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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.

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 Qalipu.ca 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 leannepieroway@gmail.com.

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 mmacdonald@qalipu.ca by August 24th.


Muin (Bear) Leads the Way: Qalipu Cultural Foundation Prepares for Annual Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction

August 8, 2016, Corner Brook—The Qalipu Cultural Foundation is preparing for its annual fundraising event, the Ke’tipnemk (harvest) Dinner and Silent Auction, set to take place at Jennifer’s Restaurant in Corner Brook on October 22.

In 2015, the inaugural event featured more than 50 pieces of treasured artwork donated by indigenous artists from around the province.  Their generous donations, along with ticket sales and sponsorship from business and individuals, raised more than $15,000 to support Mi’kmaq culture in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Foundation is looking forward to another successful event and is pleased to share the first gift of artwork , “My Strength, My Protector”, donated to auction at this years’ gala by Joanne Bennett.

The piece, in ink on rice paper, depicts a spirit bear with twenty eight hidden aspects of the Mi’kmaq culture.  Bennett says muin, or the bear, is an important animal in Mi’kmaq culture.  She said, “The bear protects us and teaches us to be strong, to stand against adversity, and to take action when necessary.  The bear also teaches us the value of solitude and the power of healing that can be found in those restful quiet moments alone.”

Bennett, a member of the Qalipu First Nation and the Corner Brook Aboriginal Women’s Association, noted that she was pleased to share her artwork and help raise funds for a good cause.  “I am proud to be a Mi’kmaw, and I feel that it is important to share our culture with each other, and with others.  The Qalipu Cultural Foundation has been doing great work and I’m happy to support that.”

Mitch Blanchard, Resource Coordinator for the Band, said that he expects tickets to sell out fast.  “Last year we had to turn people away as we ran out of tickets.  We anticipate a similar level of interest and participation this year.  Who knows, we may have to move to a larger venue in the future.”

To purchase tickets for the Ke’tipnemk Dinner, please contact reception at Qalipu’s main office in Corner Brook at 634-0996

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.

Qalipu Member to be Honoured

Qalipu Member to be Honoured for Commitment to Indigenous Education

We are so proud to share that one of our members, Eileen Lucas, originally from St. George’s, NL, was recently selected to be a recipient of the 2016 Guiding the Journey: Indigenous Educator Award in the category of Culture, Language and Traditions.  These awards, presented by Indspire, recognize the achievements of outstanding educators of Indigenous students.  Eileen has spent the last 27 years working as an educator, a counselor and as a First Nations, Metis and Inuit liaison.   She will be recognized for her work in Toronto this November at the “Guiding the Journey Gala” where she will receive the award.

We got in touch with Eileen, now living in Fort McMurray, to talk about her career and reaction to the award.  She said, “Winning this award has made me realize how fortunate I am to be able to pass on my aboriginal teachings to the students and the wider community that were passed on to me by Elders and teachers.  I am very humble to accept such a prestigious award and honored to be receiving it”

Eileen has been a contributing author of over fifty children’s lesson plans in eight books, has written short stories in both “Woman’s World” and “Northword” magazines and have completed a Masters of Education in advanced professional studies from the University of Scotland.

She loves sharing traditional Aboriginal knowledge, especially that of her own Mi’kmaq ancestry, which she is extremely proud of.  She said “what guides me in my career is the love and passion I have for Mother Earth’s children, her heartbeat, and the ways of our ancestors.  My hope is that the children I teach will carry on the knowledge I’ve given so freely; as they are our future leaders.”

Thank you Eileen Lucas for your contribution to our people, and congratulations on this prestigious award.  We will be cheering for you when you walk across the stage in November.

Indspire is a charity that is invested in contributing to the education of Indigenous people of Canada by delivering programs, sharing resources, and disbursing financial awards.  Their goal is to close the gap in indigenous education and insure that Indigenous students within the education system are given an equal opportunity for success.  Being the biggest funder to Indigenous Education outside of the Federal Government, Indspire has awarded over $87 million in over 25,000 bursaries and scholarships to Indigenous students.  Find out more about Indspire by clicking here


Junior Police Academy Summer Camp Open to all Wards!

From August 9-12, The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and Qalipu First Nation are partnering to host the Junior Police Academy at Killdevil Camp.   This camp is designed to create stronger relationships with youth (ages 10-12 years old) and police as well as with other community partners.

