simon Marshall Memorial
The community of Membertou honours the late Putus Simon Marshall with a permanent grotto that lies behind the St. Ann’s
Mission Church. Simon Marshall was a very dedicated man who never failed to build the St. Ann’s grotto each year, and
for his service to St. Ann the community named the grotto for him. The monument reads: In Memory of Simon J. Marshall,
“Putus” Uncle Simon, Born 1917 – Died 1992, A Life Long Outstanding Citizen in the Community of Membertou Who Devoted
His Life as an Active Member for St. Ann’s Mission Church “Ma Iapjiw Wan’ Ta’ Sualuluek Aq Ta’ N Teli Pkit Lukowiekn
Ula Maupltu” We Will Never Forget You Nor the Service You Provided for Us Here in Membertou, Presented by the Marshall
Family July 1995, Erected July 1995, Volunteers: Simon G. Marshall (Nephew), Richard Doucette, Noel Francis, Ronald
War Veterans Memorial
The Mi’kmaw Nation has never forgotten the men and women who served their countries in World War I and II, and in the
Korean War and Vietnam War. A ten foot high monument lies on the front lawn of the St. Ann’s Mission Church to honour
the war veterans. Since 1985, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month this well deserved monument becomes a
gathering place to remember those who lost and risked their lives. The front of the monument reads:
Kulaman Ma’ Wan’ Ta’ Siwkw – Lest We Forget – Membertou War Veterans
1914 – 1918:
William Bernard, Peter Googoo, Frank Herney, William Herney (WWII), Christopher Morris, Noel Paul
1939 – 1945:
William Bernard, Louis Brooks (KIA), Veronica Brassard, Augustus Christmas, Charles Doucette (KIA), Joseph W. Francis,
Charles Gould, John Joe, Leo Joe, Richard Matthews, Edward Paul, Lawrence Paul (K), Frank Wightly
Korea 1950 – 1953:
George LaPorte, Ralph Moore, Ronald Paul
Nova Scotia War Veterans 1914 – 1918:
James Bernard, Michael Bradley, Jim Brooks, John Cope, Leo Cope (KIA), Johnny Doyle (KIA), William Duncan, Andrew
Francis (WWII), Ben Francis, James Francis (WWII), John Francis, Noel R. Francis, James Gloade, Joseph Gloade (KIA),
Sam Gloade, John Johnson, John Julian, Freeman B. Knockwood, John Maloney, Peter Maloney (KIA), John Mc Ewan, Stephen
Meuse, Louis Newell, Andrew Paul, Dennis Paul, Joe Paul, Levi Paul, Philip Paul, Michael Perry, Joseph Louis Pictou,
Michael Prosper, Joe Sack, Joseph Sapier, Matthew Sapier, David Stevens, Frank Thomas, Louis Thomas, Stephen Toney,
Ronald Wilmot, Thomas Wilmot
Nova Scotia War Veterans 1939 – 1945:
Max Basque, William Basque, Andrew Bernard, Ben Bernard, Charles A. Bernard, Frank Bernard, James Bernard, John A.
Bernard (K), Michael Bernard, Peter Bernard, Stephen Bernard, William Bernard, William Bernard, James Brooks, Sandy
Brooks, Levi Cabot, John Cremo, Thomas Cremo, Frank Dennis, Barney Francis, Charles S. Francis, John Francis, Lawrence
Francis, Louis Joe Francis, Peter Franci Tom Francis, James Gloade, Noel B. Gloade, Levi Googoo, Stephen P. Knockwood
The back of the monument reads:
Nova Scotia War Veterans 1939 – 1945 Con’t:
William Googoo, Ernest Howe, Gabriel Joe, Andrew Johnson, Levi Johnson, Alexander Julian, Andrew Julian (K), Edward
Julian (K), Joe Julian, Henry Knockwood, Ralph Knockwood, Noel Lewis, Joe Lewis, Alonzo Maloney, Lawrence Maloney,
Stephen Maloney, Frank Marble, James Marshall, Stephen Marshall, William Marshall, Fred Martin, Richard Mc Ewan,
Solomon Mc Ewan, Joseph Meuse, Noel Michael, Joe P. Nicholas, Charles Paul, Joe Paul, Leo Paul, Noel B. Paul, James
Peck, Peter Perro, Clifford Pictou, Jim Pictou, John Pictou, Louis Pictou, Martin Pictou, Richard Poulette, Ron
Prosper, Wilfred Prosper, Louis Sack, Fred Sapier, Frank Simon, Steve Simon, John C. Smith, Noel A. Smith, Andrew
Stevens, Benedict Stevens, Roderick Stevens, Benjamin Stevens, Isaac Stevens, Bernard Toney, John Toney, John Toney,
Lawrence Toney Sr., Leo Toney, Fred Young.
