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Canada to reassess nearly 58,000 applicants for Founding Membership in the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation and commits to exploratory discussions on membership for veterans, military members, RCMP and FNI members

November 15, 2018 — Ottawa, ON — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Canada remains committed to renewing the nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.

Today, Gudie Hutchings, Member of Parliament for Long Range Mountains and Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador, on behalf of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, along with Brendan Mitchell, President of the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI) announced the next steps in the implementation of the Wells/Wells decision.

Canada and the FNI will be moving forward with reassessing approximately 58,000 individuals who were denied Founding Membership in the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation. In addition, parties have committed to enter into exploratory discussions to address outstanding concerns regarding members of the Canadian Armed Forces, veterans, RCMP and FNI members or members of other Mi’kmaq organizations who were named in the 2008 agreement and denied Founding Membership. Individuals affected by the exploratory discussions will be contacted once further information becomes available.

The review of the Enrolment Process is a result of the May 8, 2018 Federal Court decision on the David Wells and Sandra Wells case, which deemed the requirement for proof of self-identification to the Mi’kmaq community pre-dating 2008 to be unreasonable and unenforceable. Therefore, these individuals will have the right to request reassessment of their application and to submit additional documentation for the self-identification criterion.

Individuals affected by the Wells decision will be contacted by mail in January 2019 with information on how to submit additional documents to have their application reassessed. Those who wish to have their applications reviewed will be asked to submit the form and documents with a postmark no later than 100 days after receipt of their letter.

Quick Facts on the Wells Decision

  • On May 8, 2018, Federal Court released its decision in the David Wells and Sandra Wells case, stipulating that it was unreasonable to require applicants to provide proof of self-identification to the Mi’kmaq community pre-dating the 2008 Agreement for the Recognition of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq Band.
  • This decision means that the approximate 58,000 individuals whose application for Founding Membership to the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation was denied based on the self-identification criterion of the Enrolment Process, now have the right to request reassessment of their application and to submit additional documentation.
  • In January 2019 (TBD), the Government of Canada and Federation of Newfoundland Indians will notify the 58,000 applicants eligible for re-assessment as a result of the Wells decision on next steps for the reassessment of their application.
  • Those affected should ensure their mailing address is up to date by contacting the Qalipu toll-free telephone line (1-800-561-2266). Individuals whose mailing address has not changed since their initial application are not required to provide updated information.
  • Additional information on the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Enrolment Process and the process through which the Wells decision will be implemented can be found online.

Quick Facts on the Exploratory Discussions

  • In the signature of the 2008 and 2013 Agreements and the Indemnity Agreement, the Government of Canada, the Federation of Newfoundland Indians, and the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation all agreed to the eligibility criteria individuals were required to meet in order to register under the Band.
  • In accordance with the 2008 and 2013 Agreements, and with the Enrolment and Appeals Processes, no exemptions or exceptions were granted to Veterans or members of other distinctive groups. However, Canada has heard the concerns regarding Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP, veterans, as well as members of FNI, who believe their applications were unfairly denied and will be entering into discussions with the FNI on this matter.
  • The Government of Canada recognizes and deeply values the meaningful contributions of Indigenous Veterans, RCMP, Canadian Armed Forces and other members of the military, to the development of our nation, and honours the sacrifices they have made in the defense of freedom and the pursuit of world peace.

 

Quotes

“The creation of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation is an important step towards reconciliation and the recognition of Newfoundland’s Mi’kmaq People. Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians will continue to work in close collaboration throughout the implementation of the Federal Court’s decision, in the spirit of upholding the integrity of founding membership.”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“I encourage all those who are eligible to submit additional documentation regarding the self-id criteria to do so.  Letters will be mailed to impacted individuals in the near future so I encourage you to ensure that your mailing address is up-to-date.  If you’ve moved or changed address, please contact 1-800-561-2266.  Let’s all look out for one another by sharing this news among our communities.”

