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Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources



Our Story

UINR is Cape Breton’s Mi’kmaq voice on natural resources and the environment. Forestry, aquatic science research, species and ecosystem management, traditional Mi’kmaq knowledge, water quality monitoring, and environmental partnerships are among the organization’s responsibilities. Since 1999, UINR has contributed to an understanding and protection of Unama’ki’s ecosystem through research, monitoring, education, and management. UINR’s Board of Directors is made up of the five Unama’ki Chiefs.

UINR’s 3 Goals:

  1. To provide resources for Mi’kmaq equal participation in natural resource management in Unama’ki and its traditional territory.
  2. To strengthen Mi’kmaw research and natural resource management while maintaining our traditions and world views.
  3. To partner with other groups sharing the same desire to protect and preserve our resources for future generations.

UINR activities take place within Unama’ki (Cape Breton Island), but based mainly within the Bras d’Or Lakes watershed.

Types of Projects/Key Activities

Traditional Knowledge :Collect and incorporate traditional knowledge, values and beliefs into our research and management activities.

Watershed Planning and Stewardship:Facilitate Mi’kmaq representation local initiatives on the Bras d’Or Lakes watershed

Habitat Protection and Species at Risk: Salmon population research through installation and monitoring of smolt wheels, collaborate on freshwater mussel population work, ongoing CAMP and CABIN monitoring programs

Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Collaboration and Governance: Provide technical advice to Mi’kmaq leaders on aquatic resource management, improve data collection for FSC harvests of salmon, continued support for collaborative research projects

Guardian Program Support: Informing the five communities on issues and developments relating to the food fishery, aquatic research and stewardship activities, and coordinating community harvests and data collection.

Water Quality Monitoring: Drinking water analysis and monitoring, stream quality analysis

Communications and Outreach:Maintain clear line of communications with communities, develop resources that promote netukulimk, host a summer camp for youth on natural resource management and traditional Mi’kmaq knowledge.


Eskasoni First Nation
Membertou First Nation
Potlokek First Nation
Wagmatcook First Nation
We’koqma’q First Nation


∙ Traditional Knowledge ∙ Watershed Planning and Stewardship ∙ Habitat Protection and Species at Risk ∙ Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Collaboration and Governance ∙ Guardian Program Support ∙ Water Quality Monitoring ∙ Communications and Outreach ∙

Internal Capacity

∙ Executive Director ∙ Director of Administration ∙ Finance Officer∙ Manager of Communications & Outreach ∙ Administrative Assistant ∙ Unama’ki Guardian Liaison Coordinator∙ Commercial Fisheries Liaison Coordinator ∙ Director of Aquatic Research and Stewardship ∙ Aquatic Research Assistant and Technicians


  • Collaborative Environmental Planning Initiative
  • FishWIKS
  • Pitupaq
  • Collaborative Salmon Initiative
  • Parks Canada
  • DFO
  • Organisations Representing Bras d’Or
  • Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq
  • Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative – Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn
  • NS Department of Natural Resources