The Outdoor Education came to an end On October 18th after welcoming 362 students from 11 schools from the Bay of Islands, Deer Lake, Corner Brook, Central and the Northern Peninsula.
This Program is the only curriculum-based, immersive outdoor education experience offered to grade five students in Newfoundland and Labrador. Thousands of students have gone through this outdoor classroom since the program’s inception, shaping the educational landscape and the hearts and minds of children, teachers and chaperones alike.
Qalipu First Nation is a proud partner in the delivery of this program which has grown to represent a successful model for experiential education rooted in the natural and cultural history that shapes this land and its people.
We wish to express our gratitude and well wishes to Indigenous Interpreter Kevin Barnes who played a key role in the delivery of the camp. Kevin retired from Parks Canada this year and his presence in the program will be missed.
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.”
November 7, 2019 Corner Brook—The Qalipu First Nation wishes to advise its membership and the broader Indigenous community of a special visit coming up next weekend, November 15-17, from several members of the Mi’kmaq Grand Council, the traditional governing body of the Mi’kmaq people. Grand Chief Norman Sylliboy, Grand Keptin Antle Denny and Elder Stephen Augustine will be welcomed by Qalipu Chief Brendan Mitchell in Corner Brook.
“We are so pleased to have a delegation from the Grand Council visit Qalipu territory for the first time,” Chief Brendan Mitchell remarked. “Grand Chief Sylliboy and Grand Keptin Denny invited me to attend Treaty Day in Nova Scotia, and I was received with the warmest hospitality. I look forward to offering the same kindness as they prepare to visit us in Newfoundland.”
The group will spend the weekend in the area with plans to include spending the day with the Qalipu Council for a meet and greet; and on the following day, plan on attending a Council meeting, taking a scenic drive into Flat Bay, and enjoying a community potluck feast at the Friendship Centre in St. George’s where everyone is welcome to come out and spend time with our special guests.
Building relationships with Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia and throughout the broader Mi’kmaq community in Atlantic Canada, has been an important priority for Chief Mitchell and Council. In 2018, Qalipu First Nation was formally recognized and accepted as a member of the Assembly of First Nations and in April of 2019, Qalipu was brought into the group known as the Atlantic Policy Congress. Relationship building with the Mi’kmaq Grand Council is another important step for the Band and the communities it represents.
Chief Mitchell added, “Our inclusion into the AFN, APC and acknowledgement by the Mi’kmaq Grand Council are important to us; it is part of our reconciliation as Mi’kmaq people. Friendships are being formed, and relationships are being established. It is a good time for the Qalipu First Nation.”
We asked, and you answered! Local Mi’kmaq artist Marcus Gosse prepared four sample logos, and 41% of those who participated in the poll chose “Cultural Quest” making it the top choice for the new official logo of the Comprehensive Community Plan!
The Comprehensive Community Plan (CCP) is a process that will allow our community to build a roadmap towards sustainability, self-sufficiency, and improved government capacity. It will allow the community to establish a vision for its future and implement projects to achieve this vision. This process is intended to be inclusive, representing the perspective of all members, from youths to Elders, within or outside the community.
The key planning areas are governance, land and resources, health, infrastructure development, culture, social issues, and the economy. The CCP will be sustainable, meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to thrive.
Qalipu First Nation looks forward to working with the community to develop the CCP via meetings, presentations, surveys and a variety of community engagement.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-4706.
QFN’s Education and Training department, alongside facilitators from Physical Health Education Canada, hosted a two day workshop on October 28 and 29 for students and educators. The workshop focused on school health from an Indigenous perspective, and was intended to provide information and create feedback toward the development of a social and emotional toolkit for school age youth. This toolkit is a project that QFN continues to work on through the WellAhead Initiative, with a grant provided by the McConnell Foundation.
With newly formed friendships, a better understanding of the community resources available to Western District schools, and a renewed commitment to inclusiveness and continued partnerships, the workshop was a great success. This success was a further testament to the fantastic partnership that has been built between QFN and the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District, whose ongoing support is instrumental in our ability to reach youth.
Many thanks are extended to our facilitators Tricia Zakaria and Ryan Fahey from PHE Canada, our wonderful partners Dr. Antony Card, Dean of Education Mount Saint Vincent University, the Newfoundland and Labradors Teachers Association Special Health Council, Western Health, and our friends at The People of the Dawn Indigenous Friendship Center in Stephenville. Special thanks to Chief Brendan Mitchell and Stephenville Ward Councillor Odelle Pike for sharing your wisdom and welcoming everyone with open arms.
The Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Circle of Newfoundland and Labrador (ASRCNL) is requesting expressions of interest from any Indigenous athlete in Newfoundland and Labrador interested in competing with Team Indigenous at the 2020 NL Summer Games. Please share the attached information with any contacts you may have including friends, parents, and youth. ASRCNL will move forward with the 2020 Team Indigenous plans and preparation based on the response we receive.
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!”
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:
Yes B’y Beading
Margie Benoit Wheeler
Bonny W Messervey