Chief Ken Barlow, Indian Island First Nation
Ken Barlow was elected Chief of Indian Island 8 years ago, in 2007 after serving an impressive 17 years as Councillor. As Councillor, he was primarily self-employed in the forestry and fishery, and did not hold a paid position with the Band choosing to let Band members have fulltime employment positions within the Band Office.
As Chief, he has led a very progressive agenda, looking forward for future generations by diversifying the Band’s funding base through economic development. Aquaculture and wind energy projects are well on their way in terms of development, and a brighter future is approaching for this tiny First Nation.
Chief Ken Barlow oversees all Band operations, and has a lead portfolio over the fishery. He was elected by acclamation several times in the past 8 years of his tenure, and serves actively with the Assembly of First Nation Mi’gmag Chiefs in New Brunswick; Union of NB Indians; and the North Shore Micmac District Council.
Focused on making the band finances stronger, Chief Barlow has tasked his administration with reversing the deficit from the previous administration. Partnering with the Province of New Brunswick, Chief Barlow has been able to expand the Band Administration building with an additional 3200 square feet of office space and a larger Council Chambers/Elders Lounge and reconfiguring previous space.
Chief Ken has also been very focused on protecting the beautiful community of Indian island from erosion and storm surges. In December 2010, a major storm surge caused close to a quarter million dollars in damages with a quarter of the community under water and about 21 homes flooded. Since then, he has worked with officials at Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development Canada to build up the perimeter of the community by several meters with shale and armor stone to prevent future threats.