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Maw-pemita’jik Qalipu’k February 2018 Newsletter

Kwe’

In this edition of Maw-pemita’jik Qalipu’k you will find the details on a demonstration set to take place in Ottawa this weekend on the front page.  On page 2, find out how the Chief is negotiating for grassroots people and community members, and how to share your story, and in my editorial, I’m With You, Joe, read a story that many can relate to- Joe is one of our members who has been told he will lose his status.

Also, in this edition are details about the Climate Change Study that has just begun at Qalipu.   Through interviews, we will gather information about climate change, its impact on our communities and people, and solutions for adaptations.  Find all the details on page 6.

As usual, we share important information about opportunities, community updates and events that you won’t want to miss.

Please enjoy and don’t hesitate to get in touch to make a comment, ask a question or provide content for the next edition of Maw-pemita’jik Qalipu’k.

Please enjoy this edition of Maw-pemita’jik Qalipu’k.  Remember to send your stories, pictures, and feedback to Alison at awhite@qalipu.ca

Wela’lin,

Alison White

Great Blue Heron, (Juvinile), St. George's
Great-Blue-Heron-Juvinile-St.-Georges credit: Melvin White

Qalipu First Nation to Conduct Climate Change Study

February 13, 2018, Corner Brook—Qalipu First Nation is pleased to announce that it will be conducting Climate Change interviews in the communities of Lark Harbour, Cox’s Cove, Burgeo, St. George’s, Cape St. George, Stephenville Crossing, Lewisporte, Bishop’s Falls, and the Gander Bay area from February 12 to March 29, 2018.

The purpose of these interviews is to gather information about climate change, its impact on our communities and people, and solutions for adaptation. Topics will include: extreme weather events such as flooding and the impact on water quality, community infrastructure, and emergency preparedness; coastal erosion and rising sea levels and the impact they may have on spiritual grounds and medicinal plant sites; forest use and the impact climate change may be having on this use, and plant and animal life. This information will be used to help communities adapt to the challenges of climate change.

Interviews are open to members of the Band, and self-identifying Mi’kmaq aged 14+, and will take place Monday through Friday, February 12 – March 29, 2018. Times and locations to be determined on a community basis. Home visits and evening interviews are available.

To schedule your interview, please see below for contact information:

Residents of Lark Harbour, Cox’s Cove, Burgeo, St. George’s, Cape St. George, and Stephenville Crossing please contact Joanne Harris, Research Assistant at jharris@qalipu.ca or call 709-634-4706.

Residents of Lewisporte, Bishop’s Falls, and the Gander Bay area please contact Nancy Jeans, Research Assistant at njeans@qalipu.ca or call 709-393-6771.

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Message From the Chief – February 2, 2018

Kwe’

Happy New Year.   I hope that you all weathered the recent flooding in Newfoundland, and that in cases where damage was done, I pray that you found support in your families and community.  May the Creator bless you all with good health and the care of community in the year ahead.

Something that has been much talked about in the media and on Facebook recently is the issue of separation that has been brought forward by the Flat Bay Band Inc. This has been a concern for members living in Flat Bay, and for other people in our communities.  I would like to take a moment to address this topic.  Band Division is, in fact, a provision under the Indian Act.  If you would like to read about it for yourself, go to this link and look under the heading “How to divide a Band?”

I would like to take a moment to clarify a few points with members of the Qalipu First Nation who have been calling me to ask what this means for them, and others who may be wondering.  First, I am not in support of Band division.  Secondly, Band division would be a lengthy process involving formal application to INAC and agreement by the Minister.  Further, the elected Chief and Council of the day would have to agree to division.   Such a division would also require the majority vote of status members belonging to the impacted community.  In this case, status card holders who are members of the community of Flat Bay, and those directly affiliated with Flat Bay Band Inc.

While some of the rhetoric in the ongoing conversation seems to imply that Band division would rectify issues related to the enrolment process or achieve status for individuals who do not currently have it, I regret to say that it will not.  Only status members would decide on division, and the number of status card holders would remain the same.  I hope that this situation has not given false hope to people.