Brendan Mitchell
President of the Federation of Newfoundland Indians

A newspaper with the headline Important announcement

ANNOUNCEMENT: QALIPU UPDATED MEMBERSHIP

New Membership List

We wish to advise our membership that the updated Membership List has now been provided to us by INAC.  There are 22,251 members on this list which reflects the current membership in the Qalipu First Nation.

Removals from Indian Register

On August 31, 2018 individuals who did not meet the criteria for founding membership had their names deleted from the Indian Register.

Of the 10,400 individuals who were removed from the Founding Members list:

  • 7,658 individuals have been removed from the Indian Register

If you were removed, a letter from the Indian Register dated August 31, 2018 was sent to you advising of the deletion of your name from the Indian Register, which means:

  • You have lost your Indian Status
  • You are no longer eligible for services and benefits available to registered Indians
  • Your Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) card is no longer valid

Category Amendments in the Indian Register

2,742 individuals who were notified they were not eligible for Founding Membership have maintained registration via an automatic category amendment if they were card holders with a parent on the updated Founding Members list.   The letter dated August 31, 2018 confirms:

  • You have retained your registered Indian Status under a different provision of the Indian Act
  • You remain eligible for services and benefits available to registered Indians
  • Your Secure Certificate of Indian Status card remains valid

Letters Mailed on August 31, 2018

Letters regarding removals from the register and category amendments were mailed on August 31, 2018.  Individuals who remained on the updated Founding Members List will not receive confirmation in writing of such.

If you do not receive your letter by September 14, please contact the INAC Qalipu line at 1-800-561-2266 and let them know.

Protesting the Decision

If you do not agree with the decision rendered in your letter, you can submit a protest.  Protests must be submitted within three (3) years of the date of your decision letter.  The notice of protest must be submitted in writing to the Indian Registrar:

Protest Unit
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
10, rue Wellington
Gatineau, QC
K1A 0H4

It is the responsibility of the protester to firmly establish the grounds on which their protest is based and must clearly indicate how they believe the Indian Act was misinterpreted, or what evidence they believe the Registrar overlooked in reaching the decision.

The Registrar will not consider protests if there is no clear indication that the registration provisions of the Indian Act were incorrectly applied or interpreted.

Please see the protest page on the department website for more information.

Address Change-Instructions

If your address has changed, please call the INAC Qalipu Line at 1-800-561-2266.  You can also send a signed letter by fax to 1-204-984-3032.  Make sure to include:

  • Your full name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your registration number or file number from INAC, if available (found at the upper-right corner of a letter from the Enrolment Committee)
  • Your previous and new mailing address
  • The effective date of your address change
  • Phone number
  • Any other information you would like to update (e.g., name, gender, marital status, typos etc.)

New Members-Additions to the Indian Register

5,096 new Founding Members were added to the Indian Registry.  Letters regarding new membership were mailed on July 31, 2018.

All new members will be added to the ginu membership database in the near future. We will notify you when this has been completed.

Please see below for information on applying for you Secure Certificate of Indian Status.

Children of Founding Members

Children of Founding Members are eligible to apply for Indian Status under the Indian Act.

Please note, if you were registered previously and your parent remains a Founding Member, you will not have to reapply.  You will automatically receive a category amendment and maintain your active Indian Status under a different provision of the Indian Act.  Letters regarding category amendments were mailed on August 31, 2018.

Applying for your Card (Secure Certificate of Indian Status, or SCIS)

The application forms can be found on the INAC website here: https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1462806841047/1462806896945

You may also seek assistance at any of our office locations by calling the Indian Registration Administrator Charmaine Bath (appointments in Glenwood and Grand Falls-Windsor offices), or SCIS Clerk Jody Davis (Corner Brook, St. George’s and Stephenville Offices).

