November 22, 2019 Corner Brook—Members of the Band are invited to participate in the development of the Qalipu First Nation five-year strategic plan via consultation sessions scheduled to take place throughout the territory starting in December and moving into the new year.
Band Chief Brendan Mitchell noted, “The Strategic Plan is the document that will help guide the ongoing development of programs and services the Band provides to its members. A collaborative approach in its development is essential in ensuring our members’ needs and vision are reflected in our work. I hope that members will participate in the process.”
The Strategic Plan will provide direction for Chief and Council, as well as staff, as they plan for future development in the areas of member services, brand and communications, culture and heritage, environmental stewardship, economic development and operational excellence.
Members who wish to contribute to the plan can choose to participate in-person at the sessions or by completing an on-line survey that will be published on the Band website, www.qalipu.ca. Written submissions will be accepted at our office in Corner Brook and individuals may also communicate directly with the consultant on the strategic plan by contacting Terry Hickey, Conach Consulting at 709-682-9026 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consultations in Western Newfoundland will be scheduled for the new year. Central region consultations have been scheduled in the following locations:
Gander December 10th at 7:00 pm at the Hotel Gander
Grand Falls-Windsor December 11th at 7:00 pm at the Mount Peyton Hotel
Youth at the inaugural Mawita’jik Maljewe’jk youth gathering, held September 13-15 at West Haven in Pasadena, held an election to choose their youth representative seat at the Qalipu Council table. Jessica Saunders of Bishop’s Falls was elected and on November 16 attended her first meeting of Council.
At the meeting, Jessica made her oath of office and took part in a Swearing-in Ceremony.
Following the day, Jessica noted, “it was really awesome to hear from the Grand Council. They spoke a lot about the unity of our people which really resonated with me. I felt very accepted and I know that any ideas or input I have in the future will be openly received by the Council. I’m very excited to be this voice for the youth and the council seemed very happy to have me there, and everyone made a point to speak to me and shake my hand and welcome me which was awesome. I’m really looking forward to the future and the opportunities that will come with this!”
Welcome aboard, Jessica!
Representatives of the Mi’kmaq Grand Council, the traditional governing body of the Mi’kmaq people, recently visited Newfoundland to meet with the Qalipu Chief and Council, and community members. Grand Chief Norman Sylliboy, Grand Keptin Antle Denny, Keptin Stephen Augustine spent the weekend on the west coast including a meet and greet in Corner Brook, attendance at a Council meeting, a visit to the community of Flat Bay and a potluck feast and community gathering at the People of the Dawn Indigenous Friendship Centre in St. Georges, the oldest recorded Mi’kmaq settlement on the island. Grand Council Keptin Mi’sel Joe, Chief of Miawpukek First Nation was also on hand during the visit.
Grand Keptin Antle Denny, spokesperson for the Grand Council, noted that the visit to Newfoundland was an acknowledgement of the extended Mi’kmaq family in Newfoundland, the eastern edge of the traditional Mi’kmaq territory, Mi’kma’ki. He said, “We were happy to visit and meet some of our relations, visit communities and acknowledge our extended Mi’kmaq family. Unity is the Mi’kmaq way.”
Building relationships with Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia and throughout the broader Indigenous community has been an important priority for Chief Mitchell and Council. In 2018, the Band was formally recognized and accepted as a member of the Assembly of First Nations and in April of 2019, Qalipu was brought into the group known as the Atlantic Policy Congress. Relationship building with the Mi’kmaq Grand Council is another important step for the Band and the communities it represents.
Qalipu Chief Brendan Mitchell was pleased to welcome the Grand Council delegation, the first visit of its kind in the province. He said, “I’m extremely honoured and pleased that the Grand Council made this inaugural visit to Newfoundland to meet our Council and membership and visit our communities. It was an opportunity for us to share with them who we are and hear about the history of the Grand Council.”
Many community members came out to meet the special guests including Michelle Bennett who presented a special gift for Chief Stephen Augustine. She said, “I loved watching his creation story on YouTube, so I decided to paint what I was hearing. It doesn’t matter how many times I hear him tell the story, it’s powerful every single time.”
