Augustine Named Executive Director of Marshall Institute

For more than 40 years, Cape Breton University has worked to nurture and build strong and meaningful relationships within Indigenous communities. For the last number of years, Stephen Augustine, Hereditary Chief on the Mi’kmaq Grand Council, has played a crucial role in ensuring Indigenous culture, heritage and knowledge become fully part of CBU’s culture as the Associate Vice-President of Indigenous Initiatives. Augustine, from Elsipogtog First Nation, will now transition from that role and continue his good work as the Executive Director of the Marshall Institute.

“We are thrilled to have Stephen Augustine as the Executive Director of the Marshall Institute,” says David C. Dingwall, President and Vice-Chancellor. “Stephen’s dedication and commitment to equality, respect, and education make him the perfect person to drive forward the Marshall Institute’s mission. I know we will see impactful change with Stephen’s influence.”

The Marshall Institute at Cape Breton University will focus its work on public policy issues of importance to Mi’kmaw communities in Unama’ki and Nova Scotia, including those pertaining to climate change, the fisheries (Netukulimk), resource management, and health. A centre for applied research, the results of its work will be disseminated in the form of advocacy and social action to achieve meaningful change in Canadian public policy.

“I am honoured to be the Executive Director of the Marshall Institute and I am humbled to play a role in upholding the legacy of Donald Marshall Jr.,” says Augustine. “Collaboration within Indigenous communities will be crucial as we move forward and I am very much looking forward to further establishing Unama’ki and Canada as a world leader in inclusive economies and equitable societies.”

“Stephen has always been a champion for Indigenous people and communities, and will bring a wealth of experience and Indigenous perspective to the Marshall Institute,” says Laurianne Sylvester, Dean of Unama’ki College. “The work that Stephen has done both at CBU and in the community in terms of nurturing and fostering relationships, providing guidance and leadership, and indigenizing the academy has been monumental.”

The Marshall Institute is named in honour of Donald Marshall, Jr. (1953-2009). A Membertou community member, his wrongful conviction had a lasting impact on the criminal justice system in Canada and his Supreme Court appeal of charges of fishing out of season and without a license resulted in a decision upholding Mi’kmaw treaty rights to a moderate livelihood. His quest for justice will inspire and guide the work of the Marshall Institute collaborate with communities, rights holders, Elders and knowledge holders, scholars, stakeholders, and political leaders to identify priority issues and engage in research to effect change.