Charmaine Bath: cbath@qalipu.ca or call (709) 679-2142, toll free (NL only) 1-855-263-6440

Jody Davis: jdavis@qalipu.ca or call (709) 634-4010

Please Note: We are experiencing a high demand for the application of SCIS cards.  For instance, appointment times in Corner Brook, Stephenville and St. George’s are booked up through September, and we are making appointments for October.

We kindly ask that callers not leave more than one voicemail and be patient as Charmaine and Jody make their way through hundreds of voicemails and return your call.

Remember, you do not need your card to access services and benefits.  Your letter confirming registration can be used for up to 12 months from the date that it was issued.

Electors List

We have used the updated membership list to generate our electors list for the upcoming Qalipu election.  If you are or will be 18 on the date of the election (October 23, 2018), you are a new member, a member who received a category amendment or a continuing Founding Member, you are eligible to vote in the election.

It is possible that some errors could have occurred with a large membership list, and with category amendments.  Please let us know if you feel your name should be on the voters list but isn’t.

We are working on adding Wards to the Electors List so that members can confirm they are listed in the correct Electoral Ward.  If you are not listed in the correct Electoral Ward, we can update that before the election.  We will post the Electors List with Wards added in the near future.

Email the Electoral Officer at election@qalipu.ca

Find the Elector’s List here: http://qalipu.ca/qalipu/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Voters-List.pdf

A newspaper on a wooden desk - Press Release

Updated Founding Members List for the Qalipu First Nation Adopted Through Order in Council

June 28, 2018, Corner Brook—The Qalipu First Nation wishes to advise that the updated Founding Members List for the Band was adopted by way of an Order in Council which came into effect on June 25, 2018.  The adoption of this List has been the culmination of an enrolment process that has spanned nearly ten years.

Chief Brendan Mitchell said that the adoption of the Founding Members List is bittersweet.  “While I am pleased that nearly 5,000 new members have been accepted into our Band following a lengthy wait prior to inclusion, I am disappointed to see the removal of over 10,000 current members of Qalipu. This is a very difficult situation for our people and our communities.”
The new Band list includes 18,575 members.  Current card holders who were notified that they were not eligible for Founding Membership are reminded that if they have a parent on the Founding Members List, they will not see a break in their registration under the Indian Act.  Those members will see an automatic category amendment that continues their Band Registration and associated benefits.

Chief Mitchell added that, along with representation for the Federation of Newfoundland Indians, and the Government of Canada, he is reviewing the Benoit decision of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador released on June 22, 2018.  Outcomes of the Wells/Wells decision are also being reviewed will also likely have implications for applicants rejected on the self-id criteria.  While it is too early to provide further detail, all information will be communicated as soon as it is available.

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New! Enrolment Questions and Answers

  1. What is the current status of the enrolment process?

The Appeal Process was concluded in February 2018 as the independent appeal masters finished reviewing all of the appeal notices that were submitted.

Approximately 13,000 appeals were reviewed by the independent Chief Appeal Master Mr. Geoffrey Brown, who was jointly selected by Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI).  A legal firm, McInnes Cooper was chosen by both parties and hired by the FNI to provide Appeal Masters to work under the oversight of the Chief Appeal Master and address the volume of appeals received.

Now that the enrolment and appeal processes have ended, the next step is finalizing the Order-in-Council containing the updated Founding Members List. Should it receive final approval, the Founding Members List will then be given to the Indian Registrar for its implementation.

Applicants whose names are added or removed from the Founding Members List will be contacted with further information regarding registration status and benefits in the summer of 2018.

  1. What is the pre-publication in the Canada Gazette and why is it necessary?

This is a standard process that allows interested groups, individuals, and all Canadians the chance to review and comment on the proposed regulation before it’s enacted.

  • The proposed Order-in-Council was pre-published in the Canada Gazette on Saturday May 19, 2018 and will remain online until June 2, 2018. After which, it will be returned to Cabinet to request final approval.
  1. Where is the proposed Order-in-Council posted and how do I provide comments on it during the pre-publication period?

