Participants make tea over the open fire following a medicine walk with Elder Terry Muise

Unique Community Experience Focuses on Talents of Local People

November 7, 2019 Corner Brook—On Sunday November 3, the small community of St. George’s welcomed visitors for a special tourism experience that can’t be found anywhere else; a rich sensory event featuring medicine identification and collection, hands-on preparation of tea and traditional foods, cooking on an open fire, cultural sharing, and ceremonial teachings.

St. George’s Indian Band Chief Marlene Farrell partnered with Experience Qalipu to deliver the event, one of a larger series of events aimed at building upon the talent of community people, empowering them to share their gifts with visitors from around the world. The St. George’s Band, owner and operator of the Ktaqmkuk Mi’kmaq Museum, hopes to attract more visitors into the historic building that has been converted into a museum and cultural centre.

Chief Farrell noted, “Visiting the museum is one thing, but we want to offer more to our visitors. This community is the oldest recorded Mi’kmaq settlement on the island, and we have talented people who can offer workshops, guided tours, experiences and so much more. The fire circle and medicine walk on Sunday is an example of that and we’ve got more in the works.”

At Sunday’s event, visitors helped to prepare locally procured moose, potatoes, carrots and berries alongside Chef D’Arcy Butler, an active member of the Bay St. George Indigenous community and culinary instructor at College of the North Atlantic.

“These ingredients are timely; many community people have just got their moose, and this is what we are eating.  The root vegetable harvest is ongoing; carrots for the event were picked sweet and fresh that morning. We wanted to offer visitors a true taste of our town, to share the story of the hunt and to know exactly where our ingredients were hunted and gathered. In the winter, for our next event, we are looking at making use of rabbit as the main ingredient, along with some of the preserves that Newfoundlanders have long relied on to get through the winter.”

The fall rain did not dampen the spirit of the participants, who were advised to come dressed for the weather and, they came prepared in their raincoats and boots. Elder Terry Muise lead them on a short walk through a nearby forest to identify medicines and collect ingredients used in their meal. Rose hips were collected for addition to the Labrador tea and fir needles were collected to be ground in with sea salt to season the meat and vegetables.

Local photographer Jonathan Meyers and filmmaker Matt Garnier used their talents to capture the event in detail and provide the St. George’s Indian Band colourful media content that will help promote these types of events in the future.

Tara Saunders Acting Director of the Community Development Department and Experience Qalipu noted, “this is exactly where we want to be; helping our communities to thrive and prosper. This event put off by the community is a terrific tourism product, and we will be there every step of the way to help them develop and promote their local experiences.”

Apajitayek website feature image

Apajitayek Mi’kmaq language and culture camps an important step in language revitalization

Apajitayek [ahh bah jee die ekk] “we are coming back”

November 5, 2019 Corner Brook—The Qalipu Cultural Foundation is pleased to announce it will be hosting free language and culture camps in Grand Falls-Windsor, St. George’s and Corner Brook.  In addition to basic conversation and introductory Mi’kmaw language course work, the two-day camps will offer participants a chance to engage in learning song, dance, history and stories about their Mi’kmaq ancestors.

Sherry Dean, Chairperson of the Qalipu Cultural Foundation noted, “We are so pleased to work with our neighbours in Nova Scotia to bring language and cultural teachings to our communities in Newfoundland.   Language is the key to understanding culture and participants can expect much more than simple translations from English to Mi’kmaw; they will in fact begin to better understand the culture to which we belong.”

The Cultural Foundation has engaged Robert Bernard of the Diversity Management Group to bring the camps to Newfoundland.  Bernard will work with experienced teacher Joel Denny from Eskasoni and his apprentice, Newfoundland born Dean Simon, a member of the Qalipu First Nation.

Bernard shared, “Language lessons will be based on the root word system of learning.  This way of learning helps participants to better understand the heart of the language and build their word recognition and vocabulary.  We will focus on basic conversation first, in the home, conversations with friends and family.”

Sherry Dean explained that to be fair, selection will be made by a draw among all those who register.  For those unable to participate in person, Dean was pleased to share an exciting aspect of this project.

“We understand that not all of our members are living in or around one of our traditional communities and we know that everyone deserves the opportunity to be involved.  That’s why the teachings provided at these camps will be video recorded and made available online, wjit msɨt no’kmaq-for all our relations.”

