311 Beech Hill Road
PO Box 235
Chester Basin, NS
phone: (902) 627-1245
fax: (902) 627-1361
Lisa M. Francis
Economic Development, PAED, Gold River Health Centre
Lisa Francis received her Professional Aboriginal Economic Development Certification (PAED) with CANDO (Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers) August 1, 2008, certificate in Establishing Culturally Appropriate Institutions from the Banff Center March 26, 2004, Going Global Series in International Business Training with NSCC (Nova Scotia Community College) 2004 and Counseling New Entrepreneurs with Amulet Consulting in 2002.
Lisa has dedicated her career to working towards common goals and objectives for sustainable community development within First Nation communities while creating cultural awareness. She has a long standing passion for aboriginal communities and is wholly committed to providing other Economic Development Officers with the skills and knowledge that enables them to excel in establishing healthy and stable communities through sustainable development.
As a mentor she is considered "truly a hard working remarkable young woman and has a clear vision for her community and continually aims for the best quality of life for her community members, as my mentor when I became an EDO I learned many great techniques and she presented to me best practices for my job...Rose Julian"
Lisa maintains an active role in regional and national economic development initiatives and dedicates substantial time to the KMKNO Benefits Committee, Tripartite Economic Development Committee (TEDC), Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO), Atlantic Aboriginal Economic Developer's Network (AAEDN) and Atlantic Aboriginal Economy Building Strategy Executive Board (AAEBS).
Employed as the Economic Development Officer for Acadia First Nation for the past eleven years, Lisa has conducted research and development in the culture and heritage sector, oil and gas, forestry, commercial fishery, land use planning, commercial development and ecotourism. Lisa also serves as the Project Manager for Acadia First Nation activity such as the Strategic Economic Development Strategy, Gold River Reserve Land Use Plan, Gold River Tourism Plan, Gold River Recreation Park, Gold River Pow Wow, Hammonds Plains Commercial Development Strategy, Wildcat Community Ecotourism Plan, Wilson's Self-Serve Furnace Oil contract and Acadia First Nation Corporate Strategy and Website.
As a professional she has received many honours and awards, including a spot in the Wabanaki People of the Dawn film by Aboriginal Affairs, featured article Going Global Series with NSCC, interview feature on Aboriginal People's Television Network (APTN), nominations for Economic Developer of the Year with Ulnooweg's Atlantic Aboriginal Entrepreneur Awards, host to Honourable Lieutenant Governor Mayann E. Francis visit to Acadia First Nation, and House of Assembly recognition and resolution for the Kepapskitk Interpretive Centre for Liverpool, Nova Scotia.
10526 Highway #3
fax: (902) 742-8854
Economic Development, PAED, Yarmouth Office
Certified in 2010 with her Professional Aboriginal Economic Development Certification (PAED) with CANDO (Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers) Rachel studied Economics in her undergraduate degree at Dalhousie, acquired a Master's Certificate in Project Management from Saint Mary's University, has completed the Professional Lands Management Certification Program with the National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association and has a variety of additional professional development certificates which lends well to economic and community development.
Working to move Acadia First Nation into the forefront of economic development, Rachel is active in a number of committees and organizations:
• Kespuwick Advisory Committee
• Gardner's Mill Planning Committee
• Employment Readiness Committee organized through the
Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq (CMM)
• Atlantic Aboriginal Economic Developer's Network
• Council for the Advancement of Native Development
• Acadia First Nation Gaming Commission
Projects which Rachel is involved include, but are not limited to:
• Atlantic Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative
• Gardner's Mill Land Use and Development Plan
• Journey to Learning - Literacy & Essential Skills Project
• Acadia First Nation Corporate Strategy & Website
• Geomatics Project (Partnership with Membertou
• Acadia First Nation Community Centre in Yarmouth,
• Acadia First Nation Sawmill
• Hammonds Plains Commercial Development Strategy
• Gold River Land Use and Development Plan
• Strategic Economic Development Strategy
10526 Highway 3
Chief Deborah Robinson
Chief Deborah Robinson was first elected as Chief of Acadia First Nation in June of 1987 and has consecutively held this position since. Growing up in Yarmouth County, Chief Robinson is the second eldest child to her parents, Louis and Viola Robinson. Deeply influenced by her mother's wisdom, knowledge and political background and her late father's tenacious ethics, honesty, kindness and hard work, Chief Robinson has been an advocate for the Mi'kmaw from a very young age. She believes that leadership is a responsibility that chooses you rather than you choosing it.
