Unama’ki College Advisory Board

Unama’ki College will have an Advisory Board comprised of local, regional, and national Aboriginal community and education leaders, including Elders, and others with a demonstrated commitment to Aboriginal post-secondary education. Its primary role will be to advise Unama’ki College and CBU as a whole in the development, promotion, and support of post-secondary education for Aboriginal people. Nominations to the Board will be considered and selected according to the following:

  • One member from Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey
  • Five members from the Mi’kmaq communities of Cape Breton
  • Three representatives of First Nations communities in Nova Scotia outside of Cape Breton
  • Three members representative of Indigenous communities in Canada outside of Nova Scotia
  • Three additional members with a demonstrated commitment to Aboriginal post-secondary education.

Members of the Board for 2012-2015 are:

Patrick Augustine

Patrick Augustine is a Mi’kmaw from New Brunswick.  His ancestry stems from the traditional districts of Sikniktuk and Epikwitk; he is a registered Indian and resides in L’sipuktuk (Elsipogtog).  At the University of Prince Edward Island, he studied in the Master of Arts program in Island Studies, and explored place and identity through image-based research. He has provided Aboriginal consultancy off-campus, specializing in Aboriginal governance, justice issues, health, nuclear waste management awareness, matrimonial property rights consultations, economic development, and delivered cultural awareness workshops to federal and provincial government agencies, schools, police cadets, and university researchers. He is in his third year of doctoral studies at Carleton University; his current research interests are in hybrid systems of alcohol addiction rehabilitation and traditional healing methods. Mr. Augustine’s future research interests are in First Nations health policy after neoliberal financial impacts and the resulting reliance on the social economy, to identify “best practices” and to determine if those are transferable to opiate addictions.

Marie Battiste Ph.D

Dr. Marie Battiste, a Mi’kmaw educator from Potlotek, is a full professor in the College of Education, and Director of the Aboriginal Education Research Centre (AERC) at the University of Saskatchewan. A graduate of Harvard University (M.Ed) and Stanford University (Ed.D), she has writings in literacy, cognitive imperialism, linguistic and cultural integrity, indigenous knowledge and humanities, and decolonization of Aboriginal education. Her doctoral dissertation completed at Stanford University was entitled An Historical Investigation of the Social and Cultural Consequences of Micmac Literacy.

Marie has worked actively with First Nations schools as a teacher, administrator, classroom consultant, and curriculum developer, advancing Aboriginal epistemology, languages, pedagogy, and research. Her research interests are in initiating institutional change in the decolonization of education, language and social justice policy and power, and postcolonial educational approaches that recognize and affirm the political and cultural diversity of Canada and the ethical protection and advancement of Indigenous knowledge.

She has co-authored and edited numerous publications – one receiving a Saskatchewan book award in 2000. Her research projects are in violence prevention among youth and animating the Mi’kmaw humanities, both funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

A former co-director of the Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre with the Canadian Council of Learning, she has received two honorary doctorate degrees from St. Mary’s University (’87), and the University of Maine at Farmington (’97), and Alumni Achievement Award at the University of Maine Farmington (’95), and received the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in Education (’08) from the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation.

Jason Bernard

Jason Bernard was sworn in as First Nation Representative on the Strait Regional School Board on October 7, 2009. He is a member of Waycobah in Whycocomagh.

Jason’s passion for Mi’kmaw students and their educational needs is the reason he became a Board member. He will serve as an advocate and the voice for Mi’kmaw students in the Strait region.

Jason’s focus will be to assist and support all students to ensure they have a positive educational experience. In particular, his input and insight related to unique Mi’kmaw culture and diversity issues will greatly assist the Board in its deliberations. Jason wholeheartedly promotes active lifestyles and the value of youth being involved in sport, including school programs.

During the last 12 years as an elected band councillor, Jason has worked extensively with his home community of Waycobah to develop its capacity and address educational needs. He has been involved with numerous projects including a new state-of-the-art school (K-12) and a pilot project, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (by Steven Covey), in cooperation with Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey. He graduated from the former Whycocomagh Consolidated School in 1991, has worked as a Teacher Assistant with the Waycobah Mi’kmaw School and has served as proxy for Chief at the Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey from time to time.

Jason’s community involvement includes planning for events and volunteering as a hockey coach with minor hockey and the Cape Breton West AAA program.

