Qalipu and Barry Group Inc. Announce Partnership and Plans for Economic Development

July 10, 2017 Corner Brook NL—Mr. Bill Barry of the Barry Group Inc. and Chief Brendan Mitchell of the Qalipu First Nation today announced plans to move forward as partners on negotiations with the federal government concerning the future management and reallocation of a fully recovered ocean perch resource adjacent to our shores.  The scale of this resource is unprecedented in Canadian history. The announcement included plans for the establishment of a new processing plant in the Bay of Islands and another contemplated to be located in Port aux Basques.

Representatives of the provincial and federal government shared in the announcement and brought greetings from their respective areas.  The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador; The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard; the Honourable Eddie Joyce, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment and MHA for Humber-Bay of Islands; The Honourable Steve Crocker, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources; Gudie Hutchings, Member of Parliament for Long Range Mountains, and Mr. Arch Mitchell, Mayor of Humber Arm South.

Chief Mitchell spoke about the historic significance of fishing to Newfoundlanders and the positive economic impact the development will have on the region.  He said, “Fishing has long been an important part of our culture in this province, a mainstay of our traditional way of life.  Under this agreement, the Qalipu First Nation will administer licenses and quota which will allow for our management of this previously unfished species.  We look forward to the promise of economic benefits to our region as well as employment opportunities for indigenous people and communities.”

Mr. Barry spoke about the significance of the initiative which will include the establishment of two new processing plants by the Barry Group.  He also expressed appreciation for the encouragement and support of government for the initiative.   Mr. Barry said, “This is a historic initiative which will help shape the future prosperity of many communities in the Bay of Islands and Western Newfoundland.  It’s a proud day for members of the Qalipu First Nation and Barry Group.  We look forward to the growing significance of our new partnership in helping to ensure growth and prosperity in our province.  We applaud both our Provincial and Federal officials for their encouragement and support.”

Qalipu and their partner Barry Group Inc. will immediately begin to negotiate the path forward with federal officials.

Media Contact:

Alison White
Communications Officer
Qalipu First Nation
(709) 634-5163


Partners Committed to Long-term Sustainability of the Outdoor Education Program

May 18, 2017, Corner Brook—This week, staff at the Outdoor Education Program in Gros Morne National Park welcomed its first groups of grade five students, their teachers and parent chaperones for the 2017 school year.  The two-and-a-half-day, camp-based program, now in its 20th year, is an educational experience that meets

classroom curriculum requirements, while students benefit from immersion in the great outdoors.

Qalipu has been involved in the Outdoor Education Program since 2014 through the delivery of a cultural teaching module, and last year took on the enhanced role of coordinating the program in partnership with the Western Newfoundland and Labrador English School District and Parks Canada.

Ralph Eldridge, Director of Service Qalipu, said, “The program was a natural fit for Qalipu as it aligns with our mandate to engage youth in learning opportunities. The fact that it takes place in an outdoor setting helps to engrain a sense of importance of our natural world. It goes beyond the classroom, beyond the text book.”

Eldridge noted that the program is structured around seven modules that have children engaged in activities such as an archaeology dig, a night hike, painting, poetry writing, and exploration and appreciation of our natural environment.  Each of the modules corresponds with grade 5 curriculum outcomes.

Michelle Matthews, Education Outreach Officer, hired by the Band to facilitate the program, works with children and teachers on the ground at Killdevil. She said, “while helping to coordinate this program, Qalipu will also continue to deliver one of the modules, Epsisi’tat Awia’tat (Little Feet Travelling in a Circle).  The focus of the culturally based module centers on sustainability, history of the aboriginal people in Newfoundland and Labrador, and how the Mi’kmaq relied on mother earth to provide for the necessities of life. We will also continue to provide unique cultural experiences to students through participation in such things as talking circles, drumming and singing.

Future goals for the program include ensuring sustainability for generations to come, providing opportunities for schools in the central region to participate in the Killdevil program or offering a parallel program in that region, and integrating greater cultural content within the existing teaching modules.