Her early political career began as Student Council President and a Mi'kmaw Youth representative for Nova Scotia, while attending high school. Upon graduation, Chief Robinson decided to devote her life to the plight of Native people. Since first being elected, Chief Robinson's community and social development have increased dramatically. Through her role as Chief over the past twenty six (26) years she has held a variety of high profile political positions on behalf of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq Chiefs, is now the co-chair of the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat, President of Mi'kmaq Family Children Services and many other Aboriginal Organizations.
Chief Robinson has always been a strong advocate for all band members, both on and off-reserve and takes great pride in the fact that she has provided services to all her people. Throughout the years she has held the position of Chief with honour, pride and has often said that "everyone has a unique purpose and many special gifts to share from the Creator". Chief Robinson resides on the Yarmouth Reserve with her husband, David, son Jadon, and daughter Marla and her husband who has blessed with her with 3 beautiful grandchildren.
10526 Highway 3
I have been a Councillor for the past 17 years, I have lived in Yarmouth for 20 years on the Yarmouth Reserve with my daughter Jackie. Being a Councillor has given me an opportunity to expand my knowledge of the issues faced by Native people both in a positive light and also the areas which need much improvement both at the Council level and the Federal government level. You also get to experience how different each individual person can be both with personalities and also with issues they may be dealing with in their personal life. The Chief and Council objective is to work together and make improvements in all areas of life to the best of their ability.
I currently work out of the office in Yarmouth and also out of our new sub-office which is located in Shelburne. The Shelburne office gives the Band Council the opportunity to offer services to those who are located in the Shelburne, Lockeport and Barrington areas. This is a new venture and several events have taken place with great success and many more workshops, gatherings and information sessions will take place during 2014. I look forward to working with this community and my goal is to bring all communities together and work together as one.
“I ENCOURAGE ALL TO RESPECT YOUR ELDERS, FOLLOW THEIR TEACHINGS FOR THEY HAVE WALKED ROADS WHICH WE HAVE NOT, TEACH YOUR CHILDREN AND LEAD THEM IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION TOWARDS HAPPINESS AND SUCCESS IN THE FUTURE. WE MUST ALWAYS LISTEN TO THE OPINIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FROM ALL MEMBERS AND USE THIS FOR DIRECTION IN MAKING FAIR DECISIONS FOR ALL.”
10526 Highway 3
A Councillor since 1996, Tom has dedicated almost 20 years to the community and its members needs and challenges. During his tenure on Council, Tom has been responsible for various projects and opportunities and held the position of Deputy Chief for 3 terms. Currently responsible for Forestry, Gardner's Mill and the Saw Mill, Tom is active in the daily operations and governance aspects required for running and creating a successful community.
To accompany Tom's responsibilities of working with and responding to requests and questions from community members, he is involved in various community activities and committees. A member of the Community Recreation and Gardner's Mill Committees, Tom has been able to be part of the planning and implementation of various exciting projects which have provided benefit to the community, as a whole.
Along with fellow councillor Jeff Purdy, Tom represents Chief and Council on the Gaming Board while working in partnership with the Housing and Economic Development departments.
Before serving on the Council, Tom owned and operated his own forestry company. Tom resides in Yarmouth along with his two daughters and two grandchildren.
Tom is focused on the betterment of the community and is proud to be provided the opportunity to help change the community to one which is better, healthy and filled with hope and success.
Milton, Queens County, NS
home: (902) 354-3620
cell: (902) 350-2160
A councillor for more than 20 years, Debra has been active in making a difference for not only Acadia First Nation Community members but also for the benefit of all Nova Scotians. She is active both in and outside the community with the goal to help promote Acadia First Nation and its members. In addition to representing community members Debra is:
• An active member of the Wa-Su-Wek Board of Directors
• Regularly attends monthly Chief and Council, Band and
First Nation Organization meetings
• Active participant and volunteer for various Youth and
Elder programs and Workshops, Community Gatherings
and Special Events
Holding the Health Profile for the community, Debra has worked extensively with the First Nation and Inuit Heath Branch of Health Canada to gain a clear understanding of the programs offered for community members such as dental care, eye glasses and drug plans, to name a few. Working collaboratively with Health staff, she is also an active participant in many community based health education and awareness workshops.
