Jaime Battiste was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Sydney—Victoria in 2019. He is the first Mi'kmaq to be elected to Parliament.
Since he was first elected, Mr. Battiste served on various parliamentary committees, including the House of Commons Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs, where he helped review, examine, and report on the issues affecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, and Northerners.
Mr. Battiste previously held positions as a university professor, Treaty Education Lead, and Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Regional Chief. In 2005, the National Aboriginal Health Organization named him as one of the “National Aboriginal Role Models in Canada”. In 2006, as the Chair of the AFN’s Youth Council, he was one of the founding members of the Mi’kmaq Maliseet Atlantic Youth Council (MMAYC), an organization that represents and advocates for Mi’kmaq and Maliseet youth within Atlantic Canada.
Mr. Battiste’s volunteer work over the years involves athletics, youth advocacy, community events, and advocacy for the Mi’kmaq Nation, of which he is a member. In 2018, he was awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, which recognizes the significant and sustained contributions of Canadians to their community.
Mr. Battiste is a musician, a recording artist, and a founder of the Mi’kmaw Music Showcase that features and promotes songs in the Mi’kmaw language. Mr. Battiste is a fluent Mi’kmaw speaker and was the first parliamentarian to speak Mi’kmaw in the House of Commons.
Mr. Battiste holds a Juris Doctor from the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University and an undergraduate degree in Mi’kmaq Studies from Cape Breton University.