man having presentation at seminar

New Dates Added – End of Enrolment Community Sessions

The Qalipu First Nation and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians will be hosting nine community sessions during February and March 2017.  The community sessions are being arranged to provide members and applicants with an opportunity to receive information about the enrolment process and to raise questions and concerns. The agenda for the community sessions will be structured as follows:

  • Opening prayer and welcoming remarks
  • History of the enrolment file
  • Present status of the enrolment file
  • Appeals process overview
  • Questions and answers

Chief Mitchell, who will be accompanied by Elders and the Qalipu Ward Councillor, will lead the community sessions.  Information will also be shared with members and applicants regarding support services that are available to help them through this difficult time.

The next round of community sessions will take place from February 19 – March 7, 2017 as per the following schedule:

Community Where? When?
 

Benoits Cove

 

Town Hall Feb 19, 2017 @ 7:00 pm
 

St. John’s

 

 

Innovation Hall, Room IIC2001 at the Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation

 

Feb 22, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
 

Gambo

 

Smallwood Interpretation Centre Feb 25, 2017 @ 2:00 pm
 

Appleton

 

Appleton Recreation Centre Feb 25, 2017 @ 7:00 pm
 

Grand Falls-Windsor

 

Mount Peyton Hotel

Newfoundland Room

Feb 26, 2017 @ 2:00 pm
 

Corner Brook

 

 

Pepsi Centre (Room 2)

 

Feb 27, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

 

Port Saunders

 

 

Recreation Centre

 

March 5, 2017 @ 2:00 pm

 

Burgeo

 

Jolly 50 Plus Club

Main Street

 

 

March 7, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

 

Gambo

 

Smallwood Interpretation Centre

 

March 12, 2017 @ 2:00 pm

 

Appleton

 

Appleton Recreation Centre

 

 

March 12, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

For more information regarding the community events, please contact:

Mabel MacDonald, 634-5111 or email mmacdonald@qalipu.ca

man having presentation at seminar

End of Enrolment Community Sessions

The Qalipu First Nation and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians will be hosting nine community sessions during February and March 2017.  The community sessions are being arranged to provide members and applicants with an opportunity to receive information about the enrolment process and to raise questions and concerns. The agenda for the community sessions will be structured as follows:

  • Opening prayer and welcoming remarks
  • History of the enrolment file
  • Present status of the enrolment file
  • Appeals process overview
  • Questions and answers
  • Closing prayer

Chief Mitchell, who will be accompanied by Elders and the Qalipu Ward Councillor, will lead the community sessions.  Information will also be shared with members and applicants regarding support services that are available to help them through this difficult time.

The first round of community sessions will take place from February 13 – 16, 2017 as per the following schedule:

Date Time Community Meeting Location
Feb 13, 2017 7:00 pm Flat Bay Flat Bay Band Office
Feb 14, 2017 7:00 pm Port au Port East Port aux Port Leisure Club
Feb 15, 2017 7:00 pm St. Georges Ktaqmkuk Mi’kmaq Museum
Feb 16, 2017 7:00 pm Stephenville Lions Den

Community sessions will also be held in Corner Brook, Grand Falls-Windsor, Appleton, Gander Bay, and Hawkes Bay.  Further details on these sessions will be released in the coming days.

For more information regarding the community events, please contact:

Mabel MacDonald, 634-5111 or email mmacdonald@qalipu.ca

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Qalipu First Nation Disappointed by Enrolment Outcome

February 07, 2017, Corner Brook—Today the Government of Canada released the preliminary results of the Enrolment Committee’s review of applications for membership in the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation. The final Founding Members will only be known after the appeal process and officially confirmed through an Order in Council, expected in the spring of 2018.

The preliminary results of the Enrolment Committee’s review are as follows:

  • 13,365 applicants who are on the current Founding Members list will remain eligible for founding membership
  • 10,512 applicants who are on the current Founding Members list were found by the joint Enrolment Committee to not meet the criteria under the 2013 Supplemental Agreement for Founding Membership (These individuals will retain their membership until the amendment of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band Order, expected in the spring of They are entitled to appeal their decision, the results of which may increase the Founding Members List. Some of those who are no longer eligible for founding membership may still be able to register for membership as a descendant of a Founding Member.)
  • 4,679 applicants who were not Founding Members will now be eligible for founding membership (They will gain membership once the amendment of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band Order is confirmed through an Order in Council in the spring of )
  • 68,134 applicants were not Founding Members and will not be eligible for founding membership
  • 3,984 applicants have invalid applications and are therefore not eligible for founding membership
  • It is anticipated that the membership will be comprised of approximately 95% of people living in Newfoundland and Labrador, and 5% living elsewhere in

Brendan Mitchell, Chief of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation expressed his disappointment with the outcome of this process.  He said, “Unfortunately, the goodwill that was created with the formation of the Qalipu First Nation in 2011 stands to be negatively impacted by these outcomes.  Our language, culture and pride in who we are have been making a big comeback. I’m concerned about the hurt and division these outcomes may cause among families and communities. We are however, a resilient people, and I’m hopeful that we will pull through this difficult time together.”

