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

A newspaper on a wooden desk - Press Release

Qalipu Takes the Wheel on own Destiny, Signs Ten-Year Comprehensive Funding Agreement

April 2, 2019 Corner Brook—Qalipu First Nation is pleased to announce a new development that
provides for more sustainable funding for its membership, and a stronger sense of self-determination  for the nation.  On March 14, 2019 Qalipu signed a ten-year grant funding agreement with Indigenous Services Canada. The agreement marks a significant departure from annually allocated funds that were often lacking in flexibility and autonomy for the Band and marks a new opportunity for creating a shared vision for the future with the members it represents. The Agreement is effective as of April 1, 2019.

Band Manger Keith Goulding leads a group of some fifty staff in five office locations across the province. He commented on his pride in the work the team has put in, including working closely with the Financial Management Board (FMB) to obtain the certification needed for grant funding approval with Indigenous Services Canada.

Goulding said, “Receiving this grant is a great opportunity for our Band. We have been working to meet the eligibility guidelines, developing policies and procedures that are up to industry best standards and maintaining a high level of accountability and transparency with our members. The signing of this ten- year agreement means that the way we conduct ourselves in business is top notch, it allows us to set our own course and move our First Nation forward in a positive way.”

The new comprehensive funding agreement will allow the Band to design its own programs, carry money forward from year to year, and focus on creating a vision for the future that is driven by the people and communities it represents.

Qalipu’s Comptroller, Jodie Wells, plays a lead role in the Bands financial management.   Wells explained that members will not see sudden changes but that they will have more say in how the Band spends money going forward.

She said, “For now, we have a five-year budget in place that has been reviewed and approved by Council. Our members will not notice a sudden shift in the way we do business.  Going forward, we still have to be accountable in how we spend but there will be more accountability to our people and communities rather than to government.”

To prepare for the future, Qalipu recently began a three-year project to consult with membership to build a Comprehensive Community Plan. This Plan will help guide the way the Band grows in terms of

programs, services and development initiatives.

Wells added, “Consultations for the Comprehensive Community Plan are likely to begin in the fall and
will feature a variety of outreach and engagement approaches.  We hope that everyone will take the opportunity to have their say and be a part of a shared vision for the future.”

For more information about the Comprehensive Community Plan please contact Joanne at 634-6384 or email jharris@qalipu.ca

Media:
Alison White
Communications Officer
Qalipu First Nation
709-634-5163
awhite@qalipu.ca

A newspaper on a wooden desk - Press Release

New Dates Scheduled: Membership Orientation

Everything you need to Know about your Benefits, Programs and Services

March 21, 2019 Corner Brook—All members of the Band are invited to attend an upcoming orientation session, particularly new members who may have a lot of questions about what it means to be a member of the Qalipu First Nation.

Orientation Sessions will feature a general overview of all programs, services and benefits, and we will have subject matter experts available to answer questions on Education, Health, Indian Registration, and to share plans on the upcoming Community Planning that will take place across all Wards.   Members of Council will also be on hand.

Members attending an orientation session will 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 you as a member of the Band.

We hope to see you there!

Location Date Time
St. George’s, Ktaqmkuk Mi’kmaq Museum Monday, March 25 6:30-7:30 PM
Stephenville, College of the North Atlantic Lecture Theatre Wednesday, March 27 6:30-7:30 PM
Flat Bay, Peoples Complex Thursday, March 28 7:30-8:30 PM
Burgeo, 50 Plus Club

Sunday, March 31 2:00-3:00 PM

St. George's, Stephenville, Flat Bay, Burgeo Poster

Barry Announcement 2017
In 2017 our Band announced a Fisheries Cooperation and Development Agreement with Barry Group Inc. and Allen’s Fisheries Ltd. to prepare for a new commercial redfish fishery.

Landmark Agreement Misses the Mark

March 14, 2019 Corner Brook – Qalipu First Nation congratulates its sister nation, Miawpukek
First Nation (MFN), on being part of an artic surf clam agreement that will bring benefits to MFN
while protecting existing plant operations and workers in Grand Bank, NL.

