Currently, Stephen Augustine is the Associate Vice-President Indigenous Affairs and Unama’ki College at Cape Breton University (CBU). Until July 2016 Stephen Augustine was Dean of Unama’ki College and Aboriginal Learning at CBU. Previously (1996-2013) he was the Curator of Ethnology for Eastern Maritimes, Ethnology Services Division of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, in Gatineau/Ottawa. He holds a Masters degree in Canadian Studies from Carleton University (Ottawa) focussing on traditional knowledge curriculum development in the context of the education system. He obtained a B.A in Anthropology and Political Science from St Thomas University (N.B) in 1986.
Over the years, Mr. Augustine has shared his expertise in research and traditional knowledge with many organizations, including government departments, the Assembly of First Nations, and various Aboriginal communities across Canada. He is part of an advisory panel on biodiversity issues and has worked extensively with the United Nations programs on development and the environment. He has taught sessional courses in Canadian Studies at Carleton University for ten years (course: Aboriginal Peoples and the Knowledge Economy) and recently has taught in Mi’kmaq Studies (courses: Mi’kmaq Traditional Knowledge, Mi’kmaq Oral History, Mi’kmaq Knowledge Economy, and Learning from the Knowledge Keepers of Mi’kma’ki). He has been invited as guest speaker at national and international conferences. He has published papers, been recorded for radio programs and various video programs on traditional knowledge, Maritimes history and treaties, and storytelling. He has organized cross-cultural workshops and made presentations to a wide variety of institutions (U.N., federal and provincial departments, universities, museums, UNESCO and The Vatican). His book on the CMC collections (Mi’kmaq & Maliseet Cultural Ancestral Material, Mercury Series, CMC, 2005) has proven a valuable resource for academic researchers and educators alike.
He has been accredited as an expert witness in various court cases, involving Aboriginal access to resources in the Maritimes, being recognized for his knowledge both of oral history and ethno-history, and of the treaties in the region. He has recently been named the recipient of the 2009 National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Culture, Heritage and Spirituality and the 2009 New Brunswick Lieutenant-Governor’s Dialogue Award. He has also been named (fall 2008) member of the Sectoral Commission for Culture, Communication and Information for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. He has been Elder Advisor to the Federal Court of Canada Judges, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Human Rights Commission of Canada. On July 8,2020 appointed Nova Scotia Health Board of Directors. In his role as a hereditary Chief on the Mi’kmaq Grand Council and by Elders’ training since an early age, Stephen J. Augustine has a thorough command of traditional practices, his language and the history of his people.