Chief Mitchell explained that the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI) is party to the Agreement and the Supplemental Agreement that established the First Nation.  Those Agreements established a process that must be seen to its conclusion. However, he noted measures that the FNI will take on behalf of applicants.  He said, “The FNI Board is utilizing the Agreement to try to help as many applicants as it can. To this end, its lawyers have been instructed to initiate appeals on behalf of the FNI under the

Agreement where there are reasonable grounds to do so. This will ensure that the Enrolment Committee did not overlook something that would allow the applicant to retain or qualify for Founding Membership. We will continue to work on behalf of members and applicants to minimalize impacts of today’s announcement.”

The Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation recognizes that this is a difficult time for our members and the

applicants.  As such, 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 five office locations – St. George’s, Stephenville, Corner Brook, Glenwood and Grand Falls-Windsor.  For more information on this please visit our website http://qalipu.ca/end-of-enrolment-support/

Advice Help Support And Tips Signpost Shows Information And Guidance

End of Enrolment Support

On January 31, 2017, approximately 101,000 letters were mailed to applicants, including current members, informing them of the decision of the Enrolment Committee.  All those who have applied for membership, except those previously rejected, will learn if they are eligible or ineligible for Founding Membership and next steps.

Applicants and current members are advised that the first point of contact for information regarding the end of enrolment decision letters, questions about the appeal process, and to make a request for a copy of your applicant record, is the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation help line at 1-800-561-2266. 

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 five office locations – St. George’s, Stephenville, Corner Brook, Glenwood and Grand Falls-Windsor.

Applicants with the right to appeal the decision of the Enrolment Committee are reminded that our Enrolment Assistants cannot file an appeal for you.  However, they will be available to do the following:

  • Provide general information regarding the appeals process.
  • Provide general information regarding the enrolment process.
  • Help you to understand your decision letter.

To contact our End of Enrolment Support Team:

Flat Bay (709) 647-1370
St. George’s (709) 647-3514
Glenwood (855) 263-6440
Grand Falls-Windsor (709) 489-2898
Stephenville (709) 643-3774
Corner Brook 1-844-368-7160
(709) 634-4010
Toll Free 1-855-263-6440 or 1-844-368-7160.

We ask that you keep in mind that these individuals are here to help provide support; they are not involved in the processing, or decision, of your application.

For more information including End of Enrolment and appeals related Questions & Answers, the history of the Mi’kmaq movement in Newfoundland, Messages from the Chief, the Agreements and related documents that are referenced in your decision letter, please visit our website www.qalipu.ca.  Once on the site, a pop-up will appear containing all available information.

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Video: Chief Mitchell talks Enrolment at Corner Brook Café

Earlier this week, Qalipu Chief Brendan Mitchell sat down with Wendy Woodland at Corner Brook Café to talk about the upcoming conclusion of the Qalipu enrolment process; at the end of January, 101,000 letters will be mailed out to applicants, including current members, outlining the decision of the Enrolment Committee and next steps.

While the enrolment process may be at an end, the story of our people is far from over.  Click play on the video below to hear Chief Mitchell talk about the process he inherited when he was elected to lead the Nation in 2015, what he’s been doing to represent our people at the table with Canada, and how he feels about the too often unkind commentary that is dividing the people on social media.

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Questions and Answers Regarding the Conclusion of the Qalipu Enrolment Process

The Enrolment Committee has completed its review of all 101,000 applications.  A letter regarding the Enrolment Committee’s decision on your file and next steps will be mailed on January 31, 2017.  You should expect to receive this letter in the mail within the first ten days of February.

For a comprehensive list of Questions and Answers regarding the upcoming conclusion of the Qalipu enrolment process, please click here

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A group of approximately 25 people gathered outside the office of MP Gudie Hutchings

Chief to Demonstrators: “I have an obligation to act in the best interest of our First Nation”

Corner Brook, January 3, 2017—Approximately 25 demonstrators gathered outside the Qalipu administrative office in Corner Brook today to raise concerns related to the upcoming conclusion of the Qalipu enrolment process.   At the end of January, some 101,000 letters will be mailed to Qalipu members, and those seeking membership, advising them of the Enrolment Committee’s decision on their application to become members of the Qalipu First Nation.  This marks the end the Bands registration process that began in 2008 when the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI) and the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) partnered in signing the Agreement for the Recognition of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq Band.