Debra has dedicated her life to Acadia First Nation, its members and its growth while maintaining a focus on the cultural and social well-being of all. She celebrates and embraces Nationhood while promoting individual growth and healing through the embracing of culture and heritage to benefit the community now and for many generations to come.
Port Medway, NS
Charmaine C. Stevens
A councillor since 1996, Charmaine is a mainstay who has worked hard for Acadia and has contributed to the community's growth and prosperity. In charge of the Education and Fisheries portfolio, Charmaine works in collaboration with the Education Director and the Employment Officer to assist Band members in acquiring beneficial and sustainable educational opportunities, and with the Fisheries Director to oversee Acadia's prosperous commercial fishery, Kespuwick Resources.
A graduate from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Commerce (1993) and a Bachelor of Law (1996) from Dalhousie Law School, Charmaine operated a successful law practice for ten years. As a councillor, she is valuable resource for her legal expertise and is required to work on a number of policies, negotiations and various legal matters.
She is active both in and outside the community to help promote Acadia First Nation and its members. Within the Community Charmaine is:
• Chair of Ponhook Trust
• Chair of the Fishery Advisory Board for Kespuwick
• Member of the Queens Recreation and Cultural
In addition, Charmaine is involved in various activities and committees outside of Acadia, which include:
• The First Nation Representative on the South Shore
Regional School Board
• Chair of the Port Medway Parents and Tots Association
• Second (2nd) Vice Chair Queens County Music Festival
• Assistant Coach/Trainer Queens County Hockey
Charmaine lives with her husband and three wonderful children in Port Medway, Queens County and she is proud to assist Acadia First Nation, to be available and continue learn from the community as a whole.
Lunenburg County including Gold River Reserve
Holding the position of Fishery Officer with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) since 1999, Andrew has a wealth of knowledge and experience which he has been able to bring to Council, Acadia and its members, upon being elected to Council in 2005. In his position with DFO he is responsible to enforce the Federal Fisheries and Species at Risk Acts, monitor alterations to fish habitat and other fishing related tasks. Previous experience includes being a Park Warden at Kejimikujik National Park and a Conservation Officer for Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources. As a Councillor, Andrew holds the Fishing and Hunting portfolio for Acadia First Nation, which provides additional value to the community, as a whole.
Along with Andrew's tasks of responding to community member's requests, attending meetings, visiting the Gold River Reserve and consulting with staff, Andrew has had the opportunity to work on a number of committee's including Ponhook Trust, Gold River after school program, youth moose hunt, Gold River land use, Gold River Pow Wow and others that may arise.
Living with his wife and two wonderful children in Brooklyn Nova Scotia, Andrew has a love and passion for the outdoors and it is through his interest in fishing and hunting that he has been able to educate and emphasize the importance of protecting Acadia's many resources. Andrew works with the community in providing information on current harvesting regulations, moose hunting and fishing. To ensure that he has the most relevant information for members, he attends a number of meetings and workshops regarding harvest of natural resources.
"I believe that it is our responsibility to sustain what is here for the generations that follow. It is through my Mi'kmaq heritage that I have learned to be a steward of our natural resources. Opportunities to strengthen our culture, natural resources, education and spirituality are priorities for me as a leader."
Italy Cross, NS
Rich in his knowledge of culture and tradition, Todd is able to share his knowledge through various engagement sessions. Elected in June 2005, during his tenure on Council, Todd has been responsible for the Elders/Youth and Culture Portfolio and this has allowed him to share his knowledge within the community by teaching various elements such as traditional drum and basket making and working with birch bark, including the building of birch bark canoes.
