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.


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

Click here for the application

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

DOND Promo Poster

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


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

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

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



Chief Mitchell Receives Eagle Staff at 10th Annual Flat Bay Powwow

Chief Brendan Mitchell was honoured with the presentation of an eagle staff, and ceremonial acceptance of the staff, at this year’s Flat Bay Powwow.  An eagle staff is a symbol of respect and responsibility to the people that is carried by many Chiefs in Canada, including No’kmaq Village (Flat Bay Band Inc.) Chief Liz LaSaga who made the presentation along with Victor Muise, Chairperson of the Powwow Committee.  Chief Mitchell, representing some 24, 000 members, is the first Chief of the Qalipu First Nation to carry such an honour, and also the first to walk alongside other eagle staff carriers in the Grand Entry of any powwow.

In her opening remarks, Chief LaSaga noted that it was a proud moment to have a Qalipu Chief in his rightful place at the Grand Entry, and commented on her pleasure in working with the new Chief.

She said, “I’m so proud that this presentation could be made at the tenth anniversary of our powwow.  The relationship between our community and the Qalipu First Nation since Chief Mitchell took office has been wonderful. We feel very blessed that he is representing our people.  I don’t know if he will ever take on a spirit name but, if he does, I imagine the words wind, peace, ease or breath will be part of that name.  Since he became Chief we have experienced such ease.  He is so good to work with.  He is our friend.”

Part of the presentation included carrying the staff around the arbor and raising it in prayer to each of the four directions, a common theme in Mi’kmaq ceremony.  Chief LaSaga said this was to bless and initiate the staff.  “Until then, it’s just a piece of wood,” she said.

Chief Mi’sel Joe of the Miawpukek First Nation, Victor Muise, Chairperson of the Powwow Committee, Flat Bay Elder Calvin White, Chief Liz LaSaga and Vice Chief Joanne Miles of the No’kmaq Village (Flat Bay Band Inc.) were all on hand to walk around the arbor with Chief Mitchell and raise the staff with him.  Following this ceremony, Chief Mitchell was presented with the staff and he joined other eagle staff carriers at the front line of the Grand Entry.

The staff was provided for by the Powwow Committee and was crafted by local artist Scott Butt.

“I am truly touched and humbled by this honour”, Chief Mitchell remarked following the presentation.  “I will carry this staff with great pride and respect and always remember what it symbolizes, the responsibility to do my best to serve the people that I represent.”

Scholarship Application on a table and dollars.

Scholarship Opportunity for Indigenous Women, July 15 Deadline, Apply Now!

The Helen Bassett Commemorative Student Award is an annual $1000 prize awarded to four young Indigenous women, each of whom is from the four traditional directions (North, East, South, and West) and is currently pursuing post-secondary studies, preferably in law or justice related field. Applicants must also demonstrate a commitment to improving the situation of Indigenous women and youth in Canada politically, culturally, economically, or otherwise.


Click here to view the application form and guidelines