The primary concern expressed by the demonstrators gathered at the gazebo on the Majestic Lawn before walking to MP Gudie Hutchings’ office, was that many people will not be found eligible for Founding Membership in the Band following their assessment under the enrolment criteria.  Some expressed the concern that their ancestry alone should be enough to qualify for membership in the First Nation.  Organizer and Qalipu member Blain Ford argued that the process should be thrown out, and the fight for recognition be taken up anew.

Chief Mitchell, who stood in solidarity with the demonstrators along with Corner Brook Ward Councilor Brian Dicks, said that while he is sympathetic to the concerns of applicants, walking away from the table or starting over would not be in the best interest of the First Nation.  He said, “I’m concerned about jeopardizing the decades of effort and persistence which allowed us to form the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation.  After an incredible investment of time and resources, it would be unreasonable to walk away and expect that Canada would be willing to sit with us again any time soon on a new enrolment process.”

He also expressed concern over the risk of losing or suspending the many programs and benefits available to those who gain membership in Qalipu First Nation.

In a related statement, Chief Mitchell commented, “When I was elected in 2015, I inherited this process.  The legal agreements setting out how Founding Membership in the Qalipu First Nation was to be determined had already been established.  I might have negotiated things differently had I been in a leadership position at the time that agreements were made. However, this is the legal agreement that created our First Nation and I have an obligation, as difficult as the outcome will be for many, to act in the best interest of our First Nation to see the enrolment process through as it had been previously negotiated.”

For more information on the Qalipu enrolment process please see the below fact sheet.  An updated series of Questions and related answers regarding the end of the Qalipu enrolment process has been added to the Band’s website.  Find these at qalipu.ca/band-registration/faq

Fact Sheet

In 2008 the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI) and the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) partnered in signing the Agreement for the Recognition of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq Band.   In September of 2011, Qalipu received recognition as a First Nation under the Indian Act.  This was the culmination of decades of fighting for recognition as the Federation of Newfoundland Indians.  Negotiations had not accounted for the number of people who would eventually come forward laying claim to Mi’kmaq heritage.  In the final days allotted for review of applications under the Agreement in Principle (Agreement), tens of thousands of additional applications were received bringing the total to over 100,000 individuals seeking membership in the First Nation.  Leadership at the time, which consisted of INAC and the FNI, realized the need to negotiate an extension to the Agreement, as well as giving more guidance to the Enrolment Committee on applying enrolment criteria as presented in the Agreement.

In July, 2013, the Supplemental Agreement and its associated Directives to the Enrolment Committee, was introduced by INAC and the FNI.  The Supplemental Agreement outlined that all outstanding applications would be reviewed, including those that had already been assessed.  To ensure everyone was assessed with the same criteria, even those who had received status cards were reviewed under the criteria laid out in the Supplemental Agreement.

At the end of January, 2017, approximately 101,000 letters will be mailed to Qalipu members, and those seeking membership, advising them of the decision on their application. These letters are expected to be received within the first ten days in February. For those with a right to appeal the decision of the Enrolment Committee, there will be forty-five days to file such an appeal. The Appeal Notice Form will be included in the letters sent out.  An independent team of Appeal Masters will review all appeals submitted and a final determination will be made on the appeal. The appeal process will be completed in its entirety by the fall of 2017. The decisions of the Appeal Masters will be final.

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Understanding the Recent Enrolment Update

Excerpt from the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada website regarding the recent update to the Qalipu Enrolment process

“Applications determined to be invalid: In April 2016, the Government of Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI) announced:

  • Applicants with an application determined to be invalid have an opportunity to correct their applications for review by the Enrolment Committee.
  • The Enrolment Committee will add four members (two from the Government of Canada and two from FNI).
  • The deadline for the Enrolment Committee to review applications has been extended to no later than January 31, 2017. The deadline for the completion of the appeals process is now September 30, 2017.

If you have applied for membership and your address has changed since September 2011, please update your contact information.”

Click here to read more of this information Bulletin which addresses any questions you may have.

For assistance from Qalipu, please contact:

Charmaine Bath (Glenwood Office)
(709) 679-2142
Toll free 1-855-263-6440

Nancy O’Connell (Corner Brook Office)
(709) 634-4010
1-855-634-8611

Breaking news

Update on the Review of Applications Previously Determined to be Invalid in the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Enrolment Process

April 13, 2016 – Ottawa, ON – Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, and Brendan Mitchell, Chief of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation, provided an update on the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Enrolment Process.

In March, Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI) announced they will give individuals the opportunity to correct and provide additional documentation in support of their application for review by the Enrolment Committee.

This decision is a result of collaborative efforts between Canada and the FNI to give a broad application to the Foster and Howse court decisions and provide applicants a fair opportunity to demonstrate they should be founding members of the First Nation.

Click here to read the full release