Lorraine Whitman, NWAC President

Lorraine Whitman (“Grandmother White Sea Turtle”), daughter of the late Chief Joseph Peters and Doris (Brooks) Peters and granddaughter of the late Chief Louis Peters of Bear River, is a member of Glooscap First Nation in Nova Scotia.

Since graduating with honours from the University of Alberta’s Grant McEwan College Rehabilitation Practitioner program, Lorraine’s career has focused on health care and healing. Early in her career she developed, implemented and evaluated personal and educational programs in Edmonton-based schools, workplaces and social environments for individuals with physical needs and challenges. Upon returning to Nova Scotia in 1987, she worked for 23 years as a social development officer for Glooscap First Nation. In 2010, Lorraine was employed as the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative Coordinator for Glooscap First Nation.

Lorraine served Glooscap First Nation as an elected councillor from 1997–2012, sat on the Board of Directors of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq for more than 15 years, served as a health committee member for the Tripartite Forum for more than 10 years and was the Mi’kmaq representative on the Annapolis Valley School Board from 2000–2003. She also developed The Seven Sacred Teachings Coffee roast blend for Just Us! Coffee, with a portion of the proceeds directed toward select Indigenous programs.

In 2017, Lorraine was elected president of the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association and became an Elder for Acadia University. She is also a recipient of the Nova Scotia Volunteer Award (2019). Most recently, she was elected president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) in September 2019.

Outside of attending to her duties as NWAC’s president, Lorraine splits her time between her career and speaking on Mi’kmaw culture in schools and at public events. She is an artisan and a volunteer in her church and at the local elementary school.