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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

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Showcase your Art at the Ke’tipnemk (Harvest) Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction

On October 14th, 2017, there will be a silent auction of fine art and craft as part of our dinner fundraising event in support of The Qalipu Cultural Foundation. The Qalipu Cultural Foundation was formed in 2014 to support Mi’kmaq culture in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Foundation exists to ensure cultural documentation, and promote the involvement of youth and Elders in cultural activities within the Band. We strive to inspire our people to proudly embrace their heritage, to empower them to continue the traditions of our ancestors and restore the spirit of Mi’kmaq culture in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Art is a conversation starter, a focus for discussion and often a display of pride that allows us to demonstrate who we were, who we are and who we plan to become. By supporting this Event with your fine arts and crafts you are supporting your community.

We are inviting artists of aboriginal heritage to submit traditional and contemporary pieces of fine art and crafts for silent auction to help raise funds for this event. Artists will have the option of receiving 50% of the final selling price of the work or donating the entire amount and receiving a charitable tax receipt.

If you are interested in submitting work, please email images of the work you would like to submit along with the title, medium, size, reserve, retail value and brief statement to:

mblanchard@qalipu.ca

Deadline: 4 p.m., September 15, 2017

If your work is selected, it must be presentation ready (i.e., works on paper should be matted at the very least). We are organizing a drop-off location for works by artists on the East Coast.

For further information, please contact:

 

 

Mitch Blanchard
Resource Coordinator
Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band
Qalipu Cultural Foundation
709-634-8046

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Register Now! Dancers and Drummers of the New Dawn

Qalipu First Nation is pleased to announce that it will be offering the Dancers and Drummers of the New Dawn program at the Bay St. George Cultural Center from August 28th to 31st. This program will help raise awareness on the issues of violence and bullying through a mix of educational presentations, cultural activities, and teachings in drumming and dance. In turn, youth will be provided with opportunities to gain valuable knowledge, engage in cultural practices, form friendships, and feel empowered.

Background

  • DDOND began as a concept to empower youth to become advocates for healthy relationships. This would be achieved through a combination of information sessions, cultural teachings and lessons in dancing and drumming.
  • Last summer, the first phase of this program, DOND, was implemented. Girls, ages 11-15*, learned valuable information about violence and bullying, participated in cultural activities and learned fancy shawl dancing.
  • This summer, we have added a drumming component to the program and are inviting applicants of any gender to register. We also hope to extend the program from two days to four, providing more opportunities for learning and interaction among our youth participants.

 

To express your interest in participating in this program, please call Sarah Leah Hindy at 634-9653 or email shindy@qalipu.ca.  To access the registration form, please click here

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Maw-pemita’jik Qalipu’k August 2017 Newsletter

Kwe’

August already! This will be the last newsletter until October as we prepare for the upcoming Annual General Assembly and publication of the Annual Report.  Details on this meeting will be advertised in the near future and I hope that many of you will come out for a chance to meet face-to-face and hear about the good work the Band has been doing in the past year.

You will be able to tell from this edition of Maw-pemita’jik Qalipu’k how inspired I am by Eastern Owl, an all female group of musicians that is helping to shape Mi’kmaq culture in Newfoundland today.  I met them at the Miawpukek First Nation 22nd Annual Powwow in Conne River where they performed on Friday night.  Five of the seven ladies in this group are from Conne River and I have to say, it was heartwarming to see the community pride when they took the stage.  The Conne River community was very warm and welcoming and I will definitely go back again! Some of the kind people that I met are featured on page 5.

Have you heard that Qalipu is working toward the establishment of an Elders Advisory Council? Chief and Council are eager to hear your thoughts on the initiative (page 3) so please, submit your thoughts and spread the word around your community for people who are not online to get all the news.  You can also share that Qalipu offers an Elders Mailout for members of the Band over the age of 65 who would like to get their communications by mail.  Signