J. Kevin Barlow (magtawe‘g mui’n gagamig gwilmn n’pisun)

Capacity Building Strategist

J. Kevin Barlow is Mi’kmaw from New Brunswick, now living in North Vancouver B.C. on the Capilano reserve in Coast Salish Territory. He has been here in B.C. for just over 9 years and has been a senior executive for close to 20 years. He joins Sierra Club BC as Capacity Building Strategist. In this role, he expects to take greater steps to bring in various perspectives, from western-based science to Indigenous knowledges and from different stakeholder groups to strengthen Sierra Club BC’s mission to support a healthy, natural environment for all.

He began learning advocacy at a very young age watching his uncle who was Chief engage the then called Department of Indian Affairs. At 13, he confronted the School Superintendent over how Mi’kmaw kids were being treated. In his early 20s, he was advocating for wind energy and became aware of how rising sea levels might affect his coastal First Nation of Indian Island NB. Fast forward to 2010 and a third of his community was flooded by 3 back-to-back storm surges. As Chief Administrator, he had the task of trying to protect the community by building a berm around the community, something he sees as a short-term measure.

He has worked at the local, regional, national and international levels, including Executive Director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society of BC. His Mi’kmaw name translates to mean “Black Bear Standing Looking For Medicine”.