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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/

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Qalipu First Nation Announces Hiring of New Band Manager Randy Drover

Corner Brook, January 9, 2017—The Qalipu First Nation is pleased to announce the hiring of a Band Manager.   Randy Drover of Bishop’s Falls joined staff at the Qalipu administrative office in Corner Brook today.  In this position, Drover will report directly to Chief and Council, and be responsible for oversight and management of all Band business, including management of a group of staff at four office locations.

Chief Mitchell noted that choosing an individual with strong leadership skills along with the right blend of education, experience and engagement with the aboriginal movement, was a significant task for the Qalipu Council.    He noted that there were many strong applicants, and that he relied on the assistance of an independent recruiter to help make the decision.

“Randy Drover’s involvement with the Mi’kmaq movement in Newfoundland from a young age, his former experience with Qalipu Council, collaborative approach to leadership, his education and work experience, made him the top candidate for the important job of Band Manager.”

Randy was first engaged in the Mi’kmaq movement in Newfoundland at 18 years old when he attended youth conferences and meetings through the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples.  In 2001 he was elected to the Sple’tk First Nation’s Board of Directors.  Since then, Randy has served as National Youth Representative (Chair of the National Youth Council) for the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (2005-2008), Central Vice President for the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (2006 – 2008), National Vice-Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (2010 – 2011) and, most recently, as Central Vice-Chief of the Qalipu First Nation (2012 – 2015).

Between 2006 and 2016 Randy worked with the Town of Bishop’s Fall’s in various capacities; he managed projects including development and implementation of the Town’s strategic community development plan, served two years as Town Clerk, and in 2010 was promoted to Town Manager/Clerk.  During his time with the municipality, Randy gained extensive experience in preparing and managing annual budgets, policy development, strategic planning, human resources, project management, program development, labour relations/collective agreement negotiations, clerking, and a variety of other assignments.  Prior to becoming Band Manager, Randy was employed by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador as a Manager of Operations with Service NL.

In terms of education, Randy holds a Master of Public Administration Degree from Dalhousie University, a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Memorial University, and a Diploma of Business Management (Human Resources) from the College of the North Atlantic.

Randy reports that he is excited to get started.  He said, “I am very excited to begin working with the Qalipu First Nation.  After more than 16 years of engagement with the Mi’kmaq movement in Newfoundland, this feels like a right fit and natural next step for me both professionally and spiritually.  I look forward to working with the Chief, Council, and staff in pursuit of the best outcomes for our Nation.”

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Glenwood Ward Councilor Frank Skeard with his wife, Deneka

Ke’tipnemk Fundraiser an Important Gathering Point for Dispersed Newfoundland Mi’kmaq Communities

On October 22 the Qalipu Cultural Foundation (QCF) held their second annual Ke’tipnemk Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction at Jennifer’s Restaurant in Corner Brook.  The purpose of the fundraiser was to raise money in support of the Foundations’ mandate to support Mi’kmaq culture in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The event attracted more than 100 guests from throughout Qalipu territory, including Frank Skeard, Ward Councilor for Glenwood, and his wife Deneka.  Skeard said he was more than happy to travel some 300 km for the event which he and his wife had been looking forward to for some time.

“We are all on our own journey,” he said. “While I was pleased to attend to represent the people of the Glenwood Ward, I also attended for the cultural discovery that is part of my own personal journey.  This event was a great balance of social get together, and cultural sharing.  I’m so glad I got to be a part of it.”

Sherry Dean, Chairperson for the Foundation, was pleased to report that again this year, the Foundation surpassed its fundraising goal.  She said, “Through individual and business sponsorships, sale of the beautiful works of art and craft donated by local indigenous artists and craft people, and ticket sales we raised over $17,000!”

Sherry also expressed thanks for the hard working volunteers who she said “brought the event to life.”

The Qalipu Cultural Foundation was formed in 2014 to support Mi’kmaq culture in Newfoundland and Labrador. We are making every effort to reach out to individuals with limited knowledge of their heritage, and providing them with information and experiences that will assist them in the discovery process. We also seek to unite the people who have the experience and knowledge of Mi’kmaq traditions.