Nova Scotia War Veterans Korea 1950 – 1953:
Russell Brooks, Preston Copage, William Copage (KIA), Frank J. Denny, Abraham Doucette, Arthur Julian, Peter Julian,
Noel Knockwood, Alfred Maloney, Pius Marshall, Clarence Meuse (KIA), Wilfred Michael, Francis Paul, Robert Paul, Ben
Pictou, Wilfred Prosper, Daniel Stevens, Daniel Stevens
Nova Scotia War Veterans Vietnam 1960 – 1975:
Wilfred Basque, Vincent Bernard (KIA), Joseph (Joey) Francis, Matthew Francis, Wilfred Francis, Allan Knockwood,
Leander Paul, Raymond Stevens, John Leonard Toney.
The Sons of Membertou perform traditional and contemporary music. The group was originally formed in 1990 and consisted
of fourteen members. They have performed in many events in the maritimes and Canada including the Canadian Aboriginal
Music Awards in Toronto, the G-Seven Summit in Halifax, and the Annual Treaty Day Celebration in Halifax. In 1996 The
Sons of Membertou released a CD called ‘Wapnakik’, which was immediately successful.
Common Surnames in Membertou
The majority of people in Membertou come from either the Christmas family or the Paul family. Other large family groups
in Membertou include the Googoo, Marshall, and Bernard families. The following list shows all family names found on the
reserve: Christmas, Paul, Marshall, Bernard, Googoo, Kabatay, Joe, Mac Donald, Martin, Isadore, Gould, Herney,
Matthews, Moore, Isaac, Doucette, Mc Ewan, Ginnish, La Porte, and Francis.
The Citizen of the Year Award is in memory of the late Bradley T. Christmas who died at the age of sixteen years in
1978. Bradley was the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Bernie Christmas. Every New Year’s Eve the community of Membertou
honours Bradley’s memory by awarding an outstanding citizen with the Bradley T. Christmas Citizen of the Year Award,
offering the opportunity to remember Bradley ‘s outstanding personality and character.
The Sportsman of the Year Award is given in memory of the late Paul F. Gould who died at age nineteen in 1981. Paul was
the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Gould. Each New Year’s Eve the community honours Paul’s name by awarding an
outstanding sportsman the Paul F. Gould Sportsman of the Year Award, and gives an occasion to remember Paul as a
superior athlete and sportsman.
The Wally Bernard Memorial Indian Youth Hockey Tournamentcelebrated its 25th anniversary this year. The community of
Membertou and other native reserves throughout the maritimes honour Wallace Bernard by hosting and attending a youth
hockey tournament in his name. Wally dedicated his life to the people and athletes of Membertou. He was active as a
player and manager for the fastball and hockey teams, and in 1973 he and Joe B. Marshall organized a youth hockey
tournament that proved to be both popular and successful. Wally died on December 8, 1989, while working on the
Membertou Day Care Centre that was later named for him, but he is still remembered today with respect and affection.
The Chief of the reserve is Terrence J. Paul, who has served the community for many years.
All research for this outline of Membertou collected and compiled courtesy of Paul J. Marshall.
Millbrook ~ We’kopekwitk ~
Millbrook is 3.56 square kilometers or 1129 acres of land located on the outskirts of Truro, Nova Scotia. The main
reserve is Millbrook (906 acres) with three satellite reserves: Cole Harbour (46 acres), Beaver Dam (100 acres), and
Sheet Harbour (77 acres). An international airport is located forty minutes by car from Millbrook, and Halifax is 100
kilometers away. Highways 102 and 104 intersect the reserve.