Marie Delorme Ph.D

Dr. Marie Delorme is CEO of The Imagination Group of Companies: a consulting company which focuses on the spectrum of challenges that leaders face from long range planning to critical day-to-day business issues; a corporate gifting and promotional products company; and an online registry emphasizing the protection of intellectual property and copyright of Aboriginal artists. The Imagination Group is a national organization and clients include corporations, governments, and Aboriginal people and organizations.

She is Vice-Chair of the Mount Royal University Board of Governors, co-chaired the 2010 Calgary United Way Campaign, serves on the international advisory board to the Coady Institute at St. Francis Xavier University, has served on numerous boards, and was the Canadian representative for the United States Consulate General to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation.

Her awards include: Alberta Centennial Medal; University of Calgary Dr. Douglas Cardinal Award; Alberta Chamber of Commerce Business Award of Distinction; Calgary Chamber of Commerce Salute to Excellence Award, and Métis Nation Entrepreneurial Leadership Award. Most recently Dr. Delorme is the recipient of the 2014 Business and Commerce Award from Indspire (formerly called the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Business & Commerce).

Marie holds a Bachelor of Science degree; a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s University; and a Ph.D. from the University of Calgary. Her research focuses on intercultural leadership.

Sandra Germain

Sandra Germain is Mi’kmaw from the Listuguj.  She completed her undergraduate degree in 2000 as a mature student and continued onward to obtain a Masters in Adult Education degree in 2003 from the University of New Brunswick.  Sandra is the Director of the Mi’kmaq/Maliseet Bachelor of Social Work (MMBSW) Program and also provides coordination services to the Listuguj Education Partnership Program (EPP). She is also involved in numerous education committees that strive to improve the lives of First Nation peoples in general and students in particular. Sandra resides in Listuguj with her husband, Beaver Paul.

Anita Olsen Harper, PhD

Dr. Olsen Harper has an in-depth awareness and understanding of Aboriginal issues. She has an undergraduate degree in Education (Adult Education), a graduate degree in Canadian Studies (Heritage Conservation), and a Ph.D. (2011) from the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa. Her dissertation is titled,  Domestic Violence (DV) in Aboriginal Communities; social determinants to well-being; Indigenous Knowledge translation; First Nations adult education/training, health, history, and heritage representation. She has had an ACADRE [Aboriginal Capacity & Developmental Research Environments], and a NEAHR [Network Environments for Aboriginal Health Research] fellowship recipient during her Ph.D. studies.

James Youngblood Sake’j Henderson

Born to the Bear Clan of the Chickasaw Nation and Cheyenne Tribe in Oklahoma in 1944 Sake’j is married to Marie Battiste, a Míkmaw educator. They have three children. In 1974, he received a Juris doctorate in law from Harvard Law School and became a law professor who created litigation strategies to restore Aboriginal culture, institutions and rights. During the constitutional process (1978-1993) in Canada, he served as a constitutional advisor for the Míkmaw nation and the NIB-Assembly of First Nations. He has continued to work on development in Aboriginal and treaty right and treaty federalism in constitutional law. His latest books are: Aboriginal Tenure in the Constitution of Canada (2000), Protecting Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage (2000), Míkmaw Society v. Canada in UN Human Rights Committee (ebook 2005). He is working on two more  books: Indigenous Jurisprudence and Aboriginal Rights and Treaty Rights in the Constitution of Canada.

He is a noted international human rights lawyer and an authority on protecting Indigneous heritage, knowledge, and culture. He was one of the drafters and expert advisors of the principles and guidelines for the protection of Indigenous Heritage in the UN Human Rights fora. He has also been a member of the Advisory Board to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and is currently a member of the Sectoral Commission on Culture, Communication and Information of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and Experts Advisory Group on International Cultural Diversity.

Academic Credentials 
J.D. (Juris Doctorate), Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA. Thesis: Indian Statehood in the United States (1974)
B.A., History, California State University, Fullerton, CA. (1967)

In 2005, the Indigenous Bar Association awarded him the honorary title of Indigenous People’s Counsel (I.P.C.) and in 2006, he received an National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Law and Justice.

