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The Membertou First Nation is a Mi'kmaq First Nation band government in the tribal district of Unama'ki, also known as Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. As of 2012, the Mi'kmaq population is 814 on-Reserve, and approximately 481 off-Reserve.[1] It operates a community radio station CJIJ-FM.



Membertou Convention Centre, Membertou First Nation, Sydney, Cape Breton.

Membertou is mostly an urban First Nation community. Named after the Grand Chief Henri Membertou (1510-1611) the Membertou First Nation belongs to the greater tribal group of the Mi'kmaq Nation.

Membertou was not always situated at its present location. Many years ago, Membertou (formally known as the Kings Road Reserve) was located just off of Kings Road, along the Sydney Harbour. In 1916, the Exchequer Court of Canada ordered the relocation of the 125 Mi’kmaq; the first time an aboriginal community had been legally forced through the courts to relocate in Canadian history. In 1926, the Membertou Community was officially moved to its present-day location in the vicinity of Mira Road, Nova Scotia.

Membertou First Nation has been successful in diversifying its economy, featuring a convention centre, gaming centre, gas bar, business centre, a hotel and other investments within the community. The Membertou Sports and Wellness Centre, which features a YMCA and two NHL-sized rinks opened in 2016.[2]

Currently, a business development called Churchill Crossing is being built across from the Highway 125 interchange.[3] It will feature big box stores and light-commercial and retail development. It will be similar to Dartmouth Crossing in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Notable residentsEdit

  • Charlie Herney - Charlie was from Membertou, he was a member of the Mi’kmaq Grand Council for over 30 years. He served as the Putu's for 18 years (Putu's is a important role in the Mi'kmaq Grand Council). It was a responsibility he treasured.

Website of obituary states:


Membertou First Nation is composed of four parts as shown:

Community Area Location Population Date established
Caribou Marsh 29 219.3 hectares (542 acres) 8 km. southwest of Sydney 0 April 28, 1882
Malagawatch 4 (1/5 share) 661.3 hectares (1,634 acres) 62 km. southwest of Sydney 0 August 2, 1833
Membertou 28B 103.6 hectares (256 acres) 1.6 km. south of Sydney 1,015 August 31, 1925
Sydney 28A 5.1 hectares (13 acres) 1.6 km. northeast of Sydney 0 September 7, 1921


  1. ^ Registered population Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ George, Mortimer (6 September 2016). "Membertou's new $19M arena opens". CBC News. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  3. ^ Shannon, Chris (8 March 2015). "Membertou a band with a plan". Cape Breton Post. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  4. ^ Taber, Jane (Feb 28, 2013). "Native actor Glen Gould's left hook has a distinguished pedigree". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 6 March 2013.

External linksEdit