While we recognize the merits of the recently announced agreement struck between Clearwater
Seafoods Inc. and fourteen Mi’kmaq First Nations, thirteen in Nova Scotia and MFN in NL, Qalipu
First Nation must also note that the agreement benefits all but one resource-adjacent Mi’kmaq First
Nation: Qalipu. This was disappointing given that in the first round of the Department of Fisheries
and Oceans’ process for allocating Surf Clam quota, Qalipu partnered with all First Nations in
Newfoundland and Labrador, including Miawpukek First Nation, in a bid to access the allocation for
all provincial Indigenous peoples.

“Qalipu First Nation is the largest Indian Act Band in Canada, representing some twenty thousand
people,” noted Chief Brendan Mitchell. “We are pursuing ambitious economic development goals to
ensure our Band’s well-being, which includes the pursuit of fisheries opportunities. In 2017 our
Band announced a Fisheries Cooperation and Development Agreement with Barry Group Inc. and Allen’s
Fisheries Ltd. to prepare for a new commercial redfish fishery. This announcement was publicly
endorsed by then Minister of Fisheries Dominic LeBlanc. If the Clearwater agreement on surf clams
is acceptable to DFO, then surely, we can expect DFO to continue delivering on its reconciliation
agenda by honoring former Minister LeBLanc’s public statements regarding our access to redfish, and
we look forward to details in the near future.”

Brian Dicks, Corner Brook Ward Councilor and fisheries portfolio holder noted, “We will continue to
work with DFO, the Province and the industry to build our fisheries portfolio. We count the surf
clam announcement as a win for our sister nation, and when DFO delivers a significant allocation of
redfish to Qalipu when the quota is announced, we will see that as a win for us, a win for the
provincial fishing industry, and the fulfillment of a commitment made by a Federal Minister to our
Band.”

Mi’kmaq Commercial Fisheries Inc. manages all aspects of the Bands commercial fishing enterprises
throughout its 67 traditional Mi’kmaq communities and will continue to advocate for
access to this important traditional and cultural activity.

Register

Qalipu Business Forum2019: Crafting Culinary Experiences

March 13, 2019 Corner Brook—The Qalipu Business Network will host its seventh annual business forum on Tuesday, March 26 in Stephenville.

The Forum will focus on culinary experience development and highlight offerings created by Experience Qalipu and its partners. The one-day event will include a blend of presentations from traditional knowledge keepers, local entrepreneurs and Indigenous chefs.

College of the North Atlantic (CNA) joins as a major event partner this year by offering its Bay St. George campus facilities and expertise. Students in the college’s Cook program will work alongside Master Chef Joseph Shawana and food foraging expert Lori McCarthy to engage delegates in an interactive culinary experience. An evening reception will see participants gather at Secret Cove Brewery in Port au Port for a meal featuring traditional Indigenous ingredients that is prepared by chefs.

Experience Qalipu’s Tara Saunders said, “We are thrilled to be partners in this year’s forum, and know that the delegates will walk away with a better understanding of how to create an authentic experience for their visitors. We have had so much interest in this culinary forum that we are confident it will become an annual event.”

“This significant event will combine two themes near and dear to everyone’s heart – food and culture,” said Wayne Quilty, CNA’s Director of Partnerships, Entrepreneurships and Community Engagement. “Our relationship with the Qalipu First Nation enables a blending of these themes into a culinary cultural event with a focus on indigenous heritage, culture and opportunities for the future, be it in the culinary trades, tourism or a combination of the two. We are also excited about the fact our students are gaining hands-on experience in a real-life situation. CNA is honoured to partner with the Qalipu First Nation on the development and delivery of this one-of-a-kind event, and we look forward to many more opportunities for the college and First Nations to partner on innovative community initiatives.”

