NLITA Announcement
L-R Robert Bernard, Roxanne Notley, Jillian Larkham, Tara Saunders and Keith Henry

Qalipu First Nation a part of first Newfoundland and Labrador Indigenous Tourism Association, announced at HNL Conference 2020

February 28, 2020, Corner Brook—Yesterday, members of the newly established Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Association (NLITA) shared their story of coming together to form an association that will support Indigenous tourism development in this province.  What began as a conversation two years ago during the first province-wide Indigenous Tourism Gathering in Happy Valley-Goose Bay became a reality as the group announced their new Association and 5-year development strategy.

On hand to share in the announcement were Tara Saunders of Qalipu First Nation, Roxanne Notley of NunatuKavut and Jilliam Larkham of Nunatsiavut. Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) representatives President and CEO Keith Henry and Atlantic Coordinator Robert Bernard were also on hand to show their support. The Indigenous-led team will pursue grassroots tourism support, cultural preservation, inclusion, leadership, marketing, product development, education, training and capacity building.

Tara Saunders, who also holds the provincial seat on the ITAC Board of Directors and serves on the Board with Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, noted that the five-year strategy was developed with input from many voices heard through an engagement process that included industry, partners and Indigenous communities.

Saunders noted that 91% of those reached during the engagement process agreed that an Indigenous tourism association would be an asset for their communities. They also felt it could help businesses to prosper and reconcile with the past. She added, “this is the first step in laying a solid foundation for the Indigenous peoples of this province to positively impact their communities through the fastest growing tourism sector in Canada. Indigenous tourism is about so much more than economic benefit, it is about giving the community a platform through which they can share their own stories and values.”

Community pre-launch events were held in Goose Bay and in Corner Brook so that community people would have the opportunity to be the first to hear about the new plan. In Corner Brook Chief Brendan Mitchell was on hand to pledge his support to the development of Indigenous Tourism.

To learn more about NLITA, the new Provincial Indigenous Tourism Strategy, and how Mi’kmaq and Qalipu member owned businesses can be part of the good work being done, please visit or connect with Tara Saunders at


Message From The Chief – March 20, 2020


Greetings from my living room to yours!

It has been quite a week at Qalipu First Nation, and around the world.  As details came to us about the COVID-19 pandemic, we responded accordingly.  First, we postponed all scheduled public events and restricted staff travel.  Then we took the additional step of closing our offices to outside traffic, we shut down the community rooms and closed our Council meeting. Finally, before the week was out, we found ourselves equipping staff to work from home, and making plans to continue the delivery of programs and services upon which our members rely.

We are still reeling from these changes, the stripping down of many of our relied upon routines, activities and social living.

The truth is, we are experiencing an unprecedented moment in our shared history and change can be difficult.  However, the decisions we are making today demonstrate that we are willing to put the health of our communities above all else, and that is something of which we can all be proud.

I hope that we can stay connected in the weeks ahead before things return to normal.   I encourage you to send in pictures and news of how you are finding ways of enjoying this time off the beaten path.  We will share them in our weekly newsletter to help us all feel a little more connected and perhaps even inspired.


Chief Brendan Mitchell

Office Closure

Qalipu First Nation to Close all Office Locations

March 17, 2020, Corner Brook—Qalipu First Nation wishes to advise that effective 4:00 PM today, all Qalipu office locations will be closed. Services will continue to be delivered by our dedicated body of staff from their home office locations. This decision has been made to support efforts being made to reduce contact and spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

Qalipu Band Chief Brendan Mitchell noted that, for Council, the decision to send staff home was a good one. He said, “We are experiencing an unprecedented moment in our shared history. In our province and around the world businesses and individuals are demonstrating that we are willing to put the wellness of our communities ahead of business as usual. At Qalipu First Nation, we are willing to do what is needed.”

Chief Mitchell noted that the Band will maintain a high level of communication with community members via social media, the website, by email and phone.

He said, “We are each finding our way day by day as this health crisis unfolds. It’s important that we find ways to stay connected and know that we are getting through this together. I encourage you to sign up for our Community Mailing List if you haven’t already done so. We plan on staying in touch.”

While the Band transitions to work from home, we ask community members to be patient. At this time, contact by email would be most direct and staff will be available to respond during regular business hours. We will check voicemails daily for those who may not be able to avail of online communication. It is important to note that there will be no break in our services. Health claims will be processed, education benefit intake and management as well as other services will continue.

We are all in this together. M’sit No’kmaq.

Coronavirus COVID-19 - 2019 Cronavirus Disease

COVID-19 Additional Safety Measures Added at Qalipu First Nation

March 16, 2020, Corner Brook—Further to a press release issued on March 13, Qalipu First Nation wishes to advise its membership and other stakeholders that we have added additional safety measures to help prevent unnecessary contact or potential spread of COVID-19 in our communities.  As previously noted, all events, workshops and other gatherings have been postponed, and staff travel has been restricted.

At this time, we wish to advise that our offices will not be open to walk-in traffic or appointments in St. George’s, Stephenville, Corner Brook, Glenwood, and Grand Falls-Windsor.  We will continue to provide a high level of service and encourage our members to contact us by phone or email.  A full list of staff contact and Council information can be found on our website:

The Council meeting scheduled for March 21 in Corner Brook will proceed as planned however, this meeting will not be open for the attendance of membership.

Additionally, until further notice, our community rooms in Grand Falls-Windsor and Corner Brook will be closed.  If you have reserved this space, you will be contacted regarding this change.

We will continue to monitor updates and update our emergency preparedness plans as needed.  We will advise of all changes impacting our members and the services that we provide.