I have no issue with any community or organization doing whatever they can to better themselves and the lives of people.  I do however, feel that the timing may not be the best to publicly talk of division.  We should try to stick together at this time as we fight for the rights of people who are not yet members of Qalipu and those that may lose First Nation status after the enrolment process concludes.

At this time, I am working diligently for those residents of our 67 recognized Mi’kmaq communities who were assessed on the points system and were found ineligible for Founding Membership.  This system of assessment, the points system, was never intended to be applied to people who lived in one of those communities at the time of recognition! People who, in fact, lived there all their lives.  I am compiling information on cases like these and I will fight for their fair treatment.   There are many others in this process we strongly support, and we will continue to do so.

While I’m talking about fairness, how on earth can the very members of the Federation of Newfoundland Indians, those who voted to ratify the Agreement to create our First Nation in the first place, now be found ineligible for membership? This is unacceptable, and the Government of Canada has not heard the last from me on this.  Grassroots people, I am fighting for you.  I offer myself, wholeheartedly, to walk with the people and seek justice.

Were you an FNI member who voted on ratification for the Agreement in Principle, yet you have been found ineligible for Founding Membership? Did you live in a Mi’kmaq community yet, were assessed on the points system and denied membership because you didn’t have enough points?

I want to hear from you!  Please send your story to stories@qalipu.ca

Wela’lin,
Chief Brendan Mitchell

Crab

New Fishing License Available

Qalipu Mi’Kmaq First Nation Band would like to announce the availability of one Communal Commercial Fishing license.  License details are as follows:

This Enterprise consists of Groundfish-except lumpfish (2J, 3PN, 4RST), Herring Fixed Gear (Area 13), Squid (Area 13), Whelk (Area 13), Lobster (Area 13B), Snow Crab (Area 12), Mackerel Fixed Gear(Area 13), Capelin Fixed Gear (Area 13), and a bait.

Successful applicants will be designated to fish this license by paying an annual administration fee to Qalipu First Nation (QFN). The purchase and maintenance of all fishing gear is the responsibility of the designated fisherperson. The designation will be renewed annually on the basis that the fisherperson meets criteria as listed in the Fishing Designation Policy.

Any member of QFN interested in such a designation is encouraged to print and complete this application. Printed applications are also available at St. George’s and Corner Brook Qalipu offices.  Submit applications by February 23, 2018 by email, fax, or drop off to the address indicated on the application form.

Jan 17, 2018 Chase the Ace Jackpot winner Eemmanuel Simon
Photo: Barb Benoit McAlinden, Emmanuel Simon, Lory Benoit Jesso, Lee Kerfont, Myra Benoit and Janice Benwah

Benoit First Nation – Chase the Ace Winner

Benoit 1st Nation would like to announce the following information  from last night’s Chase The Ace at the Mi’kmaw Centre in Degrau on January 17, 2017.

The evening’s total ticket sales were $3,814.00. Congratulations to Emmanuel Simon who ticket  #24239 won $762.80 (20% ticket sales). Emmanuel cut the deck of cards hoping for the sneaky Ace of Spades and drew the Ace of spades!!!!The Ace of Spades was worth $1,144.25 (30% ticket sales) plus $10,975.00 which was worth $12,882.00 in total take home winnings. 50% ticket sales $1907.00 goes towards the Mi’kmaw Centre Building upgrades.

The 50/50 Ticket draw winner was Teddy Rouzes who won $503.00. Thanks so much to all the volunteers that helped with this event and also thanks to everyone who came out for this very successful Mi’kmaw Centre Fundraiser.

A person holding a Red Apple with engraved heart

Improving Health: My Way

Are you looking to improve your health?

Qalipu First Nation has partnered with Western Health to provide you with the opportunity to improve your health and join in cultural sharing, smudging, talking circles, and more!

