Natteal Battiste, Councillor
Portfolio: Finance, Economic Dev, Physical Activity, Youth, NSPI, SARS
Natteal was elected to the Band Council in November 2020. Prior to that she held a market leading Financial Advisor role with Royal Bank of Canada for 6 years, and worked as a Youth Care Counsellor with children in Foster Care within Nova Scotia. Natteal holds strong Mi'kmaq culture values and traditions and is a community activist for youth, both Mi'kmaq and Black.
Natteal was born in Boston, Massachusetts and currently lives in Dartmouth, NS with her partner, young daughter and step son. Growing up with strong family culture and beliefs, Natteal prides herself on being a unique bridge being Mi'kmaq, Black and a Woman. In 2001, Natteal, with her family, moved to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and resided on the Yarmouth Reserve until her completion of high school. In 2010, Battiste moved to Halifax where she attended Saint Mary's University and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Psychology. In her final year of school, she started working as an Aboriginal Student Advisor, a role in which she helped her community's students navigate the ups and downs of university.
During this time, she became involved in the Loretta Saunders case. Saunders, was an Indigenous student who was working on a master's thesis on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman. This thesis included the story of Anna Mae Aquah, Battiste's grandmother's best friend. "Loretta has caused a huge, much needed shift at Saint Mary's University and in my personal life". Natteal used this momentum to become a key organizer of Loretta's memorial, started up the Aboriginal Student Society, and hosted Saint Mary's first ever sacred fire and tobacco offering ceremony for thousands of Saint Mary's students to participate in.
Since graduating, Natteal continues to give back to the community through a variety of channels, including through work, boxing with Tribal Boxing Gym, volunteering, and being a part of two non-for-profit organizations called Strive to Reach Association and the Lighthouse Association. Battiste understands the importance of basic financial management and the lack of education opportunities our communities are faced with, "so as I learn, I teach back to my people."
I look forward to the journey as serving as Councillor for our Acadia First Nation Community, and blending together my entire background and connections to give back to our people in a meaningful way.