To accompany Todd's responsibilities of working with and responding to requests and questions from community members, he is involved in various community activities and committees. A member of the Community Recreation Committee, Todd has been part of activities which include but are not limited to the opening of the new Wildcat Office, the building of community infrastructure such as an ice rink and playground, seasonal craft sessions utilizing natural supplies such as birch bark and evergreens, and various community celebrations and festivities.
In addition to working in the community, Todd has had the opportunity to share his knowledge with various schools, museums, tourism operators and other Mi'kmaq communities and organizations. Todd has also provided guidance to Parks Canada and for the past six (6) years he has been working with youth to gather salmon eggs and to put into incubation until the eggs hatch. Upon hatching, Todd has collaborated with a number of local schools and community members to release the salmon into the Medway River on the Wildcat Reserve.
Living with his wife, Lori, in Hebbs Cross, Todd is passionate about the Mi'kmaq culture and traditions and is thankful that he is able to keep these valuable assets alive by sharing the knowledge.
Hammonds Plains office
Halifax Regional Municipality
A councillor since 2002, Michael is a Trustee and Administrator of Acadia First Nation's Ponhook Trust and has held the Employment and Training Portfolio since 2012. Working in collaboration with the Employment Officer to assist Band members in acquiring beneficial and sustainable training to employment, Acadia First Nation has assisted in opening the door to many opportunities for community members.
As a councillor, Michael has been able to advocate on behalf of the Employment Officer and Band members on challenges and opportunities related to training and employment. He also brings the concerns of Band members to the council table and works with other councillors on all issues for the benefit of the First Nation. Michael is also involved in Elder and Youth activities and is a member of the Native Council of Nova Scotia.
Not only is Michael involved within the community, he is busy with various volunteer activities outside the community. Originally trained as a firefighter and medical first responder, he worked as a volunteer firefighter for 10 years, is a Justice of the Peace for the province of Nova Scotia and is a regular blood donor.
"Let's all have respect for one another and work together for the betterment and growth of our First Nation."
10526 Highway 3
office: (902) 742-0257
cell: (902) 740-2905
Jeff Purdy has been on the Acadia First Nation Band Council since October 2012, he resides in Yarmouth on the Acadia First Nation and has lived there since 2003. Jeff was raised in Milton; Queens Co. and is an avid outdoorsman; he loves to be in the woods and on the waters within Nova Scotia. His peace of mind is paramount when he is guiding others in the woods and teaching youth about nature and the land, or when he has the honor to be alongside his respected elders learning from their stories and experiences. Jeff is halfway through his career and takes notice to how time is flying by, he whole heartily recognizes the importance to make and take the time to mentor the youth during hunting and fishing excursions, after all, they are the next keepers of OUR land.
Jeff faces all issues moving steadily forward and takes time for all involved to listen to their concerns, he feels by taking one's time and listening to individuals, that a proficient representative can determine the best plan of action to resolve issues, seek resolution and move forward. Jeff is very approachable and available to contact and he will speak with anyone to hear their concerns, ideas and issues. Please do not hesitate to contact Jeff on his cell phone @ (902) 740-2905, via email @ email@example.com or in office.
Gold River, Nova Scotia
phone: (902) 476-1584
Chairperson, AFN Gaming Commission
An important member of the Gaming Commission for almost two years, Shon was appointed as the Chair in April 2013. Responsible for the daily operations of the Commission, Shon is also responsible to work with various stakeholders such as Chief and Council, additional Acadia First Nation Boards and Committees, the Atlantic Lottery Corporation and other government agencies. Being the Commission liaison between the Chief and Council, Shon is able to table challenges and issues while proposing solutions to make the Commission successful. Previous to being the Chair, Shon was a member of both the Personnel and Grievance committees.
A long time Nova Scotia resident, Shon lives in Gold River and is very active in the community. In addition to being involved in the Gold River Pow Wow planning committee, Shon is also:
• A member of the Western Shore & District Fire
• Firefighter and medical officer
• Vice President, assistant treasurer and member of the
Board of Commissioners for the Western Shore & District
A coach for the Chester Soccer Association's winter and summer programs, Shon is also an active board member of the Chester Soccer Association. In addition, through Shon's extensive volunteer services, a number of awards have been received:
• Ministers Award for Excellence: October 2008
• Premier's Award for Excellence: June 2008
• Service Start Award: June 2008
• Dedicated Service Award for fundraising from the
Western Shore & District Fire Department:
Currently working to become a Certified General Accountant, Shon has been able to bridge previous experience gained from working as a Fuel and Tobacco Tax Auditor with Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations to the Gaming Commission. Such knowledge and expertise has been, and will continue to be, beneficial to move the Commission into the forefront for Acadia First Nation.
