Happy 5th Anniversary Qalipu First Nation

Happy 5th Anniversary Qalipu First Nation!

Today we celebrate the anniversary of our Band, established five years ago on September 22, 2011.  In the years since our inception we have grown and journeyed together as a community.  We have worked toward common goals of rediscovering and sharing our culture, and building a bright future for our Nation.

Looking back over these past five years we have much to be proud of:

  • Our new Council has been working hard to be actively engaged with our membership—all our regular meetings of Council are now open to membership and include an opportunity for them to ask questions. We have also worked to increase the number of Ward meetings that are held each year. Town Hall meetings are now being organized in all of our Wards for this Fall.
  • Our new Council has purchased buildings in Grand Falls-Windsor and in Stephenville. In addition to the recent establishment of the Qalipu Community Room in our existing building at 3 Church Street, Corner Brook, we are also working toward establishing community rooms at each of the new buildings to better serve our members in Central and Bay St-George.
  • We lobbied and secured funding for the hiring of a much needed new position to administer the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy. Through matching the funding provided by DFO, Qalipu has recently hired two new River Guardians.
  • We have recently established an Urban Reserve Planning Committee and have been working hard toward realization of this shared vision for the future.
  • We currently provide employment for 33 full time employees, 10 term employees and 12 seasonal employees.
  • We have provided assistance to more than 600 members with wage subsidies, self-employment assistance and youth employment programs.
  • $39.4 million dollars has been paid out in education funding to thousands of members for post-secondary diploma, degree and masters programs.
  • The Qalipu Cultural Foundation was developed to support cultural documentation, and promote the involvement of youth and elders in cultural activities including educational outreach, celebration of special days and the support of other organizations who are working to bring cultural offerings to the people.
  • Nearly $52 million dollars in health benefits have been paid out to our membership. We continue to pursue continued growth in this area.  We are currently set to launch administration of the Medical Transportation Benefit for all Wards and for members living in Atlantic Canada.  This initiative will improve the services and speed up reimbursement processing time for our members.
  • We have begun to move forward on the first year of our five-year Tourism Strategy with the hiring of a Tourism Development Officer. Implementation of the strategy will lead to sustainable aboriginal tourism in our nine Wards.
  • We administer 13 inshore fishing licenses and one 65-foot enterprise, manage real estate, and have developed a number of companies. Each of these endeavors are earning own-source revenue to help the Band build for its future.
  • We have developed many beneficial partnerships in terms of business development and community involvement.

Chief, Council and Qalipu Staff are committed to ensuring the growth, effectiveness and prosperity of Qalipu on behalf of our People, our Communities, and our Nation.


Calling for Participants: Caribou Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Study

Qalipu First Nation is conducting an Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Study on Woodland Caribou in the Bay St. George area. We are looking to gather traditional knowledge regarding the species based on topics such as historical population trends, distribution and behavior. Please click the link below to view more information regarding the study and find out how you can participate.

For all the details, please click here to view the poster


DSC 0152
L-R Marcuss Gosse, Mitch Blanchard and Nona Matthews Gosse

Just the Tip of the Iceberg: Donations pour in for Ke’tipnemk Fundraiser

Floating About is the title of the latest donation of artwork received by the Qalipu Cultural Foundation in support of their upcoming Annual Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction set to take place this October 22 at Jennifer’s Restaurant in Corner Brook.  The donation was made by local Mi’kmaw artist Marcus Gosse who said that this original piece, in acrylic and oil, is part of “The Mi’kmaq Utopia Collection.”

“What I’m getting at in this collection is the iceberg analogy as it relates to culture.  The tip of the iceberg represents that small bit of a person that is apparent at the surface.  What people see.  Under the surface however, there’s much more than meets the eye.”

Gosse was referring to the habits, assumptions, understandings, values and the depth that makes up who we are as the Mi’kmaq people of the province.  He said “you have to dig deeper to get to know a person and their culture.”

Marcus, and his wife Nona Matthews Gosse, plan on attending the Ke’tipnemk fundraiser and hope that the painting, along with several other donations made by Gosse, will bring in a good price to put towards the mandate of the Qalipu Cultural Foundation.