You can find the proposed Order-in-Council on the following website:

Contact information can be found at the bottom of the page if you wish to provide comments.

  1. What are you going to do with the comments submitted during the pre-publication period?

After the pre-publication period of May 19 – June 2, 2018, a summary of the comments received will be included in the final version of the Order-in-Council which will be returned to cabinet to request final approval.

  1. Why are the names of the Founding Members not included in the pre-publication document?

The names of the Founding Members will not be published in order to protect the privacy of individuals on the List and to address the recommendations brought forward by the Privacy Commissioner after previous complaints.

  1. What does the new Founding Members List look like?

The updated Founding Members list includes 18,575 people.

  1. How many people (new Founding Members) will be added to the Founding Members List?

Approximately 5,000 individuals will be added to the Founding Members List.

  1. How many people will be removed from the Founding Members List?

Approximately 10,400 individuals will be removed from the Founding Members List.  Some may lose their Indian status, while others will remain a member of the Qalipu First Nation through a category amendment.

*please see question 11 for details on the letter from the registrar that is being sent to the approximately 10,400 individuals who have been notified that they are losing status.

  1. How many people were added due to appeals and administrative review processes?

531 people were added to the Founding Members List due to the appeal and administrative review processes.

  1. When will I be registered or deregistered?

While we cannot confirm the date on which the Founding Members List will be fully implemented, several steps must first take place, such as the approval of the Order-in-Council.

If you are no longer eligible, you will be provided with advanced notice at the beginning of June 2018 regarding the impact and effective date of changes to your registration and benefits.  Applicants who will be added will be notified in summer 2018 of the effective date of registration.

  1. I received a letter from the Indian Registrar at the beginning of June regarding my loss of registration status. What does it mean?

The letter you received from the Indian Registrar provides the effective date of your deregistration from the Indian Register, unless you are entitled for registration as a child (even an adult child) of a Founding Member.

If neither parent is on the Founding Members List, and subject to the approval of the Order-in-Council, you will no longer be entitled to registration under the Indian Act nor eligible for registration-based federal benefits programs (including Non-Insured Health Benefits and post-secondary education benefits).

Eligibility for these benefits will not be affected until the date provided in your letter.

  1. I’ve been notified that I will lose my status but, my parent is going to remain a Founding Member, or will be a new Founding Member. What does this mean for me?

If you are a current Founding Member:

If the name of one of your parents is on the updated Founding Members List, you will remain registered as a Status Indian and as a band member, but not as a Founding Member. This means that you will retain your registered Indian status, you will remain eligible for benefits and your Secure Certificate of Indian Status (Status Card) will remain valid. You will receive a confirmation letter stating that, as a child of a Founding Member you will remain registered as a Status Indian, but under a different provision of the Indian Act, and you will remain a member of the Band.

If you are not a current Founding Member:

Individuals who are not yet registered will have to make a separate application seeking registration under the Indian Act AFTER the updated Founding Members List is approved.  The application forms can be found on the INAC website by clicking here:

https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1462806841047/1462806896945

You may also seek assistance at any of our office locations by calling the Indian Registration Administrator Charmaine Bath (appointments in Glenwood and Grand Falls-Windsor offices), or SCIS Clerk Jody Davis (Corner Brook, St. George’s and Stephenville offices).

Charmaine Bath: cbath@qalipu.ca or call (709) 679-2142
Jody Davis: jdavis@qalipu.ca or call (709) 634-4010

  1. I am going to be added to the updated Founding Members List. When will I begin to receive my program services and benefits?

Subject to the approval of the Order-in-Council, you will receive a notification from the Registrar, expected in early August, regarding the date on which you will gain access to program services and benefits which are available to registered individuals.

  1. I am going to be added to the Founding Members List. How do I get a Secure Certificate of Indian Status?

After the Founding Members list has been updated, you will be notified.  You can then apply for the SCIS card by contacting the Indian Registration Administrator Charmaine Bath (appointments in Glenwood and Grand Falls-Windsor offices), or SCIS Clerk Jody Davis (Corner Brook, St. George’s and Stephenville offices).

