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Message from the Chief July 14, 2017

It’s Powwow time! There was a real nice turn out at the Bay St. George Cultural Circle last night for the pre-powwow gathering, hosted there every year, and I’m on my way to Flat Bay in time for the Grand Entry of the 11th Annual Bay St. George Powwow tomorrow.   A special word of thanks to the committee that organized this year’s event.  Likewise, a special thanks to the people of Conne River who organized the Miawpukek Powwow last weekend, and for the warm welcome I received while visiting.  It was a wonderful time.

As your Chief, it’s important to me to meet with as many of you, face-to-face as I can throughout the year at these special gatherings.  Of course, there are many other areas of importance for the Nation, many of which we see outlined in Qalipu’s five-year Strategic Plan.  This plan was developed in consultation with membership both in person and by survey, and with the staff and Council focus-groups.  It is based around cornerstones that were most frequently identified by members and focus groups: Member Services; Communications; Culture & Heritage; Environmental Stewardship; Operational Excellence and Economic Development.

I’m proud to report some positive steps taken recently toward our Economic Development goals.  The pursuit of successful investment and business growth is the Band’s responsibility.  A Nation without reserve lands, we do not have access to significant natural resources to fuel growth and meet the demand for programs and services.  We must focus on generating income and wealth from sources other than direct government funding through successful economic growth and business development.

Qalipu has recently signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Barry Group Inc., the largest inshore fishing enterprise in Atlantic Canada.  Together we will pursue ocean perch quota access from the Federal Government.  Once obtained, there will be opportunities for our inshore fishers to obtain licenses from Qalipu, and further employment opportunities in processing plants that the Barry Group Inc. intends to establish on the west coast.  There will likely be hundreds of jobs for members and non-members alike.  We are also going to explore the development of a Qalipu branded fish product, and look forward to acquiring new skills and expertise from the Barry Group who has been active in our province’s fishery for more than a hundred years.

Participation in the fishery is not a new thing for our Band, or its predecessor the Federation of Newfoundland Indians.  For nearly twenty years we have managed quotas and fishing licenses for our membership through Mi’kmaq Commercial Fisheries, and through the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy.  Qalipu also owns and operates its own commercial fishing vessel.  This new partnership with the Barry Group builds on our past development in the fishery, and is a positive step forward in the sustainable management, and engagement of aboriginal people in the fishery; we look forward not only to economic development opportunities but also to carry on a tradition of our ancestors.  Fishing has long been a mainstay of our culture in this province, and part of our traditional way of life.

You can expect to hear more about the MOU and way forward as details are worked out between our Council and the Barry Group.

I wish you all the best this summer season.  May the Creator bless you with many wonderful moments.

Wela’lin
Chief Brendan Mitchell

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Commercial Space for Lease in Grand Falls – Windsor

Location: 28 Hardy Avenue

Available: July 1, 2017

Approximately 790 square feet is available which is suitable for office or retail space.  Common Kitchen and bathroom areas.  Wheelchair accessible.  Large parking lot.  Centrally located.  Heat and light included.

For more information, please contact Rob Dicks at 634-6895 or email rdicks@qalipu.ca

NIHB

Medical Transportation Benefit, Claims Processed in 6-8 Weeks

Qalipu provides the support, preapprovals, processing and payment for all Medical Transportation Benefits for members of the Band in Atlantic Canada who are travelling for medical reasons.

Medical Transportation is one of the benefits of the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program, a health plan which all members of Qalipu, and other First Nations and Inuit in Canada, are eligible to receive.  This benefit provides financial compensation, based on rates set by Health Canada, for the cost of travel, meals, and accommodations for members with a health condition requiring travel to locations outside their communities to receive necessary medical services.

Qalipu began administering the benefit last year with a six-month pilot in the Glenwood Ward, and has since expanded the delivery to include all members living in Atlantic Canada who are travelling for medical reasons within Canada.

Jenna Osmond, Manager of the Qalipu Health Division said the move to administer the benefit to all members living in Atlantic Canada was a big piece of work but, that it’s going smoothly.

“After the expansion, the demand for service enhanced significantly.  To keep up, we hired another Data Entry Clerk.  With more than 20,000 members living in the region, our health team is busy!”

Osmond noted that many members are calling to ask for their claims within days or a couple of weeks of sending it in.  She added that while returns may happen sooner, the standard for processing claims is 6-8 weeks.

She said, “Members should wait the full 8 weeks before calling the office to ask if their claim has been processed.  This will allow our team to focus on processing claims rather than responding a high volume of calls.”

Members are reminded that all Medical Transportation Benefit claims are to be sent to Qalipu’s Corner Brook office.  Claims sent elsewhere will be redirected back to the Corner Brook office which will likely cause a delay.  Members should also be aware that they are required to sign up for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) to receive payment on their claims.  Find these details, and other important facts regarding the Medical Transportation Benefit by reading the Medical Transportation Benefit Fact Sheet and Useful Links

For more information, please contact a member of the Non-Insured Health Benefits team at 1-855-675-5743

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Seeking Recommendations: Elders Advisory Council

At the June 10 meeting of Council in Corner Brook it was decided that Ward Councilor’s would seek recommendations from their communities to establish an Elders Advisory Council.  The Elders Advisory Council will ideally consist of individuals who are respected and engaged in their communities and are able to represent a broad range of voices when the Band is making important decisions, planning events, delivering programs and identifying & developing key initiatives.

