A person holding a Red Apple with engraved heart

Health & Social Division at Qalipu First Nation

The Health and Social Division at Qalipu strives to improve the lives and wellbeing of our members and communities.  We promote health education, active living, mental health, and spiritual and cultural practices in all our programs and services.  We take a holistic approach; the health and wellbeing of our members is important to us.

Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program

Currently Qalipu coordinates and oversees the administration of the Medical Transportation Benefit, and the Mental Health Counselling Benefit.  The division continues to set goals that will see the transfer of additional Non-Insured Health Benefits from Indigenous Services Canada to the Band.  This continued growth will allow for greater capacity and expertise within the Band, our province, more employment opportunities, and improved response times.

We have staff in various office locations to help you navigate and understand your health benefits.  Please contact us.

NIHB Support Specialists: Ensure membership reimbursements are screened, scanned and directed in timely and effective manner.  Prepare preapprovals for Mental Health and Medical Transportation Benefit. Coordination of travel and accommodations for medical appointments, assess and process reimbursements. 

Grand Falls – Windsor Office
Susan Bryan
Glenwood Office
Jasmine Collis
Stephenville Office (rear entrance)
Melissa Sullivan
Corner Brook Office
Megan Blanchard
Corner Brook Office
Natasha Lavers

NIHB Navigator: Ensures broadest possible access and understanding of the NIHB program, educates membership and communities on their benefits, advocates and liaise on behalf of membership  with respect to health benefits.

Howard Thistle
709-679-5743 or 855-675-5743

Manager of Health Services:
Provides leadership to the Health and Social Division, builds partnerships and collaborations, increases capacities and addresses concerns.

Mitch Blanchard

Photo caption: (L-R) MFN Councilor Corey John, Qalipu Chief Brendan Mitchell, AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde, MFN Chief Mi’sel Joe

Message from the Chief- July 31, 2018


I’m pleased to greet you today, back home in Newfoundland after a visit to Canada’s west coast for the 39th Annual General Assembly of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) in Vancouver.   The AFN represents some 900,000 First Nations people in Canada, across hundreds of communities and I’m pleased to say that the Qalipu First Nation, and its membership, is now a part of that family.

Acceptance into the AFN is a significant moment for our First Nation.  This move will allow the Band to have a strong national voice and become a part of the wider First Nation community in Canada, sharing ideas and learning from the experiences of other First Nations.

I would like to acknowledge those who supported this positive step forward including Chief Mi’sel Joe of the Miawpukek First Nation (MFN) who brought forward the resolution to admit Qalipu into the AFN, and Corey John, MFN Councilor, who seconded the resolution and voted under the Glenwood proxy.  I wish to also thank MFN Vice-Chief Shayne MacDonald for his valued assistance.  Qalipu was also strongly supported by our Regional Chief Morley Googoo.  Chief Googoo represents Newfoundland and Nova Scotia on the AFN, and we will welcome him for a visit in Corner Brook this fall.

For members who may be wondering who the Assembly of First Nations is, and what they stand for, I encourage you to check out this video What is the AFN?

I would be remiss not to extend my sincere thanks to Chief Robert Bertrand and the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP), the national organization with whom both the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI) and Qalipu have been affiliated with for many years.  CAP supported our people and communities through a variety of programs and services and helped us on our journey to achieve recognition.

August 31 will mark a disappointing event for our people as 10,500 may be losing their status.  I am disappointed with the treatment of these members, particularly those who are living away from our communities for no other reason than to find employment and better their lives.  Qalipu continues to press government to change their decision and to allow our members to retain their status at this time.  Qalipu First Nation has upheld the decision of the Newfoundland Supreme Court on the Benoit case, and has written to the Minister imploring that the Federal Government allow not just the six plaintiffs impacted by this case, but all members to retain their Indian Status.

This fall will be a busy time for the Qalipu First Nation as we prepare for our Annual General Assembly on September 15.  This Assembly will be hosted in St. George’s and we hope to see many of you make it to this special annual event.  As well, our election for Chief and Councilors is just around the corner and is set to take place on October 23, 2018.  Our Election Reform Committee has been working effectively to make improvements to the election process based on feedback we received following the last election.  Please keep an eye on our website for more information, including the Amendment Vote to change our Custom Rules, and to sign up for mail-in ballots if you will have difficulty making it to the polls.

Before all that, let’s head out for one more Newfoundland Mawio’mi.  It was a wonderful time in Exploits, Conne River and Flat Bay and now, it’s time to head to Burgeo to participate in their first ever Colour and Culture Mawio’mi.  This event will be held on August 18 and I hope to see you all there!