Program Details:

Improving Health: My Way is a fun and interactive program that teaches easy-to-use skills to help improve your overall health and wellbeing. This FREE program has helped many people to better manage their own wellness and live healthier lives. It can help you too!

Join a group session with two trained leaders for 2½ hours a week for six weeks. The goal of the workshop is to help you take control of your health. Anyone with a health concern or condition is welcome, and you may bring a family member or friend.

Location: Qalipu First Nation Community Room

Majestic Premises, 1 Church Street Corner Brook
February 6th – March 12th, 2018
7:00pm-9:30pm (Tuesday evenings)
Everyone is welcome!

*Registration required
To register please call (709)-637-5000 ext. 6689 or email susanmadore@westernhealth.nl.ca
Qalipu IHMW Invite Winter 2018_Page_2

a group of women are sitting in a circle, discussing

The Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women Appointment Opportunities

The Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women performs an important role to the Provincial Government by ensuring that the experiences of women are considered while Government develops new policies and programs, as well as continuing its ongoing work.

The voices of women are essential in informing the actions of government.

Could you, or someone you know, be the next member of this important Advisory Council? Please click here to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of being a member of the Status of Women Advisory Council, and to apply online.

Management Team
Management Team, Qalipu First Nation (back L-R) Natural Resources Director Jonathan Strickland, Chief Brendan Mitchell, Band Manager Keith Goulding, Director of Operations Rob Dicks, (front L-R) Manager of Health Services Jenna Osmond, Comptroller Jodie Wells, Director of Education and Training Monique Carroll and Office Manager Janet McAuley. Missing from photo is Director of Community Development Ralph Eldridge.

Message from the Chief December 22 2017

Kwe’

As we prepare for the Christmas season, I pray that each of you are happy and in good health.  For those among us who are in need, let us all take a moment to send warm prayers of encouragement and hope for better days ahead.

Reflecting on all that has happened during 2017, I recognize that it has been a bittersweet year.  While there are many positive accomplishments to be proud of, we have also had moments that were challenging for our people and communities.  I would like to take a moment to highlight some of the positive moments of 2017.

We’ve been helpful to our young people with respect to the North American Indigenous Games.  Our Council donated $15,000 to support the young Mi’kmaq athletes who participated in this competitive sporting event.  We are currently planning for our continued engagement and support of our young athletes over the years to come.

We have also supported significant community events including the annual Bay St. George Powwow in Flat Bay, and the first ever Exploits Mawio’mi in Grand Falls-Windsor.   The work of our grassroots organizations and people are what keeps our culture and communities alive and thriving and, I am so proud of the many initiatives being led by the people.  Likewise, through our annual donation to the Qalipu Cultural Foundation, many workshops, teachings and events receive financial support through their grants.

In terms of the Qalipu administration and management, we have had a very good year indeed.  Every year INAC goes through a risk evaluation process of all First Nation Bands in Canada.  This involves looking at our protocol, our documentation, our reporting, transparency and accounting systems.  This year, we are proud to report a score of 1.51, likely the best score among all First Nations in Canada.

In 2017, we are also celebrating ISO certification.  This international certification is based on guidelines that, once met, demonstrate excellence and reliability in business operations, policy and procedures.  I would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the staff here who have been working toward this achievement of this goal for the last two years.

I would be remiss not to acknowledge the Enrolment process and the hurt that it has caused among our people and communities.  I have been trying my best to bring a greater sense of fairness to this process but, the Government of Canada is standing firm on the agreement as signed.  I would go so far as to say the government has been unyielding to practical solutions that have been presented.  If you would like to hear more about what I have been up against in this situation, I encourage you to take a listen to my end of year interview on Mi’kmaq Matters

On behalf of Council and staff, I would like to extend a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and fulfilling New Year to each of you.  I pray that this Christmas your homes are filled with the true spirit of the season, and that you enjoy the company of family, friends and community.

Wela’lin

Chief Brendan Mitchell