Charmaine Bath: cbath@qalipu.ca or call (709) 679-2142
Jody Davis: jdavis@qalipu.ca or call (709) 634-4010

Alternatively, you can consult the INAC website for the form and documentary requirements.

  1. I’m losing my status. What does this mean for my post-secondary education funding?

Given that this program is for registered First Nation members, you are strongly encouraged to plan ahead and to take steps to explore and secure alternative post-secondary funding options prior to August 31, 2018.

If you are an actively funded client or have submitted an application for funding for the upcoming school year, please contact the Education and Training Department to discuss your file, and student funding options for non-status Indigenous people.

Click the link below for a list of contacts:

http://qalipu.ca/about/office-and-e-mail-addresses/

  1. I’m losing my status. What will happen to my SCIS card?

If you are being deregistered from the Indian Register, your card (Secure Certificate of Indian Status) will no longer be valid as of the date of your deregistration. You should have received a letter from the Indian Registrar around the beginning of June regarding the effective date (end of August).

  1. I’m losing my status. Do I have a right to protest the decisions to deregister me from the Indian Register?

Yes. As per the Indian Act, additions, removals or changes made to the Indian Register are subject to protest. However, you will not be able to submit a protest until the date of your deregistration, which is expected to take place on August 31, 2018.

Please see the protest page on the INAC department website for more information.

  1. How will the updated Founding Members List affect the Qalipu election in October 2018?

Qalipu Band elections are governed by a custom code that outlines that an election is to take place every three years.  We are approaching the three-year mark and will go ahead with an election in October 2018.

You will be eligible to vote if on the date of the Qalipu election, you are 18 years of age or over and you are one of the following:

  • A Founding Member on the updated list;
  • A former Founding Member who has remained a member through a category change; or,
  • A member through an application seeking registration under the Indian Act

We will communicate more information about the 2018 election in the near future.

  1. What about the Wells/Wells case? Doesn’t that change things?

Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians respect the Court’s decision and have decided not to appeal.

The Court’s ruling does not impact the current enrolment process and we are still on track to finalize the Founding Members List in spring of 2018. Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians are assessing the anticipated effects of the Federal Court’s decision and will announce next steps in the process in the fall of 2018. Please ensure your address on file is up-to-date and notify us of any changes.

For more information about the Wells/Wells case outcome, please click here:
http://qalipu.ca/wellswells-court-ruling-and-next-steps/

  1. What is the Indemnification Agreement I have heard about in the media?

An indemnity agreement is a common element of a legal contract between two parties.  It specifies that one party (the indemnitor) agrees to pay for potential losses or damages incurred by the other (the indemnitee) that may come about as a result of the execution of the contract.

Please click the link below to read “Indemnity Agreement Explained”:
http://qalipu.ca/indemnity-agreement-explained/

  1. I have moved, how do I update my address?

If your address has changed since you submitted your original application, please call the INAC Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Line at 1-800-561-2266.  You can also send a signed letter by fax to 1-204-984-3032.  Make sure to include:

  • Your full name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your file number from INAC, if available (found at the upper-right corner of a letter from the Enrolment Committee)
  • Your previous and new mailing address
  • The effective date of your address change
  • Phone number
  • Any other information you would like to update (eg. Name, gender, marital status, typos etc.)
  1. I need a copy of a document (appeal decision letter, Enrolment Committee decision letter, copy of application, other)

Please call the INAC Qalipu line at 1-800-561-2266 to request a copy of the document you are looking for. Make sure to include:

  • Your full name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your file number from INAC, if available (found at the upper-right corner of a letter from the Enrolment Committee)
  • Your previous and new mailing address (if changed)
  • The effective date of your address change (if changed)
  • Phone number
  • Any other information you would like to update (eg. Name, gender, marital status, typos etc.)
  • The document you are requesting
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Wells/Wells Court Ruling and Next Steps

A recent Federal Court ruling that is relevant to some 50,000+ applicants who were denied Founding Membership to the Qalipu First Nation after failing to meet the self-identification requirement was recently handed down by Justice Russell W. Zinn.  The case was between Sandra and Dave Wells, Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI) and related to the Self-Identification criterion of the Qalipu enrolment process, the right to appeal for applications denied on this criterion, and the validity of the Supplemental Agreement.

