Our Team

The success of the RHS and FNREEES in Nova Scotia can be attributed to the hard work of all of its contributing members. This includes, but is not limited to, the Regional Staff, Fieldworkers, Committees, the FNIGC National Office and our Regional Members.

Robin Thompson

Governance Manager

Robin Thompson is Cree Métis from Treaty 1 Territory and a member of the Manitoba Métis Federation. Robin holds a business diploma, an Advanced major in Social and Criminal Justice from St. Francis Xavier University and a Juris Doctor from the Schulich School of law. She is a practicing member of the Nova Scotia Barrister Society. In 2015 she was one of the ten participants chosen world-wide for the Indigenous Fellow Progamme with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights in Geneva Switzerland. Robin has 20 years of senior management experience developing governance capacity within Indigenous communities and is a strong advocate for First Nation self-determination. Robin also serves on the non profit board of the Centre for First Nations Governance and is a Human Rights Commissioner for the province of Nova Scotia.

Muin Ji'j (Bertram Bernard Jr.)

Special Projects Coordinator

Muin Ji'j [moo-in geeg] is a Mi'kmaw from Eskasoni First Nation, NS. He is the Special Projects Coordinator for the Information Governance & Data Projects (IGDP) department at the Union of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq. In his role, Muin Ji’j coordinates various special data-related projects in the Atlantic Region and supports the IGDP department's financial functions. Holding a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Business Administration from Cape Breton University, a Certificate in Leading People and Investing to Build Sustainable Communities from Harvard Business School, and a Certificate in Leadership from Cape Breton University. Muin Ji'j is well-rounded in various aspects of business and management.

Julia Witmer

Policy Analyst

Julia is the Policy Analyst for the Information Governance & Data Projects department at the Union of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq. Julia is a graduate of the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University where she obtained specializations in Health Law and Policy and Aboriginal and Indigenous Law. Prior to her law studies Julia completed a Bachelor of Science Honours at Queen’s University in Life Sciences. Julia was called to the Ontario Bar in June of 2023. She is passionate about creating a better tomorrow for all Canadians and is particularly interested in the intersection of Indigenous rights, health, and daily necessities including food and housing. In her free time, Julia enjoys practicing yoga, crafting, cooking, and baking.

Sean Campbell

Data Analyst

Sean is Mi’kmaw and a member of the Sipekne’katik First Nation. Sean is the Data Analyst for the Information Governance & Data Projects department at the Union of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq. Sean is responsible for the data cleaning and analysis of the First Nations on-reserve regional data sets, reports and publications including the First Nations Regional Health Survey (FNRHS), First Nations Regional Labor and Employment Survey (FNLEDS), First Nations Regional Social Survey (FNRSS).

Shenayah Gould

Projects Coordinator

Shenayah [shen-aye-yuh] is a Mi’kmaw and a member of Eskasoni First Nation in Unama’ki (Cape Breton, Nova Scotia). Shenayah is the Projects Coordinator for the Information Governance and Data Projects department at the Union of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq. In her role, Shenayah assists the governance manager in preparation, deployment, monitoring and dissemination related to the surveys as administered by the Information Governance and Data Projects (IGDP) team.

The Union of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq makes every effort to hire knowledgeable and ambitious fieldworks from the communities that are being surveyed. By hiring community members we give the survey a familiar face. People selected to participate in our surveys will be more inclined to invite a fieldworker into their home if they know them personally. It adds an element of familiarity. We are proud to boast an average survey completion rate over 90% and we are equally as proud of the efforts of our fieldworkers.

Mi’kmaq Health Research Group (MHRG)

The Mi'kmaq Health Research Group was formed in early 1996 by the Union of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq, the Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq and Dalhousie University by way of Memorandum of Understanding. Its purpose was to oversee Mi'kmaw health research in Nova Scotia and establish a forum in which collaboration for the mutual benefit of those involved can occur. 

The MHRG is currently being restructured to expand beyond health research. The restructuring was necessary to ensure that all research initiatives (social science & biomedical, etc.,) that involve the partnerships and participation of Mi'kmaw individuals and communities fall under its new mandate. The future Mi'kmaw Research Group (MRG) will be comprised of Indigenous faculty members at Dalhousie University, the Mi'kmaw Ethics Watch, and Mi'kmaw representatives at the Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq and the Union of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq. The MRG will serve to ensure research involving Mi'kmaw communities in Nova Scotia is conducted in compliance with Mi'kmaw interests, values and principles of information governance. 

Nova Scotia Regional Health Survey Advisory Committee

The Regional Health Survey Advisory Committee was formed in 1996 and is comprised of various community-level stakeholders who specialize in Indigeous health, policy, advocacy and research. Each of the five committee members are individually appointed to the committee by their respective community's Leadership. They represent various capacities that serve to support Mi'kmaw communities and promote the advancement of programs, services and policies that affect the Mi’kmaw in Nova Scotia. The committee members guide the activities of the NSRHS and advise the IGDP team through the analyses and interpretation of the survey data. The NSRHSAC is guided by the principles of Ownership, Control, Access and Possession (OCAP) and the First Nations Information Governance “Code of Research Ethics.”

Nova Scotia Regional Early Childhood, Education & Employment Survey Advisory Committee

The First Nations Early Childhood, Education & Employment Survey Advisory Committee was formed in 2012 to provide guidance and oversight to the regional project. The committee members were individually appointed by their respective community's Leadership and served until the survey cycle ended in 2017. The work of the committee included activities such as the identification of early childhood, education and employment priorities of the Mi'kmaw and the development of the national and regional specific survey instruments, advise the IGDP team through the analyses and interpretation of the survey data and the development of the regional FNREEES report. The FNREEES Advisory Committee was guided by the committee's terms of reference; the principles of Ownership, Control, Access and Possession (OCAP); and, the First Nations Information Governance "Code of Research Ethics". 

Nova Scotia Labour & Employment Development Survey Advisory Committee

The First Nations Labour & Employment Development Survey Advisory Committee was formed in 2017 and is comprised of various experts in the field of Mi'kmaw labour and employment. The committee members were identified as Indigenous content experts and have been endorsed by and accountable to The Assembly of Nova Scotia Chiefs and the Mi'kmaw organizations they represent. The FNLEDS committee members serve to identify the labour and employment priorites and challenges of the participant communitites, and to co-develop the FNLEDS survey questionnaire with the nine other regions across Canada and their respective FNLEDS advisory bodies. Until 2021 this advisory body will oversee the project implementation and guide the analyses and interpretation of the FNLEDS data.

The First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC) has the mandate to oversee research and information management on behalf of all First Nations. The Centre reports to the Assembly of the First Nations Chiefs in Assembly on an annual basis. FNIGC is responsible for the implementation of the survey in collaboration with its regional member organizations following FNIGC established policies and procedures.

The FNIGC National team helps to coordinate RHS, FNREEES and FNLEDS activities at the national level. They serve as data stewards for the national RHS, FNREEES and FNLEDS databases, maintain partnerships with various federal and First Nation organizations, and prepare RHS, FNREEES and FNLEDS related research materials.  The First Nation Information Governance Centre is mandated to report on national-level statistics.

The UNSM is the data steward for the RHS and FNREEES datasets. We execute RHS, FNREEES and FNLEDS activities in our participating communities. This includes First Nations communities in Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland and Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick (for the FNREEES).

Below you we have provided links to the websites of our partner organizations.

Nova Scotia

New Brunswick

Newfoundland

Prince Edward Island