Frequently Asked Questions
Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band
Q.1 Why was the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band created?
The creation of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band is a result of an out-of court settlement agreement between the Government of Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI) and the culmination of a 60 year process by Mi’kmaq of Newfoundland to obtain recognition under the Indian Act. The creation of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band will provide opportunities for Mi’kmaq in Newfoundland to pursue potential land claims and other Aboriginal rights as an organized, united and effective group.
Q.2 What are the main goals of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band?
Through the creation of the Band, Newfoundland’s Mi’kmaq receive official federal recognition that will allow members of the Band to access programs and benefits available to Status Indians in Canada.
Q.3 What programs and services are available to the new Band membership?
The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that members of the Band will be able to access federal programs and services for status Indians once they receive their Temporary Confirmation of Registration Document.
The Settlement Agreement states “The Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band and its members will be eligible for certain federal programs. These programs currently include:
- Post-secondary Student Support
- Band Support Funding
- Band Employee Benefits
- Community Economic Development Organizations
- Community Support Services
- Community Economic Opportunities
- Non-insured Health Benefits
The band and its members may also be eligible to participate in various future federal programs to assist aboriginal peoples.”
Q.4 Why were the First Nation people in Newfoundland not registered immediately following the province’s entry into Confederation in 1949?
In 1949, Newfoundland and Labrador was the last province to join Confederation.There was no agreement between the province and Canada on if, how or when the Indian Act system would be applied to the Innu, who live primarily in Labrador, and the Mi’kmaq, who live primarily on the Island of Newfoundland. In the absence of such an agreement, coupled with the fact that there were no reserve lands nor federal treaties requiring reserve creation, the Indian Act was not applied.
From the 1950s to the 1980s, Canada provided ad-hoc funding to the province for social and health programs for Aboriginal communities living in the province. Over time, however, both the federal government and the First Nation population expressed a desire for a more systematic application of the Indian Act system.
Q.5 How does the creation of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band benefit the Mi’kmaq of the province?
Newfoundland Mi’kmaq will now have Access to several federal programs that are decided to Status Indians throughout Canada.
Q.6 Why was the creation of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band delayed?
The establishment of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band was scheduled to take place in early 2010. However, Band creation was on hold pending a decision on a matter that was before the court. That mater has now been resolved and the Government of Canada is committed to proceeding with the creation of the Band as soon as possible.
Q.7 How will members of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band Access these programs and services?
Members of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band will be entitled registration and membership in the weeks following the creation of the Band and will receive a time-limited Temporary Confirmation of Registration Document from the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. This document confirms that the individual named therein is registered as an Indian under the Indian Act and has Access to the benefits and/or services conferred to registered Indians.
Individuals will also be provided with information on how to apply for and obtain the Certificate of Indian Status.