In summary, Justice Zinn ruled that:

  • The FNI and Canada acted within their legal rights to amend the 2008 Agreement for the Recognition of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq Band through the introduction of the Supplemental Agreement. Amendments that corrected errors in the Agreement, or extended timelines, for instance, required only that the parties agree on the amendment and did not require ratification.
  • The FNI and Canada did not introduce the Supplemental Agreement for “the improper purpose of pre-emptively limiting the number of potential band members who would be entitled to registration.”
  • There were parts of the Supplemental Agreement that did not fit within the parties right to amend without ratification and thus the judge deemed unreasonable:
    • Removal of the right of appeal for applicants denied on the Self-Identification criterion
    • Evidentiary documentation supporting an applicant’s self-identification should have been based on the date of Qalipu’s formation, rather than the date that the Agreement for the Recognition of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq band was signed by Canada and the FNI.
  • The types of evidence required to show self-identification, and the requirement for this type of evidence on an applicants file, was reasonable and fair.
  • The timeline to respond to the Supplemental Agreement was fair and applicants were not denied procedural fairness.
  • Charter rights were not breached in the introduction of the Supplemental Agreement.

The next steps Canada and the FNI will take following receipt of the Federal Court decision have yet to be determined.   Once the parties have had the chance to meet, and discuss next steps, more information will be communicated on the path forward.

For a better understanding of this case, please click here to read additional information in Outcomes from the Recent Court Ruling Involving Dave Wells, Sandra Wells, Canada and the FNI.

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Archived Enrolment Information Popup

Please Check Here for Updates on the Qalipu Enrolment Process

Public Notices

*Update March 27, 2017 – Deadline for applicants/members to file an appeal has been extended to April 13, 2017

“Although the ‘Instructions for Submitting and Appeal’ indicates that your Appeal Notice must be witnessed, all appeal notices completed by applicants eligible to appeal (witnessed or not witnessed) and submitted on or before April 13, 2017, will be considered by the Appeal Master.”

Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI) Appealing on Behalf of Some Applicants, Notifications Arriving in the Mail *April 7, 2017
Important Notice: Eligibility to Appeal *March 15, 2017
Public Notice Changes to Appeal Deadline
 *Feb 20, 2017
Information on Criteria of Group Acceptance through Residency *Feb 14, 2017
Public Notice Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Enrolment Process Applicants Found Ineligible Based on Self-ID *Feb 10, 2017

Membership Search Service – Were You Already a Member of an Existing Band?

If you were a documented band member in one of Newfoundland’s Mi’kmaq bands prior to the signing of the Agreement in Principle (AIP) on June 23, 2008, then your name should be on the master list of band members that was compiled at that time.  The Mi’kmaq bands of Newfoundland that were recognized for inclusion at the time of the AIP included the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI), Ktaqamkuk Mi’kmaq Alliance, Benoit First Nation and Sip’kop Mi’kmaq Band.

Click here for more information

End of Enrollment Support Team

At Qalipu First Nation, we are doing everything we can to offer support for our members and applicants. We have put in place an End of Enrolment Support Team including Enrolment Assistants that will be available to take your call or meet with you in one of our four office locations –  St. George’s, Corner Brook, Glenwood and Grand Falls-Windsor.