The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq is involved in issues of community development, health, Aboriginal/First Nations
culture, forestry, social justice, and the environment. A tribal council with a regional geographic focus, they provide
advisory services to six bands in Nova Scotia – Afton, Annapolis Valley, Bear River, Horton, Millbrook, and Pictou
Landing – in the areas of economic development, finance, education, research, and housing. The CMM also provides
advisory services to the thirteen provincial bands in health, forrestry, adult institutional care, community rights,
housing, and interpretors. Visit their web-site at Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq.
The Native Council of Nova Scotia, located in Truro, provides referral services for off reserve Aboriginals, training
programs for HRDC, and also provides pre-natal and child services.
Religion at Millbrook
Religion is a fundamental part of the native community and culture. The majority of the residents of Millbrook reserve
are Catholic. Many community events and celebrations are organized around the church.
The first Sacred Heart Church in Millbrook was built in 1919. The second, built in 1986, is quite unique because it is
constructed in the shape of a wigwam.
Education and the Community
The main objective of the Millbrook Post Secondary Education Assistance Program is to help eligible band members obtain
post secondary education. To be eligible for this program, applicants must be registered members of the Millbrook band
and meet post secondary requirements, with priority being given to participants who have resided in Millbrook prior to
the date of application. Assistance may be available in the form of tuition, travel assistance, or living expenses, and
is provided for three levels of post secondary education:
Level I – community college diploma or certificate program
Level II – undergraduate programs
Level III – advanced or professional degree programs, e.g. Master’s or doctoral programs.
Students are assisted to attend university entrance preparation programs for a maximum of two academic years.
Band Administration and Support
The chief and council make up the main governing body of the Millbrook reserve. The Chief is Robert Gloade. Councillors
are: Colin Bernard, Bryan Brooks, Alexander Cope, Adrian Gloade, Barry Gloade, Peter Gloade, Vernon Gloade, Gordon
Johnson, Lloyd Johnson, Ward Markie, Barry Martin Sr. and Chris Nasson. Sheet Harbour, Cole Harbour, and Beaver Dam
reserves are administered by the Millbrook Band Office because of their sizes. the population as of June, 2017 was
All research for this outline of Millbrook collected and compiled courtesy of Mary Jane Abram.
Physical Description – Paq’tnkek
Paq’tnkek is located in Antigonish County, Nova Scotia, approximately four kilometres from Exit 23 of the Trans Canada
Highway. The reserve is spread out into three parts: the main reserve, divided by the Trans Canada; the second parcel
of land in Summerside, where the Church of the St. Anne’s Mission is located; and a third parcel of land situated in
Heatherton, bordering Pomquet. The community consists of sixty-six houses, thirteen trailers, two duplex apartment
buildings, and a row house made up of six apartment units. As of June, 2017, the population of Paq’tnkek was 574.
The Mi’kmaq Fish and Wildlife Commission was implemented in November of 1995, the first Aboriginal Fish and Wildlife
Office in Nova Scotia. Its mandate was to settle disputes between Mi’kmaq and non-natives. As well, the Commission does
its own studies of fish and wildlife to prevent depletion of any species. For example, the Commission regulates the
number of deer and moose that can be taken in one season, and limits the number of traps and the amount of fish caught
by native peoples.
From November 27, 2011 – November 26, 2013 the Chief of the reserve is Michael Gerard Julian. The Band Councillors are:
David Francis, Trevor Joseph Gould, Anne Marie Paul, Robert Phillip Pictou, and Kerry Gerard Prosper.
All research for this outline of Paq’tnkek collected and compiled courtesy of Stephen Simon. Population statistics from
Waycobah ~ We’koqma’q ~
Stretching along the Bras d’Or Lakes in Nova Scotia is We’koqma’q with a mountainous backdrop known as Skye Mountain.