Participants will have an opportunity to take part in this fun filled and educational camping experience, where the RNC and partner organizations will foster stronger and healthier relationships between the participants and the police by breaking down historical barriers.  The Junior Police Academy will enhance participant learning on a variety of topics by providing a healthy, active and unplugged environment where they will be educated on the benefits of healthy, responsible decision making. Youth at the camp will receive education on a variety of topics including (but not limited to) healthy eating, decision making and lifestyle choices, bicycle safety, fire safety, environmental sustainability and Mi’kmaq cultural awareness as well as police investigative techniques.

For youth who attend the camp, transportation will be provided from Corner Brook to Killdevil and return (transportation to Corner Brook is the participants responsibility).  While at the camp, all accommodations and meals will be provided. Participants will be asked to bring their own sleeping bag, or bedding, and their own clothing.

Qalipu First Nation and The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary are inviting interested youth members from all Wards to submit application forms by July 29, 2016 to Mitch Blanchard, Resource Coordinator at 3 Church Street Corner Brook, NL or via email mblanchard@qalipu.ca.

Click here for the application

For additional details please contact Mitch Blanchard at the email above or call (709) 634-8046

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Qalipu takes on issue of violence and bullying with cultural approach

July 15, 2016, Corner Brook—Dancer of the New Dawn – A Cultural Approach to Violence and Bullying Prevention is a new and unique program being offered by the Qalipu First Nation that has been funded through the Women’s Policy Office. There is still time to register for the two- day program which is set to begin on Friday, July 29.

Brendan Mitchell, Chief of the Qalipu First Nation, acknowledged the importance of working together with partners on this program including the Community Mental Health Initiative, Corner Brook Status of Women’s Council, RCMP, RNC, Western Regional Coalition to End Violence, and Western Health.

He said, “It is through community partnerships and collaboration that we do our best work. When we can all get together behind an important subject, like preventing violence and bullying and educating our youth on what to do if they experience it in their lives, we are better able to accomplish great things.”

Educational sessions to be included in the program will focus on topics such as types of violence, cyberbullying, signs and indicators of unhealthy relationships, the impacts of bullying, safety planning, and building empowerment for young girls. Elders and cultural leaders will also offer Aboriginal teachings which will focus on dance, smudging, talking circles, and more.

Renée Dyer, Manager of Health at Qalipu, added, “Through this program, we hope to empower and educate our youth about violence and bullying, particularly among Aboriginal women and girls. These young girls will learn not only ways to prevent bullying and violence, and about resources available to them, but also get in touch with their Aboriginal history and culture, all while forming new friendships.”

The program will take place over two days: Friday, July 29 and Saturday, July 30 from 9:00am to 4:00pm in the Qalipu Community Room located at 1 Church Street, Corner Brook, NL. The program is open to girls between the ages of 11 and 15 years old (although consideration may be given to interested youth outside of this age group), with priority being given to Qalipu First Nation members who apply.

For more information about the program and to RSVP, please contact Tyler Gallant, Program Coordinator at (709) 634-0996 ext. 244 or by email at tgallant@qalipu.ca.


Calling All Young Entrepreneurs

Are you between the ages of 12-29 and interested in turning your hobby or passion into a business venture?  Or maybe you have already started your business. Whether it’s selling traditional art, playing music or providing lawn care, sometimes all you need is support to help your business grow and succeed.

Youth Ventures Newfoundland and Labrador may be the perfect fit for you!

The Humber Youth Ventures program, coordinated this summer by Allison Pittman, Youth Ventures Coordinator, is an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to gain access to free marketing material, mentorship, receive help with business ideas, business planning and fun events.   We are hoping to see our members take part in this wonderful initiative- which will help our next generation prepare for a stronger and better tomorrow!

At the programs conclusion, awards are given to select successful participants of the program and the Qalipu First Nation will partner with Youth Ventures to co-host a Summers-End celebration on Corner Brook’s Majestic Lawn.  Details to be announced on our events calendar on Qalipu.ca

If you would like more information about Youth Ventures and how to get involved, please contact Allison Pittman by email at humber@youthventuresnl.com or by telephone at 709-639-7755.

More information and the application form for the program can be found on the Youth Ventures website: www.youthventuresnl.com