I wish you all the best, and am sending my prayers for health, wellness and happiness all summer long.



Chief Brendan Mitchell

The word NEWS written in vintage wooden letterpress type in a wooden type drawer.

Notice of Referendum Vote to Change the Custom Rules Governing Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band Elections

Per Section 34 of the Custom Rules Governing Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band Elections, we wish to advise our members that a referendum vote to amend the Custom Rules will be held on October 23, 2018 at polling locations in each of our nine Wards, and at an advance poll to be held on October 16.  Amendment voting ballots will also be included in mail-out voting packages provided in the 2018 Qalipu general election.

A summary of the proposed changes can be found below in the Q & A

NEW! A full copy of the Custom Rules with amendments is now available to membership please click here to view.

Referendum Vote Q & A

Is Qalipu having a referendum vote to change the way it runs elections?

Yes.  To change the Custom Rules that govern our elections, the Council may direct that a referendum (amendment vote) be held to obtain the consent of membership.

Council has indicated that a referendum will occur in harmony with the 2018 election.  Meaning, with mail-in ballots, at the advance poll, and on polling day, membership will have an additional question included in their ballot package to change the way we administer elections.

The referendum will take place by advance poll on October 16 and at polling stations throughout the nine Wards on October 23, 2018.

Why does Qalipu want to change the way we do elections?

Following the election in 2015, Qalipu realized several issues that need to be resolved to make our elections more effective in the future.

  • Some voters reported arriving at their polling station to find that they had been incorrectly listed in a different voting location.
  • Others found that the distance they had to travel to their designated poll was unreasonable, which is not surprising considering Qalipu is made up of 67 geographically spread out communities in nine different Wards.
  • In some areas where there is a high concentration of voters, some voters were stuck waiting in line for several hours just to cast their vote.
  • Most people agreed that the time frame on returning mail-in ballots was too short. The 2015 election also saw a low voter turnout (approximately 23%) and this is something else that we can do better.
  • The polling station election format is expensive, time consuming and inaccessible.

 So, what election change will voters be asked to decide on?

Membership will be asked whether they are in favour of moving to a mail, telephone and internet voting solution.

What does that mean?

It means that every eligible voter will receive voting details in the mail without having to request it.  Voters will be given a personal identification number to cast their vote using either the internet, wireless devices and mobile or landline telephones.  A helpline would be available for anyone who has trouble with the process, and Qalipu is looking at making several polling stations available regionally to provide in-person support should voters feel they need to vote in person.

Why would we change to this way of voting?

There are many benefits to this voting method:

  • Every eligible voter will be engaged in the election. They will receive a Personal Identification Number and Voter Instruction Letter in the mail via Canada Post.
  • Voters will be given a 5-10-day period to vote from the comfort of their home via the internet, wireless devices OR mobile or landline telephones. Voters may also choose to visit one of several regional polling stations to receive in person voting support.
  • Voters will be provided with the contact number for a Voter HelpLine so that they have someone to contact if they have any trouble casting their vote.
  • Inclusion: ability for everyone to vote regardless of their mobility or location.
  • Automatic: voters will not have to request their ballot. All voters will receive everything they need to vote in the mail through Canada Post.
  • Greater participation: Since every voter will receive their voting details in the mail, and they can vote from the comfort of their own home, we expect a much higher engagement from our membership during election time.
  • Voting is private, secure and anonymous. PIN security and event auditability are paramount in the design and delivery of this voting solution which is delivered by an experienced and trusted company.
  • Financial savings. E-voting will cost less than half of our current method of voting, money that can be put back into community development, and cultural initiatives.
  • Results will be clear and timely.

Can we trust a company to deliver our election?

Intelivote Systems Inc. (ISI), the company with whom we have been working, is a recognized leader in the successful implementation of this type of election.  The company has extensive subject matter expertise in Union voting events, Municipal elections, Aboriginal voting events, Leadership Elections and Association Elections.

All the election services are provided through Intelivote software are secured by encryption, digital certificates and login IDs and passwords.

Voter anonymity, PIN security and event auditability are paramount in the design and delivery of the eVoting solutions they provide.

ISI maintains a hosted data centre environment in Halifax through Bell Canada, which also hosts some of the most sensitive government and financial applications running in Atlantic Canada.

ISI delivers elections with a team of information systems professionals and electronic voting experts.

Who will be eligible to vote to change the Custom Rules Governing Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band elections?

Only those members 18 years of age or over on the date of the Qalipu election, whether Founding Members on the updated list, former Founding Members who have remained members through a category change or have become members through an application seeking registration under the Indian Act, will be eligible to vote.

An updated Founding Members list has been passed through Order in Council and came into effect on June 25, 2018.   Qalipu expects to have a copy of this list on August 31, 2018.

Won’t the recent court rulings change this?

With the recent court rulings, regarding the right to appeal for applicants denied on the self-identification criterion, for instance, we could see more people added to the Band.   At this time however, we can only work with what’s in front of us.  We expect to have an established Band list by August 31, and this will determine not only who our eligible voters are but also, who can run for Council.

If the membership accepts these proposed changes to the Custom Rules, when will the changes come into effect?

Changes to the Custom Rules would come into effect for the next general election in 2021.


Maw-pemita’jik Qalipu’k June 2018 Newsletter


With summer solstice just around the corner, new buds on the trees and sunny skies, are you as excited as I am about all the opportunities to celebrate the season?

National Indigenous Peoples Day, for many communities, has become a weeklong celebration.  In Corner Brook, the Mi’kmaq Flag will be raised on Monday, July 18th at several locations throughout the city.  Join the circuit on the Majestic lawn at 9:30 AM (in front of the Qalipu office building at 3 Church Street).  The event will begin with the planting of a tree and smudging of the flags which will later be raised at City Hall, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, Grenfell Campus and the College of the North Atlantic.  Find all the details for this event on Page 13.

This National day of celebration is observed annually across Canada on June 21 to recognize and celebrate the unique culture and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis.   In Newfoundland, there are events across the province.  On Page 1 of this edition of Maw-pemita’jik Qalipu’k, you will find details on those events, and links for further information.  I look forward to the many things happening in my home community, St. George’s, where both the St. George’s Indian Band and the People of the Dawn Indigenous Friendship Centre have many wonderful things planned including sunrise ceremony, open doors at the Ktaqmkuk Mi’kmaq Museum, feasts, and a hike up Steel Mountain.  What’s happening in your area? Don’t miss out on the fun.

Also, in this edition, find event schedules for the Exploits Mawio’mi and the Bay St. George Mi’kmaq Powwow, snapshots of community happenings, stories about our young achievers, and some information from the Newfoundland Aboriginal Women’s Network on a new program.

To comment on what you’ve seen here, make suggestions for future newsletters or to contribute your community news, please write to awhite@qalipu.ca

I look forward to hearing from you.



IAYI-featured image

International Aboriginal Youth Intern Project 2018-2022

Work on diverse projects on environmental and community sustainability, gender equality and Indigenous forest conservation which could be applied in your community. This hands-on program provides in-depth training and education in forest conservation and the industry.

For More information please view the poster here or visit http://www.janegoodall.ca/iayi and http://www.fnforestrycouncil.ca/

Download the Youth Intern Application here.

The First Nations Forestry Council is now seeking expressions of interest from interested individuals to act as mentor to Aboriginal youth interns. If you are interested please download the Mentors Application here and submit your application.


Lobster V-notching Presentation

Department of Fisheries and Oceans will be hosting a v-notching presentation in collaboration with Qalipu First Nation.

We are welcoming new fishers and Indigenous designates as well as local fishers and buyers that are interested in learning more about v-notching.

Locations are as follows;

Corner Brook – GREENWOOD INN – April 25th at 7:00pm
Stephenville – DAYS INN – April 26th at 7:00pm

Qalipu First Nations will be presenting a door prize, a v-notching tool, for both locations in support of this conservation initiative. For more information, please contact Randi Morgan at 709-634-4706 or email rmorgan@qalipu.ca.


Sport coach training a young attractive woman on a stadium

Coaches Wanted for the 2020 North American Indigenous Games!

The Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Circle NL are currently seeking applications from coaches that are interested in volunteer positions with Team Indigenous NL taking part in the 2020 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG). The location and dates of the 2020 of the Games will be announced in May 2018

The sports that Team Indigenous NL require coaches and assistant coaches for are:

  • Athletics-U14, U16, U19 Born 2006 or later, 2004 or later or 2001 or later
  • Badminton-U16, U19 Born 2004 or later and 2001 or later
  • Basketball-U16, U19 Born 2004 or later or 2001 or later (To be determined)
  • Swimming-U14, U16, U19 Born 2006 or later, 2004 or later or 2001 or later
  • Male Volleyball-U19 Born 2001 or later
  • Female Volleyball-U19 Born 2001 or later
  • Wrestling-16-18, 15 can upgrade Born 2002-2004, 2005 can upgrade

The duties of the coach and assistant coaches will be to lead Identification Camps between August 2018 and June 30, 2019 in various Indigenous regions of the Province with final invitation only selection camps to be held in July, 2019 in the regions where the most athletes invited reside. Staff must also commit to travel with and attend the entire NAIG as they will also be providing chaperoning duties. Successful Coaches will also be required to prepare selected athletes/ teams for the 2020 NAIG from August 2019 to June 2020. The NAIG runs for 9 days starting on Saturday ending the following Sunday.