Running through this area is the Trans-Canada Highway #4. We’koqma’q is approximately 50 kilometers north of the Canso
Causeway and 150 kilometers south of Sydney. Next door is its sister village Whycocomagh, which means ‘Head of the
Waters’. We’koqma’q is made up of 828.5 hectares of land, with 149 homes and a population of 810 – 711 living
on-reserve and 99 living off-reserve (as of April 2004). When driving through Waycobah one can often glimpse a bald
eagle in the sky overhead, perched on a tree, or even catching fish in the lake.
As you drive through We’koqma’q from the north, Greg’s Fuels (service station) is situated on the right, and a bit
further down on the right is an Enviro-Depot for recyclable items. Further along on the left is a Catholic church
presided over by Father Dan Mac Lellan (who lives off-reserve). Continuing on your right is the band office which also
houses the police station, with the band hall off to the side and satellite dishes directly behind the hall that
provide cable service (from Strait Area Cable in Port Hawkesbury) to Waycobah. A new band office and police station are
currently under construction.
On the Trans-Canada Highway there is a caution light flashing above the intersection where you take a left turn up to
Reservation Road. At the top of a small hill on your left is the We’koqma’q First Nation Elementary School, and further
down there is a Fire Hall with red double doors, with a Fitness Centre in the back and a Youth Centre to the left. A
new fire hall is also presently under construction. Further down the road, you can see the new police station near
completion. The new band hall will also be built in this area, and along with the band administrative offices, the
building will also contain a daycare, health clinic, and social services department.
Directly across from the site of the new band office is another street called Subdivision Road which is circular and
brings you back onto the main reserve road. Subdivision Dairy is on the right side of Subdivision Road, and further up
this road the new water tower is visible. Then on your left is the Mi’kmaq Family Treatment Centre, and as you descend
the small hill, you eventually return to Reservation Road.
A right turn will take you back to the Trans-Canada Highway, followed by a left turn which places you at a basket shop
called ‘Negemow’, painted in shades of green and yellow. Next to Negemow is the high school, Waycobah First Nation
Secondary, for grades 7-12, and beside the school is Rod’s One Stop, housing a gas station and pizza place. A bit
further down this road is a bridge overlooking the Skye River which runs out to the Bras d’Or Lakes. A few feet past
this is a sign marking the end of We’koqma’q First Nation.
We’koqma’q was established in the January 31, 1833, and was originally called Whycocomagh. It was officially declared a
band in May of 1958. Before that time, it was under the jurisdiction of the Eskasoni chief and council. It was not
until June 24, 1958, that We’koqma’q held its first election for its own chief and council. Presently We’koqma’q holds
twenty per cent of Malagawatch along with four other Cape Breton reserves – Eskasoni, Wagmatcook, Chapel Island, and
Membertou. The name change from Whycocomagh to Waycobah (and later We’koqma’q) came about as a result of the efforts of
Stuart Basque and Angus Michael Googoo who started a petition among reserve residents to change the name of the
community (possibly around the late 1980s). The petition was passed by the chief and council and the name change was
approved. As of June, 2017, the population was 1000.