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Annie Randell 2016

Qalipu CEO Resigns, Pursues Another Career Opportunity

Qalipu First Nation wishes to share with its members, partners and community that on August 5, 2016 Annie Randell resigned from her position as CEO with Qalipu to pursue another employment opportunity.  Randell was the Band’s CEO, responsible for day to day operations, since its inception in 2011.  She was also very involved with the aboriginal rights movement with the Federation of Newfoundland Indians for over 20 years, and was part of the team that achieved recognition for the Qalipu First Nation.

Rob Dicks, Director of Operations said that, business will proceed as usual and there will be no impact to member programs and services.

“Logistically, its business as usual.” Dicks said.  “From the point of view of administration, all accommodations are in place to ensure there is no interruption to our day to day operations.  We have a strong senior management team in place.  I expect that business will continue uninterrupted until accommodations are made for a replacement.

Brendan Mitchell, Chief of the Qalipu First Nation, wished Randell the best in her future endeavors.

“Annie Randell accomplished a lot in her time with us and over the years when Mi’kmaq people were fighting for recognition from the government.  On behalf of Council, staff and membership, we thank Annie for her service and wish her all the best in the future.”

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Back row, L-R: Stephen Rose, Monty Bath, Rodney Bennett, David Lucas, Roland Vivian, Donna John, Danny Stanford, Jonathan Strickland.  Front row, L-R Raymond Young, Martin Swyers, Melvin White, Robin Sheppard.

Qalipu Announces Enhancement to Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy

Ed Webb (retiring Guardian) and new trainee (replacement) Robin Sheppard
Ed Webb retired this year after more than 15 years of service.  Pictured here with his replacement, trainee Robin Sheppard

June 16, 2016, Corner Brook—Chief Brendan Mitchell of the Qalipu First Nation today announced an enhancement in funding for the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy (AFS) to support the hiring of two additional Aboriginal Fishery Guardians in the central region. This was an important achievement for the new Chief, who at the start of his term approached the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) regarding the need for greater representation on central rivers, and to secure enhanced funding for AFS which had not seen an increase in nearly twenty years.

Chief Mitchell addressed the group of ten Guardians who were gathered along with DFO representatives and Qalipu Natural Resources (QNR) staff, in Corner Brook today for refresher training as the team begins their working season.

“The Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy is a very special program for us at Qalipu. Conservation is so important to all of us in the province, and your presence on our rivers helps prevent poaching and encourages sustainable use of our resources for future generations. I have a lot of respect for the work that you all do. This is why it was so important to me, not only to continue this program, but also to pursue expansion of it. I’m pleased to share with you all today that, after some negotiation, DFO has come through with additional funding to support the hiring of one additional Guardian in the central region.”

Chief Mitchell went on to say that for the safety of the Guardians who spend a lot of time working in and around water, it is best that they work in pairs of two. He noted that QNR will fund a second new position in Central to allow for that. Representation will now consist of six Guardians in western Newfoundland, and six in Central.

In addition to enforcement patrols, the Guardians collect scientific data that is fed into the Natural Resource division for analysis and reporting. For reliable planning, reporting, and understanding of our environment, raw data is essential. Data collected each year provides the possibility for long term monitoring, indicating changes over time. A number of QNR and MAMKA projects were made possible this year by the involvement of the AFS Guardians. In particular, projects pertaining to American eel, fresh water habitat obstruction removal, Invasive Species and research concerning Species at Risk.

The new Aboriginal Fishery Guardian Trainee positions are now listed on Qalipu.ca. For more information, please contact Jonathan Strickland, Manager of the Qalipu Natural Resource division by email at jstrickland@qalipu.ca

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Qalipu Health Services Division Launches New Project

The Qalipu Health Services division is pleased to announce the launch of a new project, The Qalipu First Nation Chronic Disease Prevention and Self-Management Project. This initiative will see traditional and cultural resources integrated into the existing Improving Health My Way (IHMW) program currently offered by provincial regional health authorities. This project was made possible by the receipt of a $100,000 Health Service Integration Fund, awarded to Qalipu this year.