Milton, Nova Scotia
AFN Gaming Commission
Wendy has worked at the Royal Bank of Canada for the past 12 years and joined the Gaming Commission in 2013. The opportunity to be part of the Commission has allowed Wendy to make a valuable contribution to Acadia First Nation and its members.
Taking a number of courses in privacy, money handling and diversity has provided Wendy the opportunity to bring differing perspectives to the Commission. In addition, through sitting on the RBC diversity committee for many years, Wendy became part of the Commission's Personnel Committee which is responsible, in partnership with the appropriate business management and other Commission members, to review and hire new employees for various Acadia First Nation business establishments.
In addition to being a mother with three adult children, living in Milton in Queens County has allowed Wendy the opportunity to take advantage of the great outdoors and to enjoy her garden.
Sandy Point, Shelburne
phone: (902) 875-3013
fax: (902) 875-2571
William (Bill) Acker
AFN Gaming Commission
As an entrepreneur and business owner of Bill Acker's Sheet Metal in Shelburne Nova Scotia, William (Bill) Acker is a new member of the Acadia First Nation Gaming Commission and holds a key position on the Commission's Personnel Committee. In partnership with the appropriate business management, Bill is responsible in the review and hiring of new employees.
A family man with two children and two grandchildren, Bill is a staple in the community and has lived in the Shelburne area for all of his life. A recipient of the 38th annual Provincial Volunteer Award for the Municipality of the District of Shelburne, Bill is dedicated to the betterment of the community and province, as a whole. In addition, Bill has also been able to benefit Acadia First Nation and the community of Shelburne through his involvement in other committees and activities such as:
• Municipal Recreation Advisory Committee for Shelburne -
• Sandy Point Recreation Group - President
• Various coaching and recreation activities and boards
• Native Council of Nova Scotia - Alternate Board of
Bill is honoured to include the Gaming Commission to his additional duties and wishes to serve Acadia First Nation and its members with respect and to aid in the community's continued success!
10526 Highway #3
phone: (902) 742-0257
fax: (902) 742-8854 firstname.lastname@example.org
Lloyd MacDougall is a resident of Yarmouth Nova Scotia. Lloyd brings a wealth of knowledge and a diverse background to the Acadia First Nation as the new Band Manager.
Lloyd has worked in the field of policing for 21 years with the RCMP. In 2008 Lloyd retired from the RCMP to work with the Innu Nation of Labrador. Working directly under the Chiefs of the Mushuau Innu and Sheshatshiu Innu First nation, Lloyd has garnered a wealth of knowledge and experience dealing with the daily management of a busy and growing aboriginal community. Lloyd was able to work n the areas of Health, Recreation, Education, Impact Benefits Agreements, as well as Economic Development for the community of Natuashish.
Lloyd has various degrees in Science, Project management as well as Occupational Health and Safety. He prides himself in being an open and honest person with strong communication abilities and looks forward to bring these traits to the daily management of the affairs on the Acadia Band. He is very anxious to meet all the residents of every community under the Acadia First Nation and will work diligently to travel to all communities to engage in open and honest dialogue with all community members.
10526 Highway 3
Councillor bio goes here
Office: (902) 742-8883
Cell: (902) 815-6066
NADACA Prevention Counsellor
Kolby Mole has been hired as the Prevention Counsellor for NADACA and will be working out of the Yarmouth Health Centre. She is a member of Acadia First Nation and has always lived in Yarmouth, except for the last 3 years where she attended Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax. She is an active community member and promotes living a healthy alcohol and drug free lifestyle. She looks forward to working with NADACA and aiding our communities in dealing with all aspects of substance abuse.
Kolby looks forward to meeting with community members and having discussions on what programs they would like to see in our communities to help members live a healthy substance free lifestyle. Please stop into the Health Centre to discuss potential ideas.