Chief Mitchell added that the Qalipu First Nation looks forward to a long-lasting and positive relationship going forward with the Grand Council.
The Outdoor Education came to an end On October 18th after welcoming 362 students from 11 schools from the Bay of Islands, Deer Lake, Corner Brook, Central and the Northern Peninsula.
This Program is the only curriculum-based, immersive outdoor education experience offered to grade five students in Newfoundland and Labrador. Thousands of students have gone through this outdoor classroom since the program’s inception, shaping the educational landscape and the hearts and minds of children, teachers and chaperones alike.
Qalipu First Nation is a proud partner in the delivery of this program which has grown to represent a successful model for experiential education rooted in the natural and cultural history that shapes this land and its people.
We wish to express our gratitude and well wishes to Indigenous Interpreter Kevin Barnes who played a key role in the delivery of the camp. Kevin retired from Parks Canada this year and his presence in the program will be missed.
November 7, 2019 Corner Brook—On Sunday November 3, the small community of St. George’s welcomed visitors for a special tourism experience that can’t be found anywhere else; a rich sensory event featuring medicine identification and collection, hands-on preparation of tea and traditional foods, cooking on an open fire, cultural sharing, and ceremonial teachings.
St. George’s Indian Band Chief Marlene Farrell partnered with Experience Qalipu to deliver the event, one of a larger series of events aimed at building upon the talent of community people, empowering them to share their gifts with visitors from around the world. The St. George’s Band, owner and operator of the Ktaqmkuk Mi’kmaq Museum, hopes to attract more visitors into the historic building that has been converted into a museum and cultural centre.
Chief Farrell noted, “Visiting the museum is one thing, but we want to offer more to our visitors. This community is the oldest recorded Mi’kmaq settlement on the island, and we have talented people who can offer workshops, guided tours, experiences and so much more. The fire circle and medicine walk on Sunday is an example of that and we’ve got more in the works.”
At Sunday’s event, visitors helped to prepare locally procured moose, potatoes, carrots and berries alongside Chef D’Arcy Butler, an active member of the Bay St. George Indigenous community and culinary instructor at College of the North Atlantic.
“These ingredients are timely; many community people have just got their moose, and this is what we are eating. The root vegetable harvest is ongoing; carrots for the event were picked sweet and fresh that morning. We wanted to offer visitors a true taste of our town, to share the story of the hunt and to know exactly where our ingredients were hunted and gathered. In the winter, for our next event, we are looking at making use of rabbit as the main ingredient, along with some of the preserves that Newfoundlanders have long relied on to get through the winter.”
The fall rain did not dampen the spirit of the participants, who were advised to come dressed for the weather and, they came prepared in their raincoats and boots. Elder Terry Muise lead them on a short walk through a nearby forest to identify medicines and collect ingredients used in their meal. Rose hips were collected for addition to the Labrador tea and fir needles were collected to be ground in with sea salt to season the meat and vegetables.
Local photographer Jonathan Meyers and filmmaker Matt Garnier used their talents to capture the event in detail and provide the St. George’s Indian Band colourful media content that will help promote these types of events in the future.
Tara Saunders Acting Director of the Community Development Department and Experience Qalipu noted, “this is exactly where we want to be; helping our communities to thrive and prosper. This event put off by the community is a terrific tourism product, and we will be there every step of the way to help them develop and promote their local experiences.”
November 7, 2019 Corner Brook—The Qalipu First Nation wishes to advise its membership and the broader Indigenous community of a special visit coming up next weekend, November 15-17, from several members of the Mi’kmaq Grand Council, the traditional governing body of the Mi’kmaq people. Grand Chief Norman Sylliboy, Grand Keptin Antle Denny and Elder Stephen Augustine will be welcomed by Qalipu Chief Brendan Mitchell in Corner Brook.