Camps have been scheduled for the following locations:

Grand Falls-Windsor at the Corduroy Brook Nature Centre, November 19-20

St. George’s at the People of the Dawn Indigenous Friendship Centre, November 21-22

Corner Brook- to be announced

For more information please contact Nicole Travers at ntravers@qalipu.ca or call 634-4706.

 

Marcella Williams Fancy Shawl Demonstration_edited

Qalipu Cultural Foundation celebrates growth, fifth annual Ketip’nemk Fundraiser

October 22, 2019, Corner Brook—The Qalipu Cultural Foundation celebrated its fifth annual Ketip’nemk Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction this weekend in Corner Brook. The event, featuring fine arts and crafts donated by Indigenous artists, cultural sharing, and a three-course meal using traditional ingredients, was well attended by some 175 people. The guest list included members of the Band and the broader Indigenous community, partners and businesses who all support the Foundation and its mandate of building and sharing Mi’kmaq culture in Newfoundland.

Sherry Dean, Chairperson of the Foundation noted that this has been a banner year for the volunteer led charitable organization. “We’re proud to report that this year, with much support from guests, donating artists and our sponsors, we have raised $16,480.50! This is a significant amount of money that will be put to good use funding community groups and individuals who deliver workshops, programs and initiatives that promote and share our culture and teachings.  In the past year many workshops and programs have been delivered in our communities. For the year ahead, we are ready to support more   of this good work.”

This years’ Gala featured music by the Spirit Bay Drummers led by Troy Bennett who also shared teachings about the community big drum and a fancy shawl dancing demonstration and teachings were provided by Marcella Williams. Guests enjoyed vying for their favourite pieces in the silent auction presenting dozens of fine art and crafts that were donated by local Indigenous artists. Western Vice Chief Keith Cormier and Elder Odelle Pike, also the Ward Councilor for Stephenville, emceed the event and greetings were brought by Chief Brendan Mitchell on behalf of the Qalipu First Nation.

Dean added, “I would like to thank my co-chair Lorraine Stone, and lead staff support Nicole Travers and, on behalf of all of us who serve the Qalipu Cultural Foundation, I extend a sincere thank you to all          of those who purchased tickets in support of our gala, participated in the silent auction, made donations or came on board as sponsors.  It is only through your help that we can continue doing the good work that we do. See you next year!”

Sponsorship

Mountain Level ($1500 or greater): Barry Group

Tree Level ($1000-1499): Tract Consulting Inc., Kruger Inc., Cox & Palmer

River Level ($500-999): BCJ Tax Centre

Brook Level (up to $499): Brendan Mitchell and Sheila Lasaga, Sherry and Mervyn Dean, Western Lock, Humber Motors Ford, Data Atlantic Systems

Art and Craft Donations:

Blomidon Beadwork
Bunchberry Beadwork
Ruth Travers
Dawn Sampson
Dawn Baker
Pauline Gilley
Marcella Williams
Todd Neil
Eileen Simms
Patricia Brockway
Marilyn Matthews
Duncan Chisolm
Brian Lasaga
Reg Locke
Marcus Gosse
Phyllis Cooper
Cora Butt
Doug Stone
Eileen McKay
Scott Butt
Florence Pinhorn
Yes B’y Beading
Jenny Beadz
Brenda White
Michelle Rowe
Autumn Gale
Bronson Jacque
Margie Benoit Wheeler
David Strickland
Bonny W Messervey
Leigh-Ann Maxwell

Click here to apply for a cultural support grant with the Qalipu Cultural Foundation.

Youth Representative

First Youth Representative Elected to Qalipu Council at Mawita’jik Maljewe’jk (Youth Gathering)

September 19, 2019, Corner Brook—The Qalipu First Nation is pleased to announce that following the recent youth gathering where an election was held to choose a representative, Jessica Saunders of the Exploits Ward will join the Qalipu Chief and Council filling the newly created youth seat.

Jessica is twenty years old, she’s originally from Bishop Falls, but now resides in Sandy Point. Jessica has always been an active volunteer; she served on the Leo Burke Academy Student Council throughout high school, and she coached volleyball. Jessica also served on a youth advisory committee that helped bring mental health issues to the forefront at her school through the planning of a mental health conference.