The Qalipu Cultural Foundation was formed in 2014 to support Mi’kmaq culture in Newfoundland and Labrador.  It exists to ensure cultural documentation, and promote the involvement of youth and elders in cultural activities within the band.   They strive to inspire the people to proudly embrace their heritage, to empower them to continue the traditions of the ancestors and restore the spirit of Mi’kmaq culture in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Tickets for the Ke’tipnemk Fundraiser are now on sale.  Please contact reception at Qalipu’s main office in Corner Brook at 634-0996 to get yours.


Note: Also coming up in October for Mi’kmaq Heritage Month, artists Marcus Gosse and Scott Butt will prepare an exhibition at the Arts and Culture Centre in Stephenville titled “Expressions of Qalipu Land”.  The show opens on October 1 at 7:00 PM.  The first 25 visitors will receive a print from The Mi’kmaq Utopia Collection titled Finding my Way.


Message from the Chief September 2, 2016


How has the summer passed by so quickly? We are into September, a new school year and fall is just around the corner.  I hope that each of you have taken every opportunity to enjoy the fine weather and that you were lucky enough to spend time with family and friends doing the things that you love to do.  Personally, the memories of being on the river fishing, the smell of barbecued dinner, and the vibrant colours and people at our powwows and other special gatherings this summer, will be something I call on time and again to get me through the colder seasons.

This summer, I was extremely honoured to participate in the Flat Bay Powwow in July during which I was presented with an Eagle Staff by the Bay St. George Cultural Revival Committee.  Many thanks to the organizing committee, Chief Liz Lasaga and the community of Flat Bay for their support of this 10th anniversary event, and the hospitality shown to the performers, vendors and visitors alike.  The Flat Bay Powwow is getting to be one of the largest and most popular events of its kind here in Atlantic Canada.

I wish also to extend sincere thanks and gratitude on behalf of Qalipu Council to the organizing committee of the Cultural Mawio’mi, under the leadership of chairperson and Vice Chief Western Erica Samms-Hurley, held in Benoit’s Cove this summer.  Special thanks also to the Mayor, Council and community of Humber Arm South for providing such a beautiful venue.   Hopefully, another similar event will be happening in 2017.

I’m also writing today to share with you a few words on a wonderful experience myself and my wife Sheila were fortunate enough to have this past weekend at the Mi’kmaw Cultural Centre in De Grau.  The Centre itself is a wonderful community facility that was made possible through the vision and hard work of local Benoit First Nation Chief Jasen Benwah, also a Qalipu Councilor for the Port aux Port Ward.  It is so refreshing to see the various indigenous groups that are active and alive in their communities.

During the week of August 26-30 the Centre was the site of a Mi’kmaw Language and Culture Camp.  More than a 100 people participated in the sessions, with 88 of them staying for the whole camp and receiving certificates for their accomplishments.  It is evident when speaking with members of the Qalipu First Nation that there is a strong desire to learn the Mi’kmaw language.  Indeed, many have been seeking new opportunities to self-identify and discover elements of their Mi’kmaq heritage such as language.

I have an incredible sense of optimism about the community leaders who are working so hard to bring opportunities to the people, and a sense of pride in the interest of all those participants who signed up to learn Mi’kmaq basics and, in so doing, carry our culture and heritage forward for future generations.

Let me take this opportunity to acknowledge those leaders that made this camp possible.  Through Delina Petitpa’s work as Chairperson of the Mi’kmaq Burial Grounds Research Restoration Association we have seen four language camps take place in the Bay St. George region.   We hope that language sessions can be held in the Bay of Islands and Central Newfoundland in the future.

I would also like to acknowledge our teachers who traveled from Nova Scotia to be with us: Dr. Bernie Francis and Mr. Curtis Michael.  These gentlemen teach in the true Mi’kmaw spirit: with song, laughter and love in addition to sharing the skills and know-how of language.  Thanks also to Jasen Benwah, the Benoit First Nation Women’s Association, Marcella Williams, Kerri Cutler, and Terry Muise for their special contributions to the success of the language and culture camp.

I’d like to wish everyone a safe Labour Day weekend and hope that each of you will take the opportunity to enjoy these last sunny days of summer.  I look forward to seeing you at Ward Town Hall Meetings that will be scheduled in your areas this coming fall, and at regular meetings of Council which are open for all members to attend.