We’koqma’q Chiefs and Councillors
The following list shows the chiefs and councillors of We’koqma’q from the time of its first election in June of 1958:
June 24, 1958 – June 24, 1960 – Chief Andrew Phillips, Councillors Joseph N. Phillips, Peter Bernard
June 24, 1960 – June 28, 1962 – Chief Joseph Prosper, Councillors William N. Sylliboy, Angus Googoo
June 28, 1962 – June 28, 1964 – Chief Charles Bernard, Councillors Gabriel Googoo, Edward Googoo (resigned Dec. 1963)
June 28, 1964 – June 29, 1966 – Chief Joseph Prosper, Councillors Noel J. Bernard, Levi J. Googoo
June 29, 1966 – June 28, 1968 – Chief Simon Googoo, Councillors William N. Sylliboy, Gabriel Googoo
June 28, 1966 – Nov. 1, 1968 – Chief Simon Googoo, Councillors William N. Sylliboy, John Toney
Nov. 1, 1968 – Nov. 1, 1970 – Chief Simon Googoo, Councillors William Sylliboy, Joseph Prosper (resigned Sept. 1969)
Nov. 1, 1970 – Nov. 1, 1972 – Chief Noel J. Bernard, Councillors Frederick Bernard, Bernard Sylliboy
Nov. 1, 1972 – Nov. 1, 1974 – Chief Wayne Googoo, Councillors Noel J. Gould, Ryan J. Gould, Benjamin Sylliboy
Nov. 1, 1974 – Nov. 1, 1976 – Chief Wayne Googoo (deceased), Councillors Annie Googoo, Ryan J. Googoo, Benjamin
Nov. 1, 1976 – Nov. 1, 1978 – Chief Ryan C. Googoo, Councillors Annie Googoo, Roderick Albert Googoo, Benjamin Sylliboy
Nov. 1, 1978 – Nov. 1, 1980 – Chief Ryan C. Googoo, Councillors Annie Googoo, Roderick Googoo, Benjamin Sylliboy,
Nov. 1, 1980 – Nov. 1, 1982 – Chief Ryan C. Googoo, Councillors Annie Googoo, Benjamin Sylliboy, Allan Bernard,
Nov. 1, 1984 – Nov. 1, 1986 – Chief Roderick Albert Googoo, Councillors John Angus Googoo, Ryan Joseph Googoo, Raymond
Googoo, Benjamin Sylliboy
Nov. 1, 1986 – Nov. 1, 1988 – Chief Roderick Albert Googoo, Councillors Allan Bernard, Ryan Joseph Googoo, Jacob Martin
Bernard, Benjamin Sylliboy
Nov. 1, 1988 – Nov. 1, 1990 – Chief Roderick Albert Googoo, Councillors Allan Bernard, Ryan J. Googoo, Raymond Googoo,
Joseph Wayne Morley Googoo, John Noel Prosper
Nov. 1, 1990 – Nov. 1, 1992 – Chief Roderick Albert Googoo, Councillors Allan Bernard, Ryan C. Googoo, Raymond Googoo,
Ryan J. Googoo, John Noel Prosper
Nov. 1, 1992 – Nov. 1, 1994 – Chief Morley Googoo, Councillors Alexander Michael, Bernie Googoo, Margaret Poulette,
John N. Prosper, Ryan J. Googoo
Nov. 1, 1994 – Nov. 1, 1996 – Chief Morley Googoo, Councillors: Alexander Brian Googoo, Edward Googoo, Henry Joseph
Googoo, Ryan Joseph Googoo, Alexander Joseph Googoo
Nov. 1, 1996 – Oct. 31, 1998 – Chief Morley Googoo, Councillors: Stuart Basque, Alexander Brian Googoo, Edward Googoo,
Henry Joseph Googoo, Marie Josephine Googoo, Alexander J. Michael.
Nov. 1, 2000 – Oct. 31, 2002 – Chief Morley Googoo, Councillors: Jason Bernard, Alexander Brian Googoo, Henry Joseph
Googoo, Joe Googoo, Sheldon Googoo, and Anthony Phillips.
Nov.1, 2002 – Oct. 2003 – Chief Morley Googoo
Feb. 2004 – Oct. 31, 2006 – Chief Alexander “Sandy” Googoo, Councillors: Jacob Martin Bernard, Jason Bernard, Edward
Googoo, Ryan Googoo Jr., Joseph Phillips, Henry Googoo, Bernard “Bernie B.” Googoo, and Annie Bernard (Daisley).
Nov. 1, 2006 – April 28, 2011- Chief Morley Googoo.
Currently councillors are Cyrus John Bernard, Jason Bernard, Bernard Googoo, Joseph (Morley) Googoo, Kenneth Googoo,
Robert Andrew Gould, Anthony James Phillips, and Stanford Zachariah Phillips, and Wayne Prosper. Morley Googoo was
chief but a new election had to be held when he was elected Regional-Chief of the AFN for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland
on April 28, 2011. At that time Roderick Albert Googoo was elected chief.
The Grand Chief of the Mi’kmaw Nation, Benjamin W. Sylliboy, lives in We’koqma’q.
All research for this outline of We’koqma’q collected and compiled courtesy of Karen Barnard. Population information
for these communities came from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.