Acadia First Nation Community
One First Nation, Seven Communities
Spanning five counties and seven communities across the southwestern region of Nova Scotia, the Acadia First Nation can be found from Yarmouth to Halifax. A Mi’kmaw Nation with ties to traditional territory, the Acadia First Nation is comprised of five reserves:
- Wildcat; and
- Gold River.
In addition to these reserves, the Acadia First Nation also has land holdings in Gardner’s Mill and Hammond Plains, as well as a sub-office serving off-reserve community members in Shelburne.
Together, these communities showcase the incredible natural beauty of Nova Scotia—offering a breathtaking collection of lakes, rivers, forests, and resources of deep cultural significance. Let’s take a closer look at these communities.
Established in 1820, the Gold River Reserve sits on approximately 667 acres of land on the southern shore of Nova Scotia. Also known as Amapapskegek, or the Rocky River, this community is situated near the mouth of the picturesque Gold River and is home to traditional campsites and areas of cultural and spiritual significance. The Mi’kmaq people have a long history in this area, and continue to benefit from the resources within Gold River as well as the surrounding area of Mahone Bay.
Medway, Ponhook and Queens County
The Medway Reserve is the smallest of the Acadia First Nation reserves. Established in 1865, the Medway Reserve is located on 11.6 acres of land on the Medway River in Queens County.
Not far from the Medway Reserve, you’ll find the Sipuke’l Gallery. Translated to mean ”Beside the river,” the gallery houses 10,000 year old artifacts that came directly from the river that flows through the community.
The Ponhook Lake Reserve is located on 252 acres of land in Queens County. Situated 115 km southwest of Halifax, this reserve was established in 1843 and is situated near Ponhook Lake. This reserve is quite isolated from surrounding communities, making it an ideal spot for community members to take part in seasonal activities such as swimming, camping, hunting, and canoeing. Because of its location, Ponhook Lake’s population varies depending on the season.
Situated on 1,150 acres of land in Queens County, the Wildcat Reserve was established in 1820. As the largest reserve in the Acadia First Nation, Wildcat is surrounded by stunning forests and rivers; making it a beautiful spot for community members to hunt, fish, trap, canoe, and more.
The central hub of the Acadia First Nation, the Yarmouth Reserve is home to the largest population of on-reserve band members. Officially established on June 8, 1887, the Yarmouth Reserve is located on 68.4 acres of land in Yarmouth County and houses the Acadia First Nation main administration office. The Yarmouth Reserve is also home to Kespuwick Resources. This band-operated fishing enterprise aims to provide a variety of employment opportunities to band members, while establishing and fostering working relationships with non-native fisher people and companies.
The town of Shelburne is now home to a new sub-office of the Acadia First Nation. Operating on a part time basis, this office serves off-reserve members of the Acadia First nation living in Lockport, Shelburne, Barrington, and surrounding areas. The people of Shelburne have a deep connection to the natural environment, and this knowledge helped the community assist Black Loyalists when they immigrated to the area in the 18th century. Information on this important piece of our history can be found at the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre.
Working Together Toward a Better Future
The communities within the Acadia First Nation work together to protect the lands and waterways of their territory while providing a space for their traditions, values, culture, spirituality, and people to thrive. They are an inclusive Mi’kmaw Nation that is multigenerational, innovative, and focused on partnership to improve the well-being of their people for generations to come. To learn more about the Acadia First Nation, visit their website.