“We are so pleased to have a delegation from the Grand Council visit Qalipu territory for the first time,” Chief Brendan Mitchell remarked. “Grand Chief Sylliboy and Grand Keptin Denny invited me to attend Treaty Day in Nova Scotia, and I was received with the warmest hospitality. I look forward to offering the same kindness as they prepare to visit us in Newfoundland.”
The group will spend the weekend in the area with plans to include spending the day with the Qalipu Council for a meet and greet; and on the following day, plan on attending a Council meeting, taking a scenic drive into Flat Bay, and enjoying a community potluck feast at the Friendship Centre in St. George’s where everyone is welcome to come out and spend time with our special guests.
Building relationships with Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia and throughout the broader Mi’kmaq community in Atlantic Canada, has been an important priority for Chief Mitchell and Council. In 2018, Qalipu First Nation was formally recognized and accepted as a member of the Assembly of First Nations and in April of 2019, Qalipu was brought into the group known as the Atlantic Policy Congress. Relationship building with the Mi’kmaq Grand Council is another important step for the Band and the communities it represents.
Chief Mitchell added, “Our inclusion into the AFN, APC and acknowledgement by the Mi’kmaq Grand Council are important to us; it is part of our reconciliation as Mi’kmaq people. Friendships are being formed, and relationships are being established. It is a good time for the Qalipu First Nation.”
We asked, and you answered! Local Mi’kmaq artist Marcus Gosse prepared four sample logos, and 41% of those who participated in the poll chose “Cultural Quest” making it the top choice for the new official logo of the Comprehensive Community Plan!
The Comprehensive Community Plan (CCP) is a process that will allow our community to build a roadmap towards sustainability, self-sufficiency, and improved government capacity. It will allow the community to establish a vision for its future and implement projects to achieve this vision. This process is intended to be inclusive, representing the perspective of all members, from youths to Elders, within or outside the community.
The key planning areas are governance, land and resources, health, infrastructure development, culture, social issues, and the economy. The CCP will be sustainable, meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to thrive.
Qalipu First Nation looks forward to working with the community to develop the CCP via meetings, presentations, surveys and a variety of community engagement.
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Apajitayek [ahh bah jee die ekk] “we are coming back”
November 5, 2019 Corner Brook—The Qalipu Cultural Foundation is pleased to announce it will be hosting free language and culture camps in Grand Falls-Windsor, St. George’s and Corner Brook. In addition to basic conversation and introductory Mi’kmaw language course work, the two-day camps will offer participants a chance to engage in learning song, dance, history and stories about their Mi’kmaq ancestors.
Sherry Dean, Chairperson of the Qalipu Cultural Foundation noted, “We are so pleased to work with our neighbours in Nova Scotia to bring language and cultural teachings to our communities in Newfoundland. Language is the key to understanding culture and participants can expect much more than simple translations from English to Mi’kmaw; they will in fact begin to better understand the culture to which we belong.”
The Cultural Foundation has engaged Robert Bernard of the Diversity Management Group to bring the camps to Newfoundland. Bernard will work with experienced teacher Joel Denny from Eskasoni and his apprentice, Newfoundland born Dean Simon, a member of the Qalipu First Nation.
Bernard shared, “Language lessons will be based on the root word system of learning. This way of learning helps participants to better understand the heart of the language and build their word recognition and vocabulary. We will focus on basic conversation first, in the home, conversations with friends and family.”
Sherry Dean explained that to be fair, selection will be made by a draw among all those who register. For those unable to participate in person, Dean was pleased to share an exciting aspect of this project.
“We understand that not all of our members are living in or around one of our traditional communities and we know that everyone deserves the opportunity to be involved. That’s why the teachings provided at these camps will be video recorded and made available online, wjit msɨt no’kmaq-for all our relations.”
Camps have been scheduled for the following locations:
Grand Falls-Windsor at the Corduroy Brook Nature Centre, November 19-20
St. George’s at the People of the Dawn Indigenous Friendship Centre, November 21-22
Corner Brook- to be announced
For more information please contact Nicole Travers at email@example.com or call 634-4706.