Membertou Chief & Council

Chief & Council

Membertou is governed by one Chief and twelve Councillors that are elected every four years by Membertou community and band members.


Chief Terrance Paul has been elected Chief of Membertou for the past 39 consecutive years. The Chief and Council meet three times monthly to discuss Membertou’s development, current issues, voice the thoughts and ideas of the community members and ensure the smooth operation of its business and administration departments.


As Membertou continues to grow, Chief and Council focus on the youth of Membertou, as the future of the youth is the future of Membertou. They have strategic programs and training that stress the importance of education in the hopes that the youth of Membertou will take over senior positions and continue moving Membertou forward.

Chief Terry Paul

Chief Terrance Paul is the Chief and CEO of Membertou, a position he has held for 37 years. During this time, Chief Paul has guided his community and administration into one of the most efficient and economically flourishing Indigenous communities in the country.


Chief Paul started his career with the Boston Indian Council where he received his background training in finance and management. Returning home to Membertou, Chief Paul joined the Membertou Band Council in the role of Economic Development Officer and progressed to the position of Band Manager before he was elected as Chief in 1984.


Chief Paul has achieved many notable accomplishments in his current role, as Chief and CEO of Membertou, including being named to one of Canada’s highest honours, in 2017, Chief Paul was appointed to the Order of Canada.


He is also credited with tripling the land base for the Membertou Reserve and increasing the employment rate within Membertou to nearly 80% in the community.


With a strong focus on education, in his time as Chief of Membertou, the graduation rates in Membertou have made incredible strides, from 30% to today’s 90% graduation rate. Chief Paul was recently part of the landmark $600-million education agreement for Nova Scotia’s Mi’kmaq youth with the government of Canada, and led the single-largest investment by an Indigenous group in Canada in acquiring 50% of Clearwater Seafoods.


A recipient of the Frank McKenna Leadership Award, the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business Leader in Economic Development Award, an inductee of the Nova Scotia Business Hall of Fame, an Honorary Doctorate from Cape Breton University, and recently, Membertou Development Corporation was named as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies with Chief Paul at the helm. In 2020, Chief Paul was awarded the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business Lifetime Achievement Award.


The Membertou motto of “Welcoming the World” is undoubtedly the most accurate representation of the open and progressive Indigenous community that Membertou has become under the leadership of Chief Terry Paul.


Craig Christmas

Craig was born and raised in Membertou. He is the son of Diana Christmas and the proud father of six children. Craig utilizes his learned and lived experience to be a committed, engaged and equipped leader for the people of Membertou. His hands-on leadership is apparent in all of his volunteer activities. He has assisted in coordinating youth sports, being on the front line in community events, Membertou Men’s Association and represented Membertou at many provincial events.


Craig is an avid community hunter; he is honoured to be working on this provincial Moose Management Strategy and will ensure Mi’kmaw treaty rights are protected, recognized and strengthened.


He was elected into Membertou Council for his first term in 2016, and his second term in 2020. His portfolio includes: Housing & Facilities, Human Resources, Membertou Market, Natural Resources, and Sports & Recreation.


Craig’s goal for the community is to make Membertou a safe, happy and strong community now and for future generations.


Dean Christmas

Dean was first elected into Membertou Council in 2000 and is currently serving in his 9th term. His portfolio includes St. Ann’s Church, Membertou Fisheries, Social Services, and Human Resources.


Dean has been serving as Keptin in the Mi’kmaq Grand Council since 2004, and is honoured to represent Membertou. He retired from his role of 26 years with Mi’kmaw Family and Children’s Services in 2017.


Dean’s goals for the community is to see an increase in housing, employment and to bring forward more opportunities for our youth and future generations.


Gail Christmas

Gail was elected into Membertou Council for her first term in 2016, and her second in 2020.