The Business Forum is one of two events featuring culinary innovation and entrepreneurial skills planned for CNA’s Bay St. George campus. During the two days following the Forum, the Navigate Entrepreneurship Program – a joint venture between Grenfell Campus and CNA – will facilitate a two-day business start-up exercise Wednesday and Thursday, March 27-28.

Interested attendees can pre-register for the event by clicking here, or by calling Megan at (709) 634-5479.
Media contacts:

Alison White
Communications Officer
Qalipu First Nation
709-634-5163
awhite@qalipu.ca

Michelle Barry
Communications Specialist
College of the North Atlantic
709-643-7721
Michelle.barry@cna.nl.ca

Forum Agenda

Banner

Newly Elected Qalipu Chief and Council Officially Take Office, Marked by Swearing in Ceremony

An election to choose Qalipu’s governing body, the Chief and Council, takes place every three years, and was recently conducted this year on October 23.  Today, the newly elected Chief and Council take office following a 30-day transition period.  The occasion was marked with a Swearing in Ceremony at the Civic Centre in Corner Brook.

The ceremony was officiated by Chief Mi’sel Joe of the Miawpukek First Nation, included musical sharing by Troy Bennett and Friends on the Community Big Drum, Paul Pike, and the Corner Brook Aboriginal Women’s Association.

Chief Brendan Mitchell, re-elected for a second term, said he is looking forward to working together in unity with the new Council, building upon initiatives that were started during his first term, and striving to achieve shared goals.

“Members of Council will have unique priorities and vision for their communities, however we share common interests including achievement of positive results in new negotiations with government.  Veterans, members of the Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP and FNI members or members of other Mi’kmaq organizations who were involved in the enrolment Process and denied Founding Membership will all be considered”, he said.

Mitchell also noted other priority areas that he believes will be shared on Council.  He said,  “We share a common vision of cohesiveness and unity within our communities; advancing business development initiatives leading to greater self-sufficiency for Qalipu as a means to contributing financially to our Ward communities; working towards obtaining a food, social and ceremonial license that will benefit our membership; and continuing to support the cultural revitalization that we have witnessed in recent times.”

The ceremony was attended by representatives from local indigenous organizations, community members and government officials.

Following the swearing in ceremony the new Council went on to hold their first meeting together, at the Community Room in Corner Brook.

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Canada to reassess nearly 58,000 applicants for Founding Membership in the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation and commits to exploratory discussions on membership for veterans, military members, RCMP and FNI members

November 15, 2018 — Ottawa, ON — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Canada remains committed to renewing the nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.

Today, Gudie Hutchings, Member of Parliament for Long Range Mountains and Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador, on behalf of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, along with Brendan Mitchell, President of the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI) announced the next steps in the implementation of the Wells/Wells decision.

Canada and the FNI will be moving forward with reassessing approximately 58,000 individuals who were denied Founding Membership in the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation. In addition, parties have committed to enter into exploratory discussions to address outstanding concerns regarding members of the Canadian Armed Forces, veterans, RCMP and FNI members or members of other Mi’kmaq organizations who were named in the 2008 agreement and denied Founding Membership. Individuals affected by the exploratory discussions will be contacted once further information becomes available.

The review of the Enrolment Process is a result of the May 8, 2018 Federal Court decision on the David Wells and Sandra Wells case, which deemed the requirement for proof of self-identification to the Mi’kmaq community pre-dating 2008 to be unreasonable and unenforceable. Therefore, these individuals will have the right to request reassessment of their application and to submit additional documentation for the self-identification criterion.

Individuals affected by the Wells decision will be contacted by mail in January 2019 with information on how to submit additional documents to have their application reassessed. Those who wish to have their applications reviewed will be asked to submit the form and documents with a postmark no later than 100 days after receipt of their letter.

