First Nations in Nova Scotia

There are 13 First Nations in Nova Scotia. First Nation is one of three groupings of Indigenous people in Canada, the other two being Métis and Inuit. Unlike Métis and Inuit, most First Nations hold reserve lands, and members of a First Nation may live both on and off these reserves (see also Reserves in Nova Scotia). While the term First Nation can describe a large ethnic grouping (e.g. the Mi’kmaq Nation), in other cases it is synonymous with the term band, a word originally chosen by the federal government and used in the Indian Act. The word band describes smaller communities, such as the ones listed below. Many First Nations prefer the term First Nation over band. In terms of larger ethnic groupings, First Nations in Nova Scotia are Mi’kmaq.

There are 13 First Nations in Nova Scotia. First Nation is one of three groupings of Indigenous people in Canada, the other two being Métis and Inuit. Unlike Métis and Inuit, most First Nations hold reserve lands, and members of a First Nation may live both on and off these reserves (see also Reserves in Nova Scotia). While the term First Nation can describe a large ethnic grouping (e.g. the Mi’kmaq Nation), in other cases it is synonymous with the term band, a word originally chosen by the federal government and used in the Indian Act. The word band describes smaller communities, such as the ones listed below. Many First Nations prefer the term First Nation over band. In terms of larger ethnic groupings, First Nations in Nova Scotia are Mi’kmaq.


Each point on this map represents the location of a First Nation’s administrative office. For a map of the reserves these First Nations hold, see Reserves in Newfoundland and Labrador.
(map by The Canadian Encyclopedia, data courtesy Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada and licenced under Open Government Licence-Canada)

First Nations in Nova Scotia

  • Acadia First Nation
  • Annapolis Valley First Nation
  • Bear River First Nation
  • Eskasoni Mi’kmaw Nation
  • Glooscap First Nation
  • Membertou First Nation
  • Millbrook First Nation
  • Paqtnkek Mi'kmaw Nation
  • Pictou Landing First Nation
  • Potlotek First Nation (formerly Chapel Island)
  • Sipekne'katik First Nation (formerly Indian Brook/Shubenacadie)
  • Wagmatcook First Nation
  • We'koqma'q First Nation