As a Membertou Band Councillor, she is responsible for the following portfolios: Data Centre, Entrepreneur Centre, Membertou Entertainment Centre, Membertou Trade & Convention Centre, and Club 55.


Gail works diligently to remain informed by Membertou’s community members to address their concerns and ideas at the council table. Gail also takes on mentorship roles to support youth. She dedicates her time to many committees and organizations within Membertou and beyond.


Ike Paul

Ike has had great influence on the community of Membertou. Having served at the Membertou council table for many terms over the period of the last 20+ years, Ike Paul was elected by his community in 2020.


Ike will be responsible for the following portfolios to support Membertou: Membertou development, Marketing & Communications, Finance, Housing & Facilities, Policing, and Membertou Heritage Park.


Lee Gould

Lee was first elected in Membertou’s Council in 2008 and is currently in her 6th term, as of October 2020.


She is a friendly face you see upon entering the Membertou Band Office, and a thoughtful voice around the council table.


Lee’s council portfolio includes St. Ann’s Mission Church, Membertou Market, Quality Assurance and Finance.


Johanna LaPorte

Johanna was first elected into Membertou Council in 2002 and is currently in her 9th term as councilor.


Johanna spent her career working in Membertou and recently retired after working with the Membertou Band Office for 33 years.


Her portfolio includes Finance, Membertou Entertainment Centre, Tobacco Shop, Education and Training (METS, STAIRS).


Paul MacDonald

Paul was first elected into the Membertou Council in 2010 and is currently in his 5th term, where he enjoys working for the community. Paul and his business partner, Kirk Christmas, have established Belly Busters Pizza & Donair. He is also a skilled electrician since 2006.


His portfolio includes: Membertou Gaming, Membertou Entrepreneur Centre, Fisheries, and Sports & Recreation.


Paul’s goals that he wishes to accomplish for the community is to see the housing process increase and for the list to decrease. Another goal that he wishes to see is more community members working in every department as they further their education.


David Marshall

David has been on Membertou’s Council for 16 terms, and has been a strong and steady leader for Membertou for many years.


David’s portfolio includes Education and the Membertou Trade & Convention Centre. His goals for the community is to provide more housing and employment opportunities for Membertou’s community members.


Graham Marshall

Graham is a graduate from Cape Breton University, earning his Bachelor of Arts & Community Studies degree in 2019.


He was elected in Membertou’s Council in 2016, and again in 2020. Graham is currently in his second term. His portfolio includes: Health, Public Works, Housing & Facilities, Radio, and Membertou Trade & Convention Centre.


Graham sits on Nova Scotia Works Board and the Atlantic Memorial Park as a board member. He is also an ambassador to Membertou and promotes the Mi’kmaq culture both locally and across North America.


Allister “Buster” Matthews

Buster was first elected into Membertou Council in 1984 at the age of 28 and has been elected for 17 terms. (Years active: 1984, 1986 1988, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2020.)


Buster’s portfolio includes Environmental Services, Governance Committee, Housing and Facilities, Membertou Trade & Convention Centre, Public Works and Sports & Recreation.


Storm Sack

Storm is a newly elected council member in Membertou as of October 2020.
With a deep connection to Membertou youth, Storm brings a new and inclusive perspective to the council table.


Storm’s portfolio includes: Membertou Geomatics, Sports & Recreation, Membertou Trade & Convention Centre, and the Governance Committee.


Lawrence “Quism” Paul Jr.

Quism is currently the assistant to the Director of the Membertou Housing Department. Prior to working in the Housing Department, he worked with the Membertou Natural Resource Department for 20 years.


Quism has been involved in the Membertou Band Council for 20 years and served eight two-year terms and two four-year terms. His portfolio includes Membertou Gaming Commission, Membertou Entertainment Centre, Public Works, Radio Station (C99 FM), and Membertou Fisheries.


Quism’s goals for the community is to advocate education and cultural growth, continuing to promote development in areas such as housing, business and infrastructure within Membertou.