Donald M. Julien

Donald Julien has worked throughout his life to establish a better future for his people. Executive director of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq and member of several Aboriginal advisory committees in Nova Scotia, he has, through his leadership, brought about partnerships that have produced economic opportunities for his community. A lifelong champion of Mi’kmaw heritage, he is known for his contributions to the improvement of cultural sensitivities towards Aboriginal people in Nova Scotia. He was also instrumental in the preservation of archaeological sites in his province, which illustrate the history of the Mi’kmaw people of Nova Scotia. Mr. Julien was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada on May 27, 2011.

Nancy MacLeod

Nancy MacLeod is the Director of Education for Potlotek.  She has extensive experience in First Nations education that includes teaching and administrative positions in Nova Scotia, Manitoba, and Ontario.

She has worked for a number of First Nations organizations including the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, the National Aboriginal Health Organization, and Mushkegowuk Tribal Council.  Working as a contractor on special projects related to First Nation community health, program evaluation, and suicide prevention programs has also been a part of Nancy’s work in First Nations in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.  Her main areas of focus over the last 28 years have been community development, program development, and working with youth in high-risk situations.

Albert Marshall

Albert Marshall is a Mi’kmaw Elder from Eskasoni in Unama’ki (Cape Breton), NS.  He is a passionate advocate for cross-cultural understandings and healing and of our human responsibilities to care for all creatures and our Mother Earth.  He is the “designated voice” for the Mi’kmaw Elders of Unama’ki with respect to environmental issues and he sits on various committees that guide collaborative initiatives in natural resource management or that serve First Nations’ governance issues, or that otherwise work towards ethical environmental, social and economic practices. Albert has brought forward Etuaptmumk/Two-Eyed Seing as a guiding principal for this work.  In 2009, Albert and his wife Murdena were awarded Honorary Doctorates of Letters by Cape Breton University for their work seeking the preservation, understanding, and promotion of cultural beliefs and practices among all Mi’kmaw communities, and encouragement for a strong future for the Mi’kmaw Nation and its peoples.  Additional biographical information and a list of Albert’s presentation and publications in the past decade are available at: http://www.integrativescience.ca/People/Elders/

Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is from Eskasoni. Her bio is forthcoming.

Jeanette Paul

Jeanette Paul has a Masters’ Degree in Education and is Education Director of post secondary programming in Indian Brook. Jeanette is also the CEO and key management of Jen & Jan Consultation Service. Jeanette has spent the last 35 years working in Aboriginal First Nation communities, the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association, the private sector, and community groups. Jeanette is eminent for her work in justice, education, community development, and social and health programs. Jeanette has many years experience in program design, policy development & evaluation, and management. She is also an experienced facilitator, lecturer, and researcher.

John Jerome Paul

John Jerome Paul is a Mi’kmaw from Eskasoni, in Nova Scotia.  He worked as the Director of the Unama’ki Training Center and has also worked at Veteran’s Affairs; he is currently the Director of Program Services for Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey where he has served for the past 16 years.  To date, he has completed a Bachelor of Arts degree and Bachelor of Education degree, both from Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS.  He also has a diploma from the ESL Program from Concordia University in Montreal, QC.  John enjoys working on different projects around his house and his boat.  He has been married to his beautiful wife, Sharon, for 37 years.  John has 7 children, 17 grandchildren and recently became a great-grand dad.

Laurianne Stevens

Laurianne Stevens is the Director of the First Nation School Success Program with Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey (MK), a self-governing organization.  Laurianne has been actively involved in the field of education for the last 14 years.  Earlier in her career, Laurianne taught many wonderful children at Membertou Elementary School where she later became the vice-principal.  She pursued her educational path with MK, reaching out to all Mi’kmaw schools across the province of Nova Scotia.  Laurianne has been involved in various community activities including the first Annual Mi’kmaw Summer Games and the Membertou 400 Celebrations.  She was also the chair of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality’s Human Rights Affirmative Action Committee.  For the last 3 years, Laurianne has been actively involved in CBC information Morning’s “Partyline” where she reports live on radio any new and upcoming events in the community of Membertou.  She is a proud mother of one daughter whom she sees as a potential leader one day!  Laurianne has a strong sense of pride as a Mi’kmaw woman from Membertou! With drive and determination, she will be part of the efforts in revitalizing our Mi’kmaw language.

Marjorie Pierro

Marjorie Pierro is from Wagmatcook in Nova Scotia. Her bio is forthcoming.



For further information regarding the selection process please contact Unama’ki College