Quick Facts on the Wells Decision

  • On May 8, 2018, Federal Court released its decision in the David Wells and Sandra Wells case, stipulating that it was unreasonable to require applicants to provide proof of self-identification to the Mi’kmaq community pre-dating the 2008 Agreement for the Recognition of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq Band.
  • This decision means that the approximate 58,000 individuals whose application for Founding Membership to the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation was denied based on the self-identification criterion of the Enrolment Process, now have the right to request reassessment of their application and to submit additional documentation.
  • In January 2019 (TBD), the Government of Canada and Federation of Newfoundland Indians will notify the 58,000 applicants eligible for re-assessment as a result of the Wells decision on next steps for the reassessment of their application.
  • Those affected should ensure their mailing address is up to date by contacting the Qalipu toll-free telephone line (1-800-561-2266). Individuals whose mailing address has not changed since their initial application are not required to provide updated information.
  • Additional information on the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Enrolment Process and the process through which the Wells decision will be implemented can be found online.

Quick Facts on the Exploratory Discussions

  • In the signature of the 2008 and 2013 Agreements and the Indemnity Agreement, the Government of Canada, the Federation of Newfoundland Indians, and the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation all agreed to the eligibility criteria individuals were required to meet in order to register under the Band.
  • In accordance with the 2008 and 2013 Agreements, and with the Enrolment and Appeals Processes, no exemptions or exceptions were granted to Veterans or members of other distinctive groups. However, Canada has heard the concerns regarding Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP, veterans, as well as members of FNI, who believe their applications were unfairly denied and will be entering into discussions with the FNI on this matter.
  • The Government of Canada recognizes and deeply values the meaningful contributions of Indigenous Veterans, RCMP, Canadian Armed Forces and other members of the military, to the development of our nation, and honours the sacrifices they have made in the defense of freedom and the pursuit of world peace.

 

Quotes

“The creation of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation is an important step towards reconciliation and the recognition of Newfoundland’s Mi’kmaq People. Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians will continue to work in close collaboration throughout the implementation of the Federal Court’s decision, in the spirit of upholding the integrity of founding membership.”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“I encourage all those who are eligible to submit additional documentation regarding the self-id criteria to do so.  Letters will be mailed to impacted individuals in the near future so I encourage you to ensure that your mailing address is up-to-date.  If you’ve moved or changed address, please contact 1-800-561-2266.  Let’s all look out for one another by sharing this news among our communities.”

Brendan Mitchell
President of the Federation of Newfoundland Indians

Psychotherapy session, woman talking to his psychologist

Qalipu to Deliver Mental Health Counselling Service

November 1, 2018, Corner Brook—The Qalipu First Nation is pleased to announce an expansion to our Health Division and our health services delivery.  Effective November 1, 2018, Qalipu will take on administration of the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Mental Health Counselling benefit for members of the Band living in Atlantic Canada.

The NIHB Mental Health Counselling benefit is intended to provide coverage for mental health counselling to complement other mental wellness services that may be available. This service provides for up to 22 hours of counselling annually (with extensions if needed) for individuals, children, families and groups.

There are numerous providers across the Atlantic Region that deliver this service who are ready to set appointments with clients.  To access counselling, members of the Band can choose a counsellor from the list, call to make an appointment and, after the appointment, the counsellor will send a request for approval to Qalipu for processing and the member bears no cost.

If a Band member needs to travel outside of their community to access their counsellor, they may also be eligible to receive support under the medical transportation benefit.

Mitch Blanchard, Manager of the Health Service Division said, “There are times in all of our lives when counselling could make a difference, and we encourage all those who are eligible to take advantage of the help that is available.  You don’t have to go through it alone.”

Those experiencing emotional distress and wishing to talk can also contact the toll- free Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310, or the online chat at hopeforwellness.ca, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Mental health counselling is the second NIHB benefit for which Qalipu has taken over the administration on behalf of members living in Atlantic Canada.  The Band began administering the medical transportation benefit last year and plans to pursue management of other programs and services to grow the Band’s ability to serve its own membership, create employment opportunities for our people, and generate own source revenue that can be re-invested into our communities.