Minimum Requirements:

  • NCCP Making Ethical Decisions
  • Certified in the Aboriginal Coaching Modules (Training will be provided)
  • Sport specific requirements as per NAIG Technical Package (naigcouncil.com)

Resumes must include:

  • Contact information including Sport of Interest
  • Letter explaining interest in position
  • Overview of coaching experience and certifications in sport of interest
  • NCCP Number
  • RCMP Criminal Records Check and Vulnerable Sector Check
  • 2 References with contact information

Preference may be giving to applicants of Aboriginal Decent.

For any inquiries, please contact Todd Winters at the ASRCNL Main Office 709-896-9218 or

Mike Alexander at the ASRCNL Regional office 709-643-3130

Interested coaches must forward resumes to the ASRCNL by June 30, 2018

By email to asrcnl@nf.aibn.com

By fax (709)896-9211

 By mail to ASRCNL P.O. Box 338 Stn. C Goose Bay, NL a0p 1c0


Attention Youth Athletes, Your Chance to Participate in the North American Indigenous Games!

The Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Circle NL are currently seeking Expressions of Interest from Indigenous youth of Newfoundland Labrador that are interested in participating for Team Indigenous NL (TINL) taking part in the 2020 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG). The location and dates of the 2020 NAIG will be determined by May, 2018.

The athletes that Team Indigenous NL are looking for will be participating in are:

  • Athletics U14, U16, U19 Born 2006 or later, 2004 or later or 2001 or later
  • Badminton U16, U19 Born 2004 or Later or 2001 or later
  • Basketball U16 or U19 Born 2004 or Later or 2001 or later(To be Determined)
  • Swimming U14, U16, U19 Born 2006 or later, 2004 or later or 2001 or later
  • Male Volleyball U19 Born 2001 or later
  • Female Volleyball U19 Born 2001 or later
  • Wrestling 16-18, 15 can upgrade 2004-2002, 2005 can upgrade

If you are interested in participating, please fill out and return this form:

North American Indigenous Games Athlete Expression of Interest

2017 Tom Longboat NL Aboriginal Athlete of the Year Awards


Honouring the Greatest Canadian Aboriginal Athlete

The Awards

Tom Longboat was one of the most celebrated and accomplished athletes in Canadian history. A member of the Onondaga Nation who resided in Six Nations of the Grand River, Tom Longboat was one of the most gifted long distance runners of all time. In just his third competitive race, he set the world record for the marathon, smashing the previous mark by over five and one-half minutes. In the years prior to the First World War, Tom Longboat won most of the major distance races in North America and Europe, including the Boston Marathon and the Powderhall Marathon in Edinburgh, Scotland. At a time when indoor marathon running attracted sell-out crowds, he was the world’s professional champion. At one point or another, he held every Canadian record from one mile to the marathon.


Throughout his life, Tom Longboat spoke proudly of his First Nations heritage and held his head high in times of great adversity. He was the headline attraction wherever he raced, drawing huge crowds and a widespread following.


In 1999, Maclean’s Magazine voted him the #1 Canadian sports figure of the twentieth century.


Established in 1951, the Tom Longboat Awards serve as a proud national symbol for all Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

(Dr. Bruce Kidd, Olympian and Tom Longboat historian)

Celebrating Aboriginal Excellence in Sport


Who is eligible
Nominations are invited from all levels of sport.

To be eligible, athletes must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be able to prove Indigenous ancestry
  • Must have amateur status.
  • Must be for athletic achievements within the 2017 calendar year.
  • Must submit a completed nomination form on or before the deadline of May 31, 2018.


How do you nominate an athlete? Complete the nomination form and forward it to ASRCNL Main Office

Step #1
Complete a Nomination Form
(provide detailed information on the nominee and nominator, if applicable)

Step #2
Complete a supporting narrative

Send the Nomination Form and Narrative to Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Circle NL Deadline May 31, 2018