At the gathering, Jessica spoke passionately about the environment and the importance of good mental health; topics that were high on the list of priorities for all youth as evidenced in conversations and break-out sessions. Jessica is the mother of 15-week-old Leo, who also attended the gathering, and reports that she is motivated by thinking about future generations. She noted, “We need to have the important conversations about conservation, climate change, and things we can do in Newfoundland to protect the future for our children.”

Jessica plans to engage youth through the newly created Facebook Group “Qalipu Youth Network” as well as through Instagram and Twitter. She will keep in touch with the growing youth network and represent their concerns at meetings of Council. All Indigenous youth, status, and non-status are invited to join the youth network and be a part of the Mawita’jik Maljewe’jk gathering. Jessica’s first Council meeting will be the next regular meeting of Council in November.

The inaugural youth gathering was held September 13-15 at West Haven in Pasadena. The gathering brought together twenty youth, age 16-28, from all across the nine wards. Four candidates were nominated for the role of Youth Representative, Jeff Young (Stephenville Ward), Sam Gardiner (Exploits Ward), Jessica Saunders (Exploits Ward) and Kaylee Sullivan (St. George’s Ward). As part of the election code, the youth also established the position of Alternate Youth Representative to support and enhance the youth seat. Salome Barker (Exploits Ward) and Victoria Stacey (Glenwood Ward) were nominated for this position; Salome Barker was elected.

In addition to the election, the gathering also focused on connecting youth with elders through cultural teachings; hearing the issues and concerns of youth delegates and; guiding youth to form resolutions to impact change. The event included traditional ceremonies, teachings, roundtables focused on learning and leadership, drumming, singing and opportunities to network and enjoy time outside around the campfire. On day two of the conference youth were joined by Mark Murdoch, a Youth Representative on the Premiers Youth Council, who spoke about the benefits of being involved and engaged in the community. Michael R. Denny of Eskasoni was also a special guest; he shared stories and language teachings, got youth involved in dancing the gojua dance, and led a game of Waltes.

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Mawita’jik Maljewe’jk 2019

July 25, 2019 Corner Brook—The Qalipu First Nation is pleased to affirm its commitment to honoring the youth voice within our communities through the establishment of a youth seat at the Qalipu Council table.  To facilitate an election for the youth to choose their representative, the inaugural Mawita’jik Maljewe’jk (youth gathering) will be held September 13-15 at West Haven in Pasadena.  This gathering will see three youth, age 16-28, from each Ward brought together to hold an election.

Randy Drover, Central Vice Chief for the Band and Chairperson of the Mawita’jik Maljewe’jk Planning Committee said that one of the Bands core values is respect for the input of all members.  “Empowering our young people to lead and learn important knowledge from their elders is a pillar of success for our First Nation.  It is through listening to all our people that Council can effect positive change.”

This gathering will also focus on connecting youth with elders through cultural teachings; hearing the issues and concerns of youth delegates and; guiding youth to form resolutions to impact change.  The event will include traditional ceremony, teachings, roundtables focused on learning and leadership, drumming, singing and plenty of opportunity to network and enjoy time outside around the campfire.

To register, Click Here

A newspaper on a wooden desk - Press Release

Federation of Newfoundland Indians and Qalipu First Nation Protect the Right to Solicitor-Client Privilege

July 8, 2019 Corner Brook— It is fundamental to the effective operation of the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI) and Qalipu First Nation (QFN) that we receive the best possible legal advice available in order to move forward to achieve the goals of our people and organizations. A recent decision by the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in Benoit v. Federation of Newfoundland Indians and Her Majesty the Queen of Canada determined that legal advice from our lawyers published on the internet, illegally and without permission, by persons unknown was no longer covered by the blanket of solicitor- client privilege. This issue is of concern to Qalipu First Nation and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians. The Financial Management By-Laws of the Qalipu First Nation Band clearly state in Exceptions to Disclosure, Section 54, that the General Manager, must refuse to disclose information; (b) legal opinions which are subject to solicitor-client privilege.

Such privilege is fundamental protection for individuals and businesses to comfortably seek legal advice outside the public domain. It means that conversations, phone calls, e mails, documents and discussions regarding confidential matters are private between a client and their lawyer. Solicitor-client privilege is an important legal concept that allows clients to trust their lawyers with private information. The Supreme Court of Canada has called it, “a principal of fundamental justice and civil right of supreme importance in Canadian law.” Such privilege is that of the client.