She will be on call on Fridays or when the office is closed. She can be reached by phone at 902-742-8883, 902-815-6066 or by email at email@example.com
Gold River Health Centre
PO Box 235
Chester Basin, NS B0J 1K0
phone: (902) 627-1245
fax: (902) 627-1361
cell: (902) 307-4700
Physical Activity Strategy Coordinator
Cathy is member of the Acadia First Nation. She is a wife and mother of 2 boys –
Bailey and Aidan. Cathy has lived all of her life in Nova Scotia and spent her teen
years living in the Wildcat Community. Her father is John LeBlanc from
Greenfield NS. She has a sister Tanya and a niece Holly who both live on the
Cathy graduated from the North Queens High School in Caledonia, Nova Scotia and went on to Saint Thomas University where she completed her Bachelor of Arts degree, double majoring in Criminology and Native Studies in 2002.
Cathy has worked in the Parks Canada Agency for over 10 years where she held the position as an interpreter of Mi’kmaw cultural heritage at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site. After 7 years, she went to the position of Supervisor of the Cultural History Department.
Cathy is active in her personal and professional life promoting and preserving the health, knowledge and well being of local First Nation Communities.
Chelsea Sawyer BScN, RN
Gold River Health Centre
Community Health Nurse
Office: (902) 627-1245
Cell: (902) 277-2297
Fax: (902) 627-1361
Chelsea Sawyer BScN, RN
Community Health Nurse
Chelsea Sawyer has been hired as the Community Nurse for Acadia First Nation and will be working out of the Gold River Health Centre.
Hello! My name is Chelsea Sawyer (Labrador) and I am so excited to be your new Community Health Nurse.
I grew up in Greenfield, Queens County and I’m currently living in Halifax with my husband and 17-month-old daughter.
I graduated STFX University in 2013 and I moved to Wetaskiwin, Alberta where I worked in Labour & Delivery, Postpartum, and Pediatrics for one year. I moved back to Halifax in 2014 after accepting a position at the IWK where I worked in the NICU for three years.
As I start my new position as your Community Health Nurse, I would love to hear from the AFN Community. I am currently updating educational materials at Gold River Health Clinic, and I hope to start a flu clinic soon. Please contact me if you have any ideas you’d like to share – I would like to address any concerns you might have or wants/needs in healthcare. I look forward to working with Acadia First Nation and connecting with everyone in the community!
AFN Gaming Commission
The Acadia First Nation has a number of licensed gaming operations operating within Acadia First Nation reserves. As part of the licensing, a gaming agreement has been entered into between the Province of Nova Scotia and the Acadia First Nation. The gaming agreement provides for the establishment of a gaming commission to oversee the gaming agreement and the gaming operations. The gaming agreement provides that in the absence of a Gaming Commission the First Nation Chief and Council become the Gaming Commission of record.
The mission of the Acadia First Nation Gaming Commission is to oversee the operations and personnel and provide strategic and daily advice and direction on the gaming operations. The AFN Gaming operations will endeavour to manage the gaming operations as viable and competitive business - individually and collectively. The responsibility of the gaming commission is to act upon matters which do not directly fall within the scope of the business managers and provide consistent and sound advice on these matters.
This list includes but is not limited to:
•The closing of any establishment
•The Removal and or re-allocation of VLT's
•The reprimand, dismissal, lay-off and hiring of management
•Amendments or additions to these guidelines
•Any other major decision where input from Chief and Council is required
The Establishments Include:
• Your Winners World in Yarmouth
• AFN Entertainment Centre in Yarmouth
• Wildcat Entertainment in South Brookfield
• Medway River Entertainment in Greenfield
• The Gold Nugget in Gold River
• Gold Reserves in Gold River
Board Members Roles and Responsibilities
The AFN Gaming Commission has the authority to form committees among its members to deal with grievances, hiring of staff, etc..
Gaming Commission membership:
Chief Deborah Robinson, Councillor Darlene Coulton, Councillor Tom Pictou, Councillor Charmaine Stevens, Councillor Andrew Francis, Councillor Debra Wentzell, Councillor Mike Paul and Councillor Jeff Purdy.