MEBO has developed a strategic, results-driven approach to engagement

The Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office (MEBO) is a not-for-profit organization established in 2007 and located in Membertou, Nova Scotia. MEBO’s founding mandate was to advocate for meaningful participation in the $400 million Sydney Tar Ponds Cleanup project. MEBO has taken the success and experience gained from the Tar Ponds project and applied it to find new opportunities for businesses in various sectors, while providing people with training for skilled, well-paying jobs. MEBO serves communities across Nova Scotia and leads collaborative and inclusive engagement with industry in the region. This model of economic development is often referred to as the “Unama’ki Model” and is recognized for its success across Canada.


MEBO has developed a strategic, results-driven approach to engagement, always focusing on the importance of diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace. Since 2008, MEBO has delivered a very successful series of training programs for Mi’kmaq communities, and has worked with community members wishing to receive trades training with apprenticeship placements. This has resulted in the creation of hundreds of jobs for local Indigenous people.


MEBO brings a solution to the table for industry and the workforce. They have a proven process to help successfully engage workers, thereby building diversity and inclusion in the skilled workforce. The organization is also committed to providing business support and assistance for entrepreneurs who want to start a business or expand an existing business. This support includes idea generation, business planning, sourcing financing, assisting with funding applications, and providing aftercare and follow-up services.

MEBO works closely with the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA) with respect to the trades, particularly training and placement of apprentices. MEBO also works with Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey (MK) and other education partners with a focus on the Information Communications Technology (ICT) sector and, in particular, the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) Program.


Moving forward, MEBO will continue to expand its broad network of industry partners across all sectors. MEBO will continue to work with all levels of government to ensure they, and the industries they work with, engage in a meaningful way with Indigenous communities.

Recognition and Awards

Nova Scotia Community College

Community Partner Award: Supporting Student Success


Economic Developer Recognition: Community Category

Sydney & Area Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Business

Sydney Sunrise Rotary Club 'Service Above Self' Award for Community Stewardship

Atlantic Aboriginal Entrepreneur

Band Operated Enterprise of the Year