To contact our End of Enrolment Support Team:

St. Georges:  709 647 3514
Glenwood:  855 263 6440 (toll free) or 709 679 2338
Grand Falls-Windsor:  709 489 2898
Corner Brook:  844 368 7160 (toll free) or 709 634 4010
*Toll Free (in Newfoundland only)

Are you looking for more information about Enrolment? Find it here:

End of Enrolment Q & A: Appeals Process
End of Enrolment Q & A: General Information

Are you interested in the history leading up to the creation of our First Nation, including where we are today? Click the link below for a summary:

Backgrounder
Road to Recognition of the Newfoundland Mi’kmaq-History

Would you like to review all the details of the Agreement and related documents? Find these documents here:

How about the Supplemental Agreement?

What has Chief Mitchell been saying about the end of Enrolment? Click on the links below to hear from our Chief in news items posted by the Qalipu First Nation.

Message from the Chief – March 31 2017
Statement Regarding Ottawa Meeting
Qalipu First Nation Disappointed by Enrolment Outcome
Christmas Greetings from the Chief
Chief to Demonstrators: I have an obligation to act in the best interest of our First Nation
Video: Chief Mitchell talks Enrolment at Corner Brook Café

 

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Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI) Appealing on Behalf of Some Applicants, Notifications Arriving in the Mail

In February 2017, Chief Brendan Mitchell announced that the FNI Board would exercise its rights under the Agreement in Principle to issue its own appeal where FNI lawyers identified potential grounds to do so.  Based on advice received from the FNI lawyers, they were instructed to initiate those appeals and this process is now underway.

This week, approximately 3100 appellants have begun to receive notification of this process in the mail titled Appeal Notice of FNI. The letter indicates that “the FNI believes a mistake or error was made and that the documentation submitted with your application demonstrates that you do meet the requirements to become a Founding Member of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation.”

 For those who were unaware of this action of the FNI, there may understandably be some confusion.  The Appeal Notice of FNI letter does not change the decision of the Enrolment Committee of which applicants and members were notified on January 31, 2017.  It simply indicates that the FNI believes a mistake or error was made and is subsequently appealing that decision of the Enrolment Committee on the applicant’s behalf.

Steve May of Cox and Palmer, legal counsel for the FNI, explains the real meaning of these letters.   He said, “under the Agreement, when a party issues an Appeal, the Applicant is to be notified.  The reasons for this are to let them know of the appeal and to give them the opportunity to structure or revise their own appeals accordingly based on the grounds of the FNI appeal.”

Brendan Mitchell, Chief of the Qalipu First Nation, is hopeful that this legal action may lead to some positive outcomes on behalf of appellants.  “However,” he states, “Those with a right of appeal should not rely solely on the appeal being made by the FNI.  Please ensure that your appeal is sent, post marked no later than April 13, 2017.”

Chief Mitchell also clarified that the ability of the FNI to appeal decisions of the Enrolment Committee is part of the Agreement that created the First Nation and does not constitute legal counsel for the appellants named in its appeal.

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New Q A about Qalipu Enrolment Appeals Process re Additional Grounds

Q:  I already submitted my appeal notice, but I would like to submit another reason to support my appeal.  Can I do this and what is the process?

A: Yes, you can submit another reason for appeal if you already submitted your appeal notice.  To submit another reason for appeal, please note the following instructions:

Send a letter with your full name and file number at the very top of the first page and on every additional page.  The letter must be sent to the following address by April 13, 2017:

Office of the Appeal Master
Box 9100
Winnipeg, MB
R3C 0M9

Ensure the first page contains the following heading:  SUPPLEMENT TO PART 2 OF THE APPEAL NOTICE: REASONS FOR APPEAL

Your opening paragraph must say, “The following are my supplemental and/or additional reasons to appeal and are to be appended to my Appeal Notice dated [provide date].”

You can then proceed to outline your additional reasons to appeal.

*This Question and Answer is intended only for individuals who have already sent in their appeal notice and later thought of additional reasons that might support their appeal.

