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Press Releases

Chief’s Message

November 18  |  Press Releases

 Chief’s Message

It is now evident that the letters, which members and applicants were advised through the Qalipu website in July 2013 would be coming, are now being received.  As anticipated, these letters are causing concern among many individuals.  We have posted as much helpful information that we could anticipate would respond to various questions under the Enrolment tab of Qalipu’s website site under the Latest News section. 

I sympathize with the difficulties and frustrations that you are experiencing; this process is complicated, as legal processes tend to be.  In an effort to provide a level of comfort to members and applicants, I will provide a few scenarios that I hope will help explain the process and your next steps.  It is important to note that these scenarios are of a general nature; differing circumstances may significantly change the approach required.  In these scenarios, ‘Mi’kmaq community’ refers to one of the geographic locations of the Mi’kmaq Group of Indians of Newfoundland listed in Annex ‘B’ to the 2008 Agreement for the Recognition of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq Band.

Scenario # 1 (approximately 13,000 people in this category)

Ted applied for membership before the band was created on September 22, 2011, and he lived in a Mi’kmaq community at that time. When Ted applied, steps in the application led him to provide a piece(s) of identification as proof that he was living in a Mi’kmaq community. If Ted provided this proof of residency at that time, and if he was still living at the same address on the day the band was formed (September 22, 2011) or did not provide evidence that he is no longer living in a Mi’kmaq community, then he does not need to do anything further to maintain his membership. In other words, Ted would not need to submit any additional documents in support of his application.

Scenario # 2

Tony applied for membership before the band was created on September 22, 2011, and he lived outside a Mi’kmaq community at that time.  When Tony applied, steps in the application led him to provide proof of acceptance by one of the Mi’kmaq Groups of Indians of Newfoundland.  However, like the majority of applicants that lived outside a Mi’kmaq community, Tony provided very brief affidavits for proof of acceptance.  These affidavits do not provide adequate evidence.  While Tony has met the Self-Identification criterion by signing the application prior to the band creation date, he still has to provide evidence to fulfill the criterion of group acceptance by one of the Mi’kmaq Groups of Indians of Newfoundland.

Scenario # 3

Rose applied for membership after the band was created on September 22, 2011 and she lived outside a Mi’kmaq community at that time.  When Rose applied, she assumed that signing the application would fulfill the requirement of Self-Identification, but as 4.1 (d) (i) of the Agreement indicates, Rose had to self-identify as a member of one of the Mi’kmaq Groups of Indians of Newfoundland on the date of the Recognition Order (September 22, 2011). Because Rose applied after the band was created, she must provide proof of Self-Identification.   Also, when Rose applied, steps in the application led her to provide proof of acceptance by one of the Mi’kmaq Groups of Indians of Newfoundland.  However, like the majority of applicants that lived outside of a Mi’kmaq community, Rose provided very brief affidavits for proof of the acceptance.  These affidavits do not provide adequate evidence.  Therefore,   Rose must now also provide evidence of acceptance by one of the Mi’kmaq Groups of Indians of Newfoundland.

Scenario # 4

Janet applied for membership after the band was created on September 22, 2011, and she lived in a Mi’kmaq community at that time. When Janet applied, she thought that signing the application would fulfill the requirement for Self-Identification, but as 4.1 (d) (i) of the Agreement indicates, Janet must have self-identified as a member of one of the Mi’kmaq Groups of Indians of Newfoundland on the date of the Recognition Order (September 22, 2011). Because Janet applied after the band was created, she must now provide proof of Self-Identification. When Janet applied, steps in the application led her to provide a piece(s) of identification as proof of residency that she was living in a Mi’kmaq community. If Janet provided this proof of residency, and was still living at the same address on the day the band was formed (September 22, 2011) or did not provide evidence that she is no longer living in a Mi’kmaq community, then she does not need to provide any further information to fulfill the criterion of acceptance by one of the Mi’kmaq Groups of Indians of Newfoundland. 

I feel it is necessary to state again that the review process will be in line with the original agreement and that all current members will retain their status cards (and eligibility for benefits that are conferred to registered Indians) until a decision is reached at the end of the review process, which is expected to be March 2016.  At the end of the process, if children are denied membership and their parents maintain or gain status, applications for Indian registration under the Indian Act may be made on behalf of the children directly to the Office of the Indian Registrar at Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

 

Chief Brendan Sheppard

ATTENTION APPLICANTS AND MEMBERS OF THE QALIPU MI’KMAQ FIRST NATION

November 14  |  Press Releases

PUBLIC NOTICE
ATTENTION APPLICANTS AND MEMBERS OF THE QALIPU MI’KMAQ FIRST NATION

This notice is an update to the public notice of July 31, 2013.

More information is now available on www.aandc.gc.ca/qalipu and www.qalipu.ca concerning the process for enrolment in the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation and the implementation of the 2008 Agreement for the Recognition of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq Band and the 2013 Supplemental Agreement.

All applicants, except those whose applications were previously rejected, have been sent one of two letters regarding their applications.  Click here to continue reading.

First Election of Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band Council Set For October 23, 2012

September 17  |  Press Releases

First Election of Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band Council Set For October 23, 2012.

(September 17, 2012 Corner Brook, NL) Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation will be holding its first election on October 23, 2012 for all positions on its band council – Chief, Central Vice Chief, Western Vice Chief and a Council for each of the nine wards throughout Newfoundland.

Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation was created close to a year ago on September 22, 2011 through an Order-in-Council of the Governor-General-in-Council, completing the Agreement that was signed on June 23rd 2008 between the Government of Canada and The Federation of Newfoundland Indians. As per the requirements of the Agreement and the amended section 6.5.2, the band council had to announce the date of the first election for all positions on band council within twelve months and hold the election within eighteen months of the date of the establishment of the Band.

Mr. Wayne Green of St. Johns was appointed by the band council close to a year ago on October 20th, 2011 as the Electoral Officer for the first election to be conducted under the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band Customs Elections Rules. Mr. Green will be making a call in the near future for nominations of the positions as they are outlined in Annex C Schedule A of the Agreement.
 

Annie Randell

Chief Executive Officer
Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation
www.qalipu.ca
634-0996

Update your file and stay connected with Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band

March 15  |  Press Releases

Update your file and stay connected with Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band

We are working hard to make sure we develop the best services and programs for you and all of our members. We are working now on updating our Qalipu Membership Database. This will help us build a database of current information on our members.  It will provide current contact information for the election process as well as allow you to access training and employment programs, especially for members who are over 18 years of age. (A letter was recently sent to all members 18 years of age and older outlining the details of this project.)

It is critically important that you continuously manage your own member profiles on our database. I urge you to actively keep your information up to date.  As of now, we have more than 16,000 registered members over the age of 18 (of the almost 22,000 members in total); it is quite possible that this number will almost double in the next few years. As you can imagine with this large membership we need you to take responsibility for making sure your information is up to date in order for us to maintain communications with you.

Our new website will keep you informed about our programs and services. Through the website you can now access your individual member files. Please click on the “Update Member Information” button and follow the instructions.

We have a team of trained callers who will phone as many of your homes as possible by the end of March. They will help some people who cannot access their files online. You can also call 1-855-634-8611 if it is necessary for you to talk to someone.

Please be assured of privacy and confidentiality. You control your file though your own password. Everyone working on the database has been screened and has signed a confidentiality agreement.

This campaign to update our information is linked to several projects including a labour skill and education inventory and the development of the economic development strategy. We ask you to help your family members and remind them of how important it is for all of your family to be registered in the Qalipu membership database with all their information kept current.

Thank you for helping us help you. Your support is greatly appreciated. We will work together to shape a bright future for all members of Qalipu Mi’Kmaq First Nation Band.

Sincerely

 Chief Brendan Sheppard

Instructions for Qalipu Mi’Kmaq First Nation– Membership Database

Introduction

It is important that you keep your member information up to date at all times – we recommend you update your profile as soon as anything changes.

Although we are asking for you to continually update your member information into the future, we are asking that at this time you at least go on the website and update all your key contact information by the end of March 2012.

Please see the directions below.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Accessing Your Member Profile

  1. Go to http://Qalipu.ca and click on the Update Member Information button (top right on home page)
    – Click on the Create an Email Account link to create an email account if you don’t have one.  An email account is important for your use of this service.
    – If you already have an email account, Click on the Update Information link and go to your information pages (forms).
  2. Read the Terms of Use and if you agree, click I Agree
  3. Complete the Login Screen by entering your Band Member Registration Number and Date of Birth.
    – Follow the prompts to create a password.
    – When you are done, click on Login to open your Member Profile page.
  4. Click on Manage Profile where you will see a list of various information forms.
  5. Initially you will need to enter the information in the first two forms, Member Information and Additional Member Information. Click on each form in turn to open it.
    We would also encourage anyone wanting to access training and employment benefits to complete all the other forms on the site.
  6. Click on the Save Information button when you complete each form.

Getting Help

Given the large number of members, we encourage you to please make every effort to update your own member file. However, if you cannot access the website, please call us at 1-855-634-8611.

 

Qalipu Mi’Kmaq First Nation Announces Community Consultations on Economic Development

February 16  |  Press Releases

For Immediate Release – February 16, 2012

Chief Brendan Sheppard of the Qalipu Mi’Kmaq First Nation has announced that the Band is going to consult with its membership to get input on the development of the organization’s first Economic Development Strategy.

The Qalipu Mi’Kmaq First Nation was created in September 2011 with over 20,000 members.  The Band does not have designated reserve land and members predominantly reside in Central and Western Newfoundland.

Chief Sheppard stated “Our official recognition as status Mi’Kmaq Indians has provided us with an opportunity to actively engage in business and economic development in this province.  We recognize that in order to be successful as a First Nation Band we must become pro-active in making sound business investments.  The creation of an Economic Development Strategy is a key step in helping to create an environment for our members and communities to succeed.”

The Qalipu Development Corporation has been incorporated to run existing business operations and explore future business developments.  The Band and Council have also created a Department of Resources and Economic Development.  It is responsible for community economic development and encouraging entrepreneurship.  

The Economic Development Strategy will provide direction for Chief and Council, as well as staff, as they plan for future economic and community development in the areas of investment, entrepreneurship, employment and community growth. 

“We are relying on our members to come forward and participate in the regional consultations,” stated Chief Sheppard.  “People can speak to this in-person at the sessions or by completing the on-line survey at www.qalipu.ca.  We are also accepting written submissions at our office in Corner Brook.”

Regional consultations will be held in the following locations:

Grand Falls-Windsor        March 8th at 7:00 pm at the Mount Peyton Hotel

Corner Brook                    March 6th at 7:00 pm at the Glynmill Inn

Stephenville                      March 7th at 7:00 pm at the Holiday Inn

 

For more information contact:  Annie Randell, Chief Executive Officer  –  Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation            Telephone 709-634-0823                  E-mail: arandell@qalipu.ca.

Newly Created Mi’Kmaq Band Welcomes Federal Government Announcement

September 26  |  Press Releases

 For Immediate Release – September 26, 2011

The interim Chief of the Qalipu Mi’Kmaq First Nation Band welcomes the announcement by the Government of Canada that the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band has been formed. This has created the opportunity for thousands of Mi’Kmaq to become status Indians. Chief Brendan Sheppard believes that while the announcement was a long time in the making, it is welcome news.

“There are many people who have worked hard and never lost belief that this day would arrive”, stated Chief Sheppard. “The members of the newly recognized Qalipu Mi’Kmaq First Nation Band are proud of their heritage as Mi’Kmaq people. We believe that this recognition signifies the start of a dynamic future. We are looking forward to creating true partnerships with the governments of Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the other Provinces and Territories to create that future.”

On September 26, 2011, the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, announced on behalf of the Government of Canada the official formation of the Qalipu Mi’Kmaq First Nation Band. It was created as a landless band meaning that it will not have a reserve. The Band will have offices in St. Georges, Grand Falls-Windsor, Glenwood and Corner Brook, NL.

The Qalipu Mi’Kmaq First Nation Band was created with a membership of 21,429 people. The membership enrolment process will continue until November 30, 2012. It is anticipated that the final membership numbers could result in the new Band being the largest aboriginal band in Canada. The majority of these people live on the island of Newfoundland with others living primarily throughout Canada.

An agreement signed in 2008 set out a process that would lead to the establishment of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band and the recognition of its members as status Indians under the Indian Act. The agreement also sought to settle legal claims begun by the Federation of Newfoundland Indians and individuals seeking status under the Indian Act. The announcement by the Government of Canada realizes these objectives.

Contact: Chief Brendan Sheppard
Telephone: (709) 647-3033 or 649-1659
E-mail: bsheppard@qalipu.ca
Web Site: www.qalipu.ca

 

 

Background Information: Qalipu Mi’Kmaq First Nation Band

  • Qalipu is the Mi’Kmaq word for caribou. In English it is pronounced hal-lay-boo.
  • The Band does not have land specified as “reserve lands” in the agreement. This does not mean that the Band cannot pursue land claims with federal and provincial governments in the future.
  • The OIC created the Qalipu Band with 21,429 members
  • The functioning of the Band is guided by the Indian Act.
  • The Federation of Newfoundland Indians is made up of members of nine non-status Mi’Kmaq Bands.
  • The Board of Directors of the Federation of Newfoundland Indians forms the first Band Council of the Qalipu Mi’Kmaq First Nation Band for the transitional period.
  • Brendan Sheppard, as the President of the Federation of Newfoundland Indians, becomes the interim Chief of the Band.
  • Elections will be held no later than 18 months following the band’s formation to elect the Chief and Council of the Band.
  • No aboriginal people were recognized as status Indians under the Terms of Union between Newfoundland (now the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador) and Canada in 1949.
  • The Mi’Kmaq people have a long history in the Atlantic region with first recorded European contact in the 16th century.
  • The Mi’Kmaq language is an Eastern Algonquian language spoken by nearly 11,000 Mi’kmaq in Canada and the United States.

 

For more information please visit Qalipu.ca and Canada.ca.

Government of Canada Announces the Creation of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band

September 26  |  Press Releases

OTTAWA, ONTARIO (September 26, 2011) – The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development and Brendan Sheppard, Chief of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band, today announced the creation of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band .

“The creation of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band is an important step forward for the Mi’kmaq people of Newfoundland,” said Minister Duncan. “Today marks the official recognition for all members of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band as Status Indians under the Indian Act.”

“I congratulate the efforts of all members of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band,” said the Honourable Peter Penashue, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada. “Today marks a historic occasion for the Mi’kmaq of Newfoundland, one which will not be forgotten.”

With the creation of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band, members of the band will be able to access federal programs and services. As outlined in the Settlement Agreement, there are no lands set aside to create a reserve. An official celebration will take place later this fall with members of the band.

“On behalf of the members of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band, I want to thank all the people who worked so hard in bringing our recognition process to reality,” said Brendan Sheppard, Chief, Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band. “Thousands of Mi’kmaq people are finally able to claim their birthright, and while we must not forget our history, we must look forward to the future and do the best we possibly can to develop the tremendous potential that exists among our people.”

 

 

Backgrounder – Creation of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band

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 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 focused and systematic application of the Indian Act.

In 1989, the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI) , representing approximately 7,800 members from the nine Mi’kmaq communities across the island, along with Chiefs of six affiliated groups began a Federal Court Action seeking eligibility for registration under the Indian Act. Due to years of on-and-off again negotiations, the court case was in abeyance until 2002 when exploratory discussions to settle the court action between Canada and FNI began. These discussions involved consultation sessions with Mi’kmaq communities and FNI members that were held by FNI and Canada. Through this process, FNI members voiced that they would like to be registered as Status Indians under the Indian Act and the FNI made a commitment to all of its members that they would be able to vote on any agreement reached with Canada. In addition, the Government of Canada proposed that Newfoundland Mi’kmaq be registered under the Indian Act as a band with no reserve land if they met the established membership eligibility criteria.

From 2004 to 2006, the FNI and the Government of Canada agreed to undertake official negotiations for the creation of a band with no reserve land under the Indian Act for the Mi’kmaq of Newfoundland. In 2006, an Agreement-in-Principle (AIP) was reached that identified the process for recognition, the creation of a band with no reserve land, and specific FNI members who can vote on ratification. On November 30, 2007, the Government of Canada and FNI announced that they had completed negotiations and the Agreement-in-Principle was initialled, marking a historic day for the Mi’kmaq of Newfoundland. FNI members overwhelmingly ratified this AIP on March 2008 and Canada ratified it on June 2008.

On September 23, 2011, the creation of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band was announced. The creation of the band was advanced to improve the quality of life and economic prospects of the new band’s membership. Through the creation of the band, Newfoundland’s Mi’kmaq are recognized as a band under the Indian Act. The registration of members of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation follows the creation of the band and members will receive a Temporary Confirmation of Registration Document from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, pending the issuance of a Certificate of Indian Status. This document indicates that the individual named therein is registered as an Indian under the Indian Act and may access benefits and/or services conferred to Registered Indians.

September 2011

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions –
Creation of the 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).

 

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 as a band within the meaning of the Indian Act. Its members will be eligible for registration as Status Indians and have access to programs and benefits made available to other 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 are able to access federal programs and services for Status Indians once they receive their Temporary Confirmation of Registration Document.

The Settlement Agreement states that 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

 

Q.4. Who is eligible for registration and membership in the band?

An individual is eligible to be enrolled in the new band if he or she:

  • is living at the time the band is established;
  • is of Canadian Indian ancestry by birth or adoption;
  • was a member of a Newfoundland pre-Confederation Mi’kmaq Community on or before March 31, 1949, or is a descendant of such a person by birth or adoption;
  • is not registered in the Indian Registry as of the date of the establishment of the new band; and
  • self-identifies and is accepted by the Mi’kmaq Group of Indians.

 

Q.5. Why were Mi’kmaq 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 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 focused and systematic application of the Indian Act system.

 

Q.6. How does the creation of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band benefit the Mi’kmaq of the province?

Registered Newfoundland Mi’kmaq will now have access to several federal programs that are available to Status Indians throughout Canada.

 

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 registered in the weeks following the creation of the band and will receive a Temporary Confirmation of Registration Document from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, pending the issuance of a Certificate of Indian Status. This document indicates that the individual named therein is registered as an Indian under the Indian Act and may access benefits and/or services conferred to Registered Indians. The document is temporary in nature, with an expiry date, and will provide the client with written evidence of their registration as an Indian until such time as they apply for and receive their Certificate of Indian Status.

Date: September 26, 2011