A newspaper on a wooden desk - Press Release

COVID-19 Precautionary Safety Measures at Qalipu First Nation

Qalipu First Nation wishes to inform its membership and other stakeholders that we will be postponing several scheduled events and restricting out of province travel for our staff until further notice to avoid unnecessary contact or possible spread of COVID-19.

Band Manager Keith Goulding noted that the Band is taking measures to raise awareness and maintain a high quality of service. He said, “We are taking this seriously and we want people to feel safe. To minimize any potential impact on member services, we are reviewing our emergency preparedness plan, as well as increasing awareness among staff about safe practices.”

Qalipu First Nation calls on community members to support our efforts by ensuring they take the safety protocols and COVID-19 recommendations seriously as well. More information, including updates, travel advice, preparedness and prevention, can be found here: (

Please be advised, the following events will be postponed until a later date:

  • Community Engagement: Post Secondary Education Funding, St. John’s Memorial University, Monday March 16
  • Community Engagement: Post Secondary Education Funding, St. John’s Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland, Monday March 16
  • Community Engagement: Post-Secondary Education Funding, St. John’s College of the North Atlantic, Wednesday March 18
  • CCP Community Engagement, Bishop’s Falls Lion’s Club, Thursday March 19
  • CCP Community Engagement, Meadows Town Hall, Tuesday March 24
  • CCP Community Engagement, Lark Harbour Town Hall, Wednesday March 25


Snowshoe donation

QCF Cultural Support Grants – Helping Communities from Workshop to Classroom to Forest

Kikmanaq (our family; our friends) Indigenous Cultural Revival Association (KIRA) received a Cultural Support Grant from the Qalipu Cultural Foundation for a snowshoe building workshop.

Six pairs of the snowshoes that were built at the workshop were donated by the group to Mme. Laite’s Kindergarten classroom at Gander Academy. The snowshoes may also be used around the community as needed. Glenwood Ward Councilor Frank Skeard was on hand to provide some Mi’kmaq language/french/English resources and storybooks to Mme. Laite’s class as well!

Pictured above is Mme. Laite and her kindergarten classroom at Gander Academy along with KIRA representative Jordan Pottle and her daughter Norah.

The snowshoes were put to good use on March 1, 2020 (Indigenous Cultural Day) at Thomas Howe Demonstration forest. To deliver the event, which consisted of a craft demonstration and sale, a guided nature walk, and a campfire, KIRA partnered with the local Women’s Center and with WelcomeNL.

The Mi’kmaq Cultural Heritage Program is an annual grant intended to support Indigenous organizations and groups pass on traditional knowledge or host celebrations that promote Indigenous pride and identity. To learn more, please click here (

man having presentation at seminar

That’s a Wrap! Qalipu Business Forum: Building Success Together

February 21, 2020 Corner Brook—The Qalipu Business Network hosted its annual business forum on February 18-19 at the Greenwood Inn in Corner Brook.  This was the eighth annual forum which is designed to facilitate connections between Indigenous entrepreneurs, member-owned businesses, industry partners and service providers.  More than 80 business owners and other delegates turned out for the event.

The forum opened with an evening networking social featuring a musical performance by the talented Lorna Lovell who is set to launch her new album, Whenever I Sing, later this month.  Day two of the forum opened with a welcome from Qalipu Chief Brendan Mitchell and cultural sharing by the Corner Brook Aboriginal Women’s Association and included a full day of networking, engaging presentations and panel discussions.

Tara Saunders, Acting Director of the Community Development Department at Qalipu noted, “Our theme this year, ‘Building Success Together’, was really portrayed by the mix of business owners, service providers and government representatives in the room.  It was great to explore how all these groups can continue to work together to build strong and prosperous communities and it was inspiring to hear from some of our many entrepreneurs whose passion, dedication and great community partners have helped them achieve success in their business.  A big thank you goes out to the staff at Qalipu First Nation who helped put this event together, and to our partners and allies for their unwavering support.  Wela’lioq”

Business owners who would like to connect with the Qalipu Business Network are invited to contact Economic Development Officer Kellie Kerpan at

YSEP feature image

Youth Summer Employment Program

Apply for Your Summer Student Today!

Are you a small business owner that could benefit from a little extra help this summer? Qalipu is pleased to offer support by paying student wages in exchange for valuable work experiences for Indigenous students.

Over the years, the Youth Summer Employment Program has been successful in improving the employability skills of hundreds of Indigenous youth.  Skills gained on summer placements help students enter the workplace with the confidence that comes with experience.

Join the growing list of employers who are supporting Indigenous students on their journey.  Business owners and organizations are invited to apply for a summer student by noon on April 3, 2020.

Click here to apply for the Youth Student Employment Program

For more information please contact Employment Coordinator Yvonne MacDonald at or call 709-647-3514

Indigenous Pre-Cadet Training Program


Are you an Indigenous person, aged 19 to 29, and interested in learning more about a career in policing with the RCMP? You may be eligible to take part in this year’s Indigenous Pre-Cadet Training Program.

Indigenous pre-cadet training at the RCMP Training Academy

The program includes a three-week training session at the RCMP Training Academy (Depot) in Regina, Saskatchewan.

You’ll learn:

  • How to work as part of a policing team
  • An introduction to the Criminal Code and RCMP policy
  • Physical fitness and drill
  • Skills to help prepare you to apply to be a police officer

Open to Indigenous Peoples in Canada

To apply you must be:

  • of Indigenous descent (First Nation, Métis or Inuit)
  • aged 19 to 29
  • a Canadian citizen
  • a graduate of a Canadian secondary school (or equivalent)
  • able to pass an enhanced reliability security check

DEADLINE: February 25th, 2020

Please Contact:

Cst. April Janes
Indigenous & Community Policing B Division