For more information on getting your classroom involved in this opportunity, please contact Education Outreach Officer Michelle Matthews at 634-3856 or by email mmatthews@qalipu.ca

Save the Date 2

Qalipu Cultural Foundation and Parks Canada partner to Deliver Gros Morne Indigenous Cultural Festival

May 4, 2017, Steady Brook, NL—Qalipu First Nation and Parks Canada today reaffirmed their longstanding partnership and shared commitment to natural and cultural heritage conservation and education with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).  Following the signing, the partners announced an exciting initiative to be co-hosted by the Qalipu Cultural Foundation and Parks Canada this summer.  The Gros Morne Indigenous Cultural Festival will take place on August 4-6, 2017 in Cow Head, NL at the Shallow Bay day use area.

Parks Canada representatives Geoff Hancock, Superintendent (Western Field Unit) and Bill Brake, Superintendent (Eastern Field Unit), along with Sherry Dean, Chair of the Qalipu Cultural Foundation and Qalipu Chief, Brendan Mitchell, were on hand at Qalipu First Nation’s inaugural Indigenous Tourism Forum to announce the event to some fifty indigenous tourism operators, delegates and special guests.

Sherry Dean, Chairperson of the Qalipu Cultural Foundation shared details about the Gros Morne Indigenous Cultural Festival.  She said, “The Festival will focus on teachings, cultural celebration and experiences set in the beautiful Gros Morne National Park.  On day one of the Festival, you will have an opportunity to experience firsthand some Indigenous practices and traditions, as well as the beliefs and customs guiding them.  We’ll discover things like how to prepare for a sweat lodge, and what to expect when you get there.  Visitors will also learn some dance steps, music, and etiquette when attending a powwow. We are really excited to share in this unique celebration with Parks Canada.”

Dean went on to say that the second day of the Festival would be organized as a mini-powwow event; a day of ceremony and celebration as Indigenous elders and performers from the island of Newfoundland, Labrador as well as Atlantic Canada share their culture through prayer, song, dance and drumming.  On the third and final day of the Festival, park staff and Indigenous partners will work together to deliver interpretive programs centred on a shared vision of ecological conservation and connecting with nature.

Superintendent Geoffrey Hancock spoke to the value Parks Canada places on working with Indigenous groups and communities saying, “Parks Canada recognizes the incredible contribution Indigenous communities have made and continue to make to the social and cultural fabric of our country. Here in Newfoundland and Labrador, we have worked with our Indigenous partners to build a culture of mutual respect and co-operation which has been formally recognized with the signing of this MOU. This year, we are especially proud to be working with Qalipu First Nation on an event to be held in Gros Morne National Park that will celebrate the diversity and vitality of Indigenous cultures in our province as part of the celebrations taking place to underscore Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.”

The Tourism Forum, and the upcoming Indigenous Cultural Festival announced today, are important markers of progress towards the implementation of the Band’s Tourism Strategy and Implementation Plan.

In 2016, the Qalipu First Nation developed a comprehensive Tourism Strategy together with a Five-Year Implementation Plan. This Tourism Strategy, branded as Experience Qalipu, aligns its objectives with the economic evolution of Qalipu First Nation. It is designed to contribute in a coordinated and synergistic way to on-going community capacity building, to offer new opportunities for personal and business growth and to reinforce the credibility and profile of the Band to tourism customers and a broad range of potential partners.

For more information about the festival please contact Mitch Blanchard, Qalipu Resource Coordinator at 634-8046


Alison White
Communications Officer Qalipu First Nation
(709) 634-5163

A newspaper on a wooden desk - Press Release

Keith Goulding New Band Manager at Qalipu First Nation

The Qalipu First Nation is pleased to announce the appointment of Keith Goulding to the position of Band Manager effective April 1, 2017. Reporting to Chief and Council, Goulding will be responsible for oversight and management of Band business and programs, including management of Qalipu staff at four office locations.

