If someone had told Lisa Young fifteen years ago that she would be the Executive Director of UINR, she might have thrown you out of the helicopter that she was in, doing a survey of the moose population in the Cape Breton Highlands!
In those days, UINR hadn’t even started and Lisa was a young biologist fresh from her studies at York University. She was working as a field technician doing research with Parks Canada and the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources on moose in the Highlands. As a biologist at Eskasoni Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2001, Lisa was in the right place at the right time when Charlie Dennis was looking for a manager for a new organization that he was working on–Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources.
Little did she know at the time that UINR would grow into a leader in Mi’kmaq natural resources and environmental issues. This did not happen overnight and, from the beginning, Lisa was involved in writing and developing proposals for initiatives such as the Aboriginal Aquatic Resource and Oceans Management program, hardwood forest management, the Natural Resource Officer program and Mi’kmaq Natural Resource Mapping project.
For six years, Lisa was UINR’s General Manager and Director of Administration before becoming Executive Director in 2006. One of the highlights in Lisa’s training was participating in Aboriginal Leadership and Management Development training at the Banff Centre. As Executive Director, Lisa’s job includes assisting staff in project development and management, as well as participating in developing UINR’s overall objectives and direction.
When Lisa is not wearing her UINR hat, she enjoys family time with her husband Buddy Young and their two young children, Maria and Spencer.
The most rewarding part of working at UINR has been having the opportunity to be involved in such a wide range of environmental issues. It’s quite an experience to be able to work with so many different facets of government, industry and community.