Click here for more questions and answers about the appeals process

Membership Search Service

The Federation of Newfoundland Indians is pleased to offer a membership search service to applicants of the Qalipu enrolment process through our End of Enrolment Support Team.

If you were a documented band member in one of Newfoundland’s Mi’kmaq bands prior to the signing of the Agreement in Principle (AIP) on June 23, 2008, then your name should be on the master list of band members that was compiled at that time.  The Mi’kmaq bands of Newfoundland that were recognized for inclusion at the time of the AIP included the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI), Ktaqamkuk Mi’kmaq Alliance, Benoit First Nation and Sip’kop Mi’kmaq Band.

Why does this matter?

Applicants to the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation could satisfy the enrolment criteria of Self Identification, or obtain 9 points toward the 13 point criteria of Group Acceptance, through their documented membership in one of Newfoundland’s Mi’kmaq bands prior to the signing of the AIP.

Were you a member yet did not meet self-id or did not receive 9 points for your membership?

To request a search for your name on the master list to verify your membership in a recognized Mi’kmaq band prior to the signing of the AIP, please contact a member of our End of Enrolment Support Team at the contact information below.  Please note, you will be asked to complete a Request to Search Membership form to process your search request, and you will be verbally notified of the result.

End of Enrolment Support Team

Flat Bay (709) 647-1370
St. George’s (709) 647-3514
Glenwood (709) 679-2142 or (855) 263-6440
Grand Falls-Windsor (709) 489-2898
Stephenville (709) 643-3774
Corner Brook (709) 634-4010 or (844) 368-7160

Breaking news

Statement Regarding Ottawa Meeting

On February 24, 2017, Chief/President Mitchell, Vice Chief (Central) Bouzanne, Councillor/Director Skeard, Elder Odelle Pike, Elder Calvin White, and Band Manager Randy Drover met with representatives of Canada to discuss the outcomes of the enrolment process.  Vice Chief (Western) Samms-Hurley was unavailable due to other previously scheduled Band commitments.  The meeting occurred in Gatineau, QC.

Over the past couple of weeks, members and applicants received their letters from the Enrolment Committee regarding their eligibility for enrolment as Founding Members of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band.  Chief and Council has and continues to receive feedback from members and applicants who are expressing their disappointment with the outcomes.  Many people are sharing their personal stories and are questioning the decisions of the Enrolment Committee.  These stories and the associated emotions are being heard and felt.  The Chief and Council are equally disappointed with the number of members and applicants found not to have met the enrolment criteria and sympathize with those people who were found ineligible for enrolment.

On February 13, 2017, the Qalipu First Nation (QFN) and the FNI began hosting end of enrolment community sessions to provide members with an opportunity to raise questions and concerns.  To date, community sessions were held in Flat Bay, Port-au-Port, St. Georges, Stephenville, Benoits Cove, St. John’s and Grand Falls-Windsor.  Sessions will also be held in Gambo, Appleton, Corner Brook, Port Saunders, and Burgeo in the coming weeks.  These sessions have been well attended and the information collected was shared with Canada during the meeting.  For more information regarding the community sessions, please visit Qalipu.ca.

During the meeting in Gatineau, the parties had an open and frank discussion regarding the outcomes of the enrolment process.  Chief Mitchell and the other representatives, including the Elders, shared the concerns, issues and emotions they are hearing and feeling throughout our communities.

The QFN and the FNI will continue to address with Canada the issues and concerns being raised by our members and applicants.  Moreover, efforts to find solutions, within the parameters of the agreements, are being explored.  While this process is unfolding, and there are no assurances these exploratory discussions will be fruitful, the FNI encourages those individuals with the right to appeal to utilize that process.  Appeals must be submitted by March 31, 2017, and they must demonstrate how the Enrolment Committee made an error or mistake when assessing your application.  The appeals process provides an important opportunity to rectify errors that members and applicants feel were made in the assessment of their files.  For more information regarding the appeals process, please visit Qalipu.ca.

Further updates will be provided as the process unfolds.