Randy Drover, the recently hired Band Manager, decided to move on to pursue another opportunity in his hometown in central Newfoundland. Randy tendered his resignation late last week and will work his final day with the Qalipu First Nation this Friday, March 31, 2017.

Brendan Mitchell, Chief of the Qalipu First Nation spoke highly of Drover and noted that during his short time at Qalipu, “he demonstrated a high degree of competence, effectiveness and professionalism. He has accomplished much in a short period of time on behalf of Qalipu First Nation and its members.” He wished Randy every success in his future endeavours.

He went on to say that he has a high level of confidence in Keith Goulding stepping into the position of Band Manager. He said, “Keith has strong leadership skills and has an extensive background in project management, community economic development, administration, finance, policy and strategic planning. He has been employed at Qalipu First Nation for the past six years and has senior management experience as Director of Work Force Qalipu.”

Prior to joining Qalipu, Keith served as Principal at Academy Canada in Corner Brook for six years. He has held key roles with the Greater Corner Brook Board of Trade serving as Vice-President and President for two terms.

Keith holds a Bachelor of Arts (Mathematics) from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Masters Certificate in Project Management from the Schulich School of Business at York University. He is currently in the process of completing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Fredericton.

Keith has been involved in the aboriginal movement for many years and continues to actively participate in Mi’kmaq culture. He is a former member of the Bay St. George Cultural Revival Committee and has volunteered extensively at the Flat Bay Pow Wow and other events locally.

Of his new post, Keith said, “Over the past six years I have been committed to this organization and to furthering the interests of our Nation. I look forward to continuing that work in a new and exciting role.”

Breaking news

Statement Regarding Ottawa Meeting

On February 24, 2017, Chief/President Mitchell, Vice Chief (Central) Bouzanne, Councillor/Director Skeard, Elder Odelle Pike, Elder Calvin White, and Band Manager Randy Drover met with representatives of Canada to discuss the outcomes of the enrolment process.  Vice Chief (Western) Samms-Hurley was unavailable due to other previously scheduled Band commitments.  The meeting occurred in Gatineau, QC.

Over the past couple of weeks, members and applicants received their letters from the Enrolment Committee regarding their eligibility for enrolment as Founding Members of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band.  Chief and Council has and continues to receive feedback from members and applicants who are expressing their disappointment with the outcomes.  Many people are sharing their personal stories and are questioning the decisions of the Enrolment Committee.  These stories and the associated emotions are being heard and felt.  The Chief and Council are equally disappointed with the number of members and applicants found not to have met the enrolment criteria and sympathize with those people who were found ineligible for enrolment.

On February 13, 2017, the Qalipu First Nation (QFN) and the FNI began hosting end of enrolment community sessions to provide members with an opportunity to raise questions and concerns.  To date, community sessions were held in Flat Bay, Port-au-Port, St. Georges, Stephenville, Benoits Cove, St. John’s and Grand Falls-Windsor.  Sessions will also be held in Gambo, Appleton, Corner Brook, Port Saunders, and Burgeo in the coming weeks.  These sessions have been well attended and the information collected was shared with Canada during the meeting.  For more information regarding the community sessions, please visit Qalipu.ca.

During the meeting in Gatineau, the parties had an open and frank discussion regarding the outcomes of the enrolment process.  Chief Mitchell and the other representatives, including the Elders, shared the concerns, issues and emotions they are hearing and feeling throughout our communities.

The QFN and the FNI will continue to address with Canada the issues and concerns being raised by our members and applicants.  Moreover, efforts to find solutions, within the parameters of the agreements, are being explored.  While this process is unfolding, and there are no assurances these exploratory discussions will be fruitful, the FNI encourages those individuals with the right to appeal to utilize that process.  Appeals must be submitted by March 31, 2017, and they must demonstrate how the Enrolment Committee made an error or mistake when assessing your application.  The appeals process provides an important opportunity to rectify errors that members and applicants feel were made in the assessment of their files.  For more information regarding the appeals process, please visit Qalipu.ca.

Further updates will be provided as the process unfolds.


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/


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.”

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.

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.”

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