“Health services is an area where we see a lot of potential for growth for the Qalipu First Nation.” Noted Brendan Mitchell, Chief of the Band, “This project, and the partnerships formed with regional health authorities, government and other stakeholders, will be a valuable resource to the Band going forward. It will serve as a strong      foundation for future health promotion initiatives.”

Renée Dyer, Manager of the Qalipu Health Service division said that the existing program is a great opportunity for people of the province to better their health, and hopes that adding elements of culture and tradition will make it even more relevant, particularly for the Qalipu First Nation.

She said, “This program give people the self-empowerment skills and tools needed to manage chronic disease and improve their overall wellness and quality of life. Qalipu will build a supplementary resource that will integrate aspects of Mi’kmaq culture and traditional practices into the existing program, making it more engaging for our membership.”

Starting on July 13 and running every Wednesday for six weeks, Qalipu will deliver the IHMW program to members of the Band. It will be delivered at the Qalipu Community Room in Corner Brook and will be expanded to be delivered in in other Wards as project development continues.

Dyer added that in the fall, members who participated in the summer session, as well as general members of the band, will be engaged via consultations and a survey, to help identify cultural and traditional components that are unique to our First Nation and that can support the program when being delivered to Qalipu members.

For more information about this new initiative, contact Renée Dyer by email at rdyer@qalipu.ca.

To register for the Improving Health my Way program taking place this summer, please contact Victoria White at 637-5000, ext. 6689 or email selfmanagement@westernhealth.nl.ca

Click Here for more details on the Improving Health My Way Program

Media:
Alison White Communications Officer,
Qalipu First Nation tel. (709)634-5163
email awhite@qalipu.ca

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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

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Group of six boys, team sitting on the grass with balls happy and smiling, on sunny summer day

Notice for Mi’kmaq Athletes 14-16 Years of Age who are Interested in Tryouts for a Spot on Team Mi’kmaq in the NL Summer Games

 

(Published March 18, 2016)
The Newfoundland and Labrador Winter and Summer Games will now include Aboriginal Teams from each Aboriginal Nation beginning at the Summer Games, to be held in August, 2016, in CBS, NL. Therefore, in the 2016 NL Summer Games we have the opportunity to enter a Team Mi’kmaq.

The Aboriginal Sports Circle intends to enter teams in the following sports: Swimming, Golf, Track and Field and beach volleyball.

To identify our Mi’kmaq athletes, the Aboriginal Sports Circle would like to know where your children attend school, their name, age and grade, and which of the 4 sports for the 2016 Games they would like to try out for. Your child can try out for all 4 if they wish, but can only compete in one sport. The NL Summer Games will be very competitive. All athletes who compete will be trying to do their best and be noticed as a candidate for the 2017 NL Canada Games Team. We will be assessing the aboriginal athletes and coaches for the 2017 North American Indigenous Games to be held in Toronto.

For full details, and to complete the questionnaire identifying our student athletes, please click here.

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Sport coach training a young attractive woman on a stadium

Wanted: Aboriginal Coaches for 2016 NL Games

(Published March 15, 2016)

In preparation for the 2016 NL Summer Games, the Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Circle is pleased to accept applications for coaching positions for Aboriginal Teams at these upcoming Games. We will be accepting applications for coaching in the following sports:

-Athletics
-Beach Volleyball
-Golf
-Swimming.

If this opportunity interests you, please provide a written expression of interest, outlining certification and/or relevant experience and qualifications, to either of the ASRCNL staff listed below by March 31, 2016:

Mike Alexander BSG Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Circle
129 Montana Drive
2nd Floor, Rm 228
Stephenville, NL A2N 2T4
Ph: (709) 643-3130
Fax: (709) 643-3150
e-mail bsgasrc@nf.aibn.com

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