Indigenous Student Support

If you are an Indigenous University Student at Cape Breton University, there are several support services for you that lead to academic success. Some of the support services that make Unama’ki College so unique are listed below.

  • A health and wellness day is held at the beginning of each term to introduce Indigenous students to all of the following support services in this list.
  • There are faculty who are Mi’kmaq, who speak the Mi’kmaw language, and who are connected with First Nations Communities.
  • Unama’ki College houses two Elders in Residence.  These Elders provide support for academics, offer emotional support, and share knowledge with students, faculty, and staff.
  • The Dean of Unama’ki College, Laurianne Sylvester, is Mi’kmaw. Laurianne is a band member of Membertou.
  • Unama’ki College has a full-time, fluent Mi’kmaw speaking staff member who is in charge of Indigenous Student Support. She helps students in Unama’ki College with things like applying for scholarships/bursaries, setting up tutoring appointments, and assisting with any other help students might need in regard to writing, math, library research, and emotional support.
  • The Mi’kmaq Resource Centre houses materials of cultural and historical importance, accessible for use by CBU students and the general public. With full-time reference assistance, it is open five days a week to help students research Mi’kmaw and other First Nations topics.  Within the Mi’kmaq Resource Centre is a separate room for quiet reflection, reading, group project work, or to “get away from it all” – available for everyone to use.
  • Unama’ki College is home to the Mi’kmaq Language Lab, Kji-keptin Alexander Denny L’nui’sultimkeweyo’kuom. During the academic terms, as well as during the summer, the Mi’kmaq Language Lab hires Indigenous students on grants giving the students both jobs and research experience.
  • Staff members of the Writing Centre and the Library visit Unama’ki College once a week during the academic year.  These staff members are available to help students with any writing needs they may have.
  • There is a student lounge in Unama’ki College that is equipped with tables for doing school work, a small kitchenette, comfortable seating, and computers for students who need them.
  • There is a daily bus service from Eskasoni and Membertou which takes students who do not have access to transportation to and from Cape Breton University.
  • Unama’ki College offers the delivery of academic courses in First Nations communities.  The current in-community courses are taking place in Eskasoni, NS; Wagmatcook, NS; Millbrook, NS; Tobique, NB; and Listuguj, QC.
  • Last, but not least, Unama’ki College has a supportive receptionist who helps Indigenous students at CBU with things like faxing materials to bands and Indigenous Affairs, mailing and faxing of graduate school applications, and assistance in filling out CBU forms dealing with adding/dropping a course and registration.


For more information on support services for Indigenous students, contact:

Megan Gillis, Enrolment Services Professional
Unama’ki College, Cape Breton University