We need your help to help identify the elders in our communities who could be a representative on the Elders Advisory Council. While these individuals can be Elders in the traditional sense of the word, they can also be an elder that you see as a strong community leader who is involved in one or more active community groups, who communicates well with others.

With their permission, you are invited to make a recommendation on who you would like to have representing the communities in your Ward.  Please contact your Ward Councilor to make the recommendation.  Click here to find your Ward Councilor and their email address

When the Council meets again in August, they will discuss the feedback received from this request, and determine how to move forward with this initiative and the establishment of the Elders Advisory Council.

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Petroglyph Paint Night with Mi’kmaq Artist Marcus Gosse: St. George’s, Stephenville and Corner Brook

Sign up Now! Experience Qalipu presents Petroglyph Paint Night with Host Marcus Gosse.

A paint night with a cultural twist.  Join Marcus as he leads you through a discovery of ancient Mi’kmaq petroglyphs, and then have fun incorporating them into your own painting.  You will leave with your own beautiful piece of art.

Corner Brook, July 20 at 6:30 PM in the Qalipu Community Room

 St. George’s, July 27 at 6:30 PM in the Mi’kmaq Museum

 Stephenville, August 3 at 6:30 PM at 90 Main Street.

 Cost is $40 per person, all materials included.

To register, contact Tara Saunders at tsaunders@qalipu.ca or call 709-634-5972

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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
awhite@qalipu.ca

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Miawpukek First Nation 22nd Annual Powwow

Team NL
The Qalipu Chief and Council pledged $15,000 to support members of the Qalipu First Nation who will compete in games as Team Mi'kmaq. Pictured here for the presentation of the cheque are (L-R) Chief Brendan Mitchell, Odelle Pike, Mike Alexander, and Qalipu Ward Councilors Arlene Blanchard White and Gerard Alexander.

Qalipu Supports Team Mi’kmaq at the North American Indigenous Games

A group of exceptional young athletes from Newfoundland and Labrador will represent our province in competition with teams from across North America, at the North American Indigenous Games this July 16-23 in Toronto.

Team NL, a group of 90 representing the province’s four indigenous groups; Inuit, Innu, Metis and Mi’kmaq, will compete in volley ball, swimming, badminton, athletics, wrestling and rifle shooting.

Mike Alexander, Regional Coordinator of the Aboriginal Sports and Recreation Circle in Newfoundland, said that some members of the team are returning athletes who won medals at the 2014 games in Regina but noted, “there are a lot of new faces as well.  They are all exceptional athletes.”

Best of luck to Team NL and have fun at the games!

Experience of Food

The Experience of Food

Culinary Tourism Training Opportunity

A great proportion of visitors to Newfoundland and Labrador are looking for unique opportunities to connect to place and people.   As a people food has been much more then just something that we eat, it is something that sustains a way of life in NL.  Our traditions of food gathering and preparation have deeply connected us to the land and sea for centuries.  So the great question now is how do you make sure that every visitor that comes to NL gets a little of who you are as a people through a unique experience.

Join Lori McCarthy, award-winning owner of Cod Sounds who will share with you her story of growth and development as one of the top “foodie” experiences in Newfoundland and Labrador.  Over the course of the day Lori will engage you in an actually food experience and use that as the basis for larger discussions on how you can capture and tell your story to visitors through food.

When: July 10th, 2017

Where:  Corner Brook Qalipu Community Room, with an outdoor excursion to a neighbouring Bay of Islands community

Space is extremely limited.  For more information, or to sign-up, contact Tara Saunders at tsaunders@qalipu.ca or 709-634-5972

*Preference will be given to current tourism operators or those who are currently developing tourism products and  those who can demonstrate the greatest need for the training

NAFC Congratulates the 2017 Governor General Award Recipients

[June 19, 2017 – Ottawa] The National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC), on behalf of its Board of Directors and the entire Friendship Centre Movement would like to congratulate all those who have been honoured by the His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada in recognition of their outstanding Indigenous leadership. Each of the honourees exemplifies the strength and resilience of Indigenous peoples across Canada. The NAFC is particularly pleased that five of these honourees are committed and passionate Indigenous women who in addition to working tirelessly to advocate on behalf of Indigenous people serve or have served as leaders and change makers within the Friendship Centre Movement.

Sylvia B. Maracle, O.C. a social activist and Executive Director of the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres has been appointed as Officer of the Order of Canada;

Mary Richard, O.M. M.S.M. a longtime advocate and former Senator of the NAFC has been posthumously awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (civil division) which was accepted by her loving granddaughter Ms. Ashley Richard;

 Pam Glode-Desrochers, Executive Director of the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre in Halifax has been awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers;

Anita Campbell, former Executive Director of the Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Centre in Thompson, Manitoba has been awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers; and

Odelle Pike, President of the Bay St. George Cultural Circle, one of the Friendship Centre Movement’s newest Centres located in Newfoundland has been awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.

Upon hearing of the honours, NAFC President Chris Sheppard stated, “women have always held positions of leadership within Indigenous communities and that is a value that has been reflected across the Friendship Centre Movement both in the past and today.”  Sheppard went on to say, “I am proud that our women leaders are being recognized in this way as such honours have the potential to pave the way and inspire the next generation of urban Indigenous women leaders in Canada.”

Recipients were honoured earlier today at a ceremony hosted at Rideau Hall by the His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada.  The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, was also in attendance, along with other dignitaries and special guests.

Media Contact:
Erin Corston, Executive Director Email:  ecorston@nafc.ca Telephone:  613-563-4844