Chief Brendan Mitchell


Maw-pemita’jik Qalipu’k August Newsletter

If you didn’t make it to this year’s Bay St. George Powwow, this edition of Maw-pemita’jik Qlaipu’k is for you.  In it, we share a vibrant photo collage, stories, and an interview with a Sacred Fire Keeper.  Along with a focus on the powwow, we also share the story of a touching donation made to Qalipu by Parks Canada, and details on the upcoming Qalipu Cultural Foundation Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction.  On page 6, take your imagination on a tour of the Ktaqmkuk Mi’kmaq Museum and on page 9 celebrate the accomplishments of our young athletes and the first ever indigenous teams at the Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games.  Please read on and stay in touch.

Please click here to view the newsletter

Pictured here: Chief Mitchell visits the Mi’kmaq Beach Volleyball team at a practice in Corner Brook in advance of the Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games. Back row (L-R) Jerry Wetzel, Logan Pittman, Chris Park, Chief Mitchell, Front row (L-R) Ashley Parsons and Alex Williams.

Breaking New Ground: Indigenous Teams Participate in Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games


2016 was a special year for the Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games this past August 13-21: It marked the first time, anywhere in Canada, that a province invited indigenous nations to enter their own teams.  Qalipu First Nation and Miawpukek First Nation combined their athletes to form Team Mi’kmaq.  Teams were also entered by the Innu Nation, Nunatsiavut and NunaKavut.

Jerry Wetzel, Chair of the Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Circle whose organization negotiated with the province to invite indigenous nations to put their teams into the games, spoke highly of the experience, and the athletic abilities and competitiveness of our Mi’kmaq athletes.

“Team Mi’kmaq had male and female athletes competing in Beach Volleyball and track & field (Athletics) events.  The girls beach volleyball team were 2 and 2 in the round robin.  They made the quarter finals, but lost in a tie breaking match with the team from Conception Bay South, the team that eventually won gold.  Our girls were younger than the other teams that played but, showed their athletic abilities and persistence in all of their games.  The boys’ volleyball team, with one member of the team only 12 years old, held their own against older and taller teams.  In Athletics, our one-man team (Spencer Hewitt) finished 5th in the shot-put, 6th in the 200 metre run, and 5th in the 100 metre run.”

A number of volunteers stepped up to coach Team Mi’kmaq.  Special thanks go out to Dean Simon (Athletics coach), Ben Rogers (Girls Beach Volleyball), and Cohen Chalk (Boys Beach Volleyball).  We also acknowledge Fintan Gaudet, a Qalipu member, and the vice president of Volleyball Newfoundland who was responsible for the training of Team Mi’kmaq Beach Volleyball.

This was good first step toward greater inclusion of indigenous peoples in the games.  Wetzel noted he is looking forward to an invitation to the Winter Games in 2018, and maybe even the North American Indigenous Games in Toronto in 2017

Keep an eye on for future games and your chance to learn about future tryouts, and coaching opportunities.


Collaborating to Advance the Financial Preparedness of Women- A New Path

Good Day,

The Newfoundland Aboriginal Women’s Network is currently engaged in a project called “Collaborating to Advance the Financial Preparedness of Women- A New Path”.

During the initial stages of this project, through focus groups and survey results, we recognized the need to bring awareness and knowledge towards budgeting and savings.  To address these barriers we have developed a fun interactive workshop to get you thinking about budgeting and ways to save.  The workshop is called “The Money Wise Game.”  The purpose is to allow the opportunity to experience, in a fun relaxed atmosphere, what it is like to live in a particular family situation that is common in our communities and plan a monthly budget with the money you receive to match you scenario.

Over the next five months we will be hosting 9 “Money Wise” workshops in various communities throughout the Bay St. George and Corner Brook area.  The workshops will be 4 hours in length and a meal will be provided. Childcare and transportation may be covered for those who qualify.  If you would like to take part in this workshop or for more information please contact Leanne Pieroway at (709) 643 – 4563 or by email at

Thank you in advance for your interest and support.

Leanne Pieroway
Program Manager

man having presentation at seminar

Regular Meeting of Council

A regular meeting of the Qalipu Chief and Council will take place on August 27, 2016 starting at 9:00 am in the Qalipu Community Room at 1 Church Street, Corner Brook.  This meeting is open to all members of the Qalipu First Nation.  We request that members preregister if possible to allow us to plan for seating and refreshments.  Please note that you will be asked to sign in at the meeting and present your registration card or letter.

To preregister please contact Mabel MacDonald at 634-5111 or email by August 24th.