In deciding to appeal the decision of Justice Marshall, FNI/QFN are seeking to preserve a fundamental right necessary to the effective operation of our Band Council. QFN and the FNI must continue to have full and frank discussions with its legal advisors without fear that the information or advice might somehow become available to persons who might not share our stated goals. The appeal of Justice Marshall’s recent decision is limited to this single issue, and that issue only. While the Benoit case, in its initial intent, continues with our cooperation and respect, we are appealing the decision of Justice Marshall regarding our right to maintain the principle of solicitor-client privilege.

As many of you may know, in a previous Benoit decision Newfoundland Supreme Court Justice Jillian Butler required the FNI to communicate to the Minister that individuals named in Benoit remain on the Founding Members List created under the Settlement Agreement. We did as directed by carrying out Justice Butler’s Declaratory Order which required that a letter be written to the Minister demanding that the Plaintiffs in the Benoit Case be maintained as Founding Members. In the letter to the Minister we went further than consideration for the six plaintiffs stating that they were representative of a larger group who lost status and requested that all who lost status be reinstated. We received no reply from the Minister in response to demands. Neither the FNI nor QFM appealed Judge Butler’s decision on the Benoit case. Further, regarding earlier court decisions rendered in favor of the plaintiffs including Foster, House, Wells and Wells and Kennedy, neither the FNI nor QFN appealed the court decisions made in favor of those represented by these court cases and encouraged the Government of Canada to do likewise.

Protecting the principle of solicitor-client privilege, which is the only issue in response to the recent decision by Judge Marshall, is our fundamental right. It appears that at least one group calling themselves “Friends of Qalipu Applicants” is presenting our concern for protection of our solicitor-client privilege in a different and misleading context.

The Band Council of the QFN will continue to move forward to achieve the stated goals of our people and organization and will stand by the collective view that the preservation of the Band’s legal rights is essential to achieving this objective.

Ms. Monique Carroll of the Qalipu Mi’Kmaq, receives a special award for support to the Reserve Force during the Canadian Forces Liaison Council Awards Ceremony at Cartier Square Drill Hall on May 9th, 2019.

The Canadian Armed Forces recognize employers and educators from across Canada for outstanding support to their employees and students who serve as reservists. Their support allows Canadian Armed Forces to fulfill its commitment under Canada’s Defence Policy Strong, Secure, Engaged and generate full-time capability through a Reserve Force providing part-time service.

l-r: Brigadier-General Liam McGarry, Chief of Staff Army Operations, Ms. Monique Carroll, Lieutenant-Colonel Kevin Bond, Mr. Bill Mahoney.

Photo Credit: Corporal Lisa Fenton
Canadian Forces Support Unit (Ottawa) Imaging Services
© 2019 DND-MDN Canada SU06-2019-0329-007
(L-R) Brigadier-General Liam McGarry, Chief of Staff Army Operations, Monique Carroll, Director of Education and Training Department, nominator Lieutenant-Colonel Kevin Bond, Provincial Chair Mr. Bill Mahoney, Chief Warrant Officer Kent Clapham, Army Reserve Sergeant Major

Qalipu First Nation Receives Special Award for Support of Black Bear Program

May 27, 2019 Corner Brook— Qalipu First Nation was recently recognized as a committed supporter of
Reservists in the Canadian Armed Forces and received the Special Award for support to the Reserve
Force on May 9, 2019 during a formal ceremony at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.

The nomination was made by Lieutenant-Colonel Kevin Bond, Royal Newfoundland Regiment, in
acknowledgement of QFN’s work in hosting information sessions to help raise awareness of the Black
Bear Program, a summer program geared primarily toward Indigenous youth. In the nomination, Bond
noted “As Qalipu Chief, Chief Brendan Mitchell is committed to the ongoing development of Qalipu on
behalf of his community. He promotes positive change in fostering a prosperous tomorrow for all
especially the youth in the Qalipu community. He was very quick to seize the opportunity to promote
the Black Bear program as a source of employment for youth and at the same time promote indigenous
culture.”

Chief Brendan Mitchell was unable to attend the awards ceremony in Ottawa. The Chief was
represented by Monique Carroll, Director of Education and Training. Carroll and her staff led the
Black Bear promotion initiative, brining information sessions across all the Wards.

Carroll said, “we are always looking for partnerships that will help us deliver more education,
training and employment opportunities to our people. The Black Bear Program provides great pay,
covers meals, accommodations and travel and positive cultural experiences along with basic military
training. We want young people to know about these opportunities, we want them to succeed. We
were pleased to partner with the Canadian Armed Forces to do this.”

Reflecting on the award, Chief Brendan Mitchell noted, “we had four indigenous people from
Newfoundland take part in the Black Bear Program in 2018. This was the first summer for
participation by Newfoundland’s Indigenous youth. For some, this was an important step in
recognizing their own potential and dreams. We expect to see much greater Newfoundland
representation at Black Bear this coming summer. We will continue to work with the Canadian Armed
Forces to bring opportunity to our youth and others”.

Members are invited to keep an eye out for education, employment and training opportunities, like
Black Bear, on the Band’s Education and Training Facebook page.

A newspaper on a wooden desk - Press Release

Qalipu First Nation Proud to be Welcomed as Newest Member of the Atlantic Policy Congress

April 12, 2019 Corner Brook—Qalipu First Nation is pleased to share that following a recent meeting of the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat (APC), the Band has been accepted into the APC.  This policy and advocacy body represents more than thirty First Nation communities in Atlantic Canada and Gaspe region of Quebec; as of April 11, 2019, the APC now counts Qalipu as its newest member.

As a regional policy, research and advocacy organization, the APC plays an important role in economic development activities across the region in support of all Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy and Innu communities across the Atlantic.   Following the vote, Chief Mitchell spoke to how Qalipu will work together with the APC, and what acceptance means for the Band and the Mi’kmaq people of Newfoundland.

“Reconciiation, for us, is unique.  Acceptance by our own Mi’kmaq community continues to be an important aspect of our identity and our reconciliation.  For us to be accepted here, for our people to be accepted here, this has a sense of coming home.”

Qalipu has already been working with the APC in areas of Education, Community Development and Natural Resources and looks forward to new ways of collaborating and building strength as a united First Nation peoples.

Chief Mitchell noted, “Our wish at Qalipu First Nation is to work collaboratively with other Chiefs and Indigenous communities across Atlantic Canada in an effort to work to build a better tomorrow for all Mi’kmaq people.”

 

About Qalipu

Qalipu First Nation is a vibrant Mi’kmaq First Nation established in 2011 as an Indigenous Band under the Indian Act.  With a large membership spread across 67 traditional Newfoundland Mi’kmaq communities and abroad, we are one of the largest First Nation groups in Canada.

Newfoundland is part of the traditional Mi’kmaq Nation whose territory extends from Quebec through the Maritime Provinces and into Newfoundland.

Final Leg 2

Membership Orientation Sessions, Last Leg of the Community Tour

April 11, 2019 Corner Brook—Throughout March and April, Qalipu is travelling around the island to deliver information sessions regarding the many programs services and benefits that are available through the Band, and to familiarize new members who may have a lot of questions about what it means to belong to the Qalipu First Nation.

Orientation Sessions feature a general overview of all programs, services and benefits, and subject matter experts are on hand to answer questions on hot topics like health benefits, education funding, community engagement and registration. Members of Council are also on hand to answer questions.

People attending these sessions also receive their copy of the new Membership Information Guide—a colorful and easy to read quick reference guide to every program, service and benefit that is available to members of the Band.

Sessions have been delivered in Grand Falls-Windsor, Gander, Gander Bay, St. George’s, Stephenville, Flat Bay, and Burgeo. The final leg of the tour will include stops in Port au Port, Corner Brook, Benoit’s Cove and St. John’s.

We hope to see you there!

Port au Port Tuesday, April 23, 7:00 PM Our Lady of Fatima Parish Community Centre, 13 NL-460, Aguathuna Corner Brook Wednesday, April 24, 7:00 PM Bennett Hall-Masonic Hall, 11 West Street, Corner Brook

St. John’s Thursday, April 25, 2019, 7:00 PM First Light Centre for Performance and Creativity, 81 Cochrane Street, St. John’s

Benoit’s Cove Monday, April 29, 7:00 PM Community Room, 103 Hillview Rd., Benoit’s Cove

 

CAN’T ATTEND IN PERSON?
View the online copy of the Membership Information Guide and stay tuned for an upcoming information session to be hosted online.

 

Media:

Alison White
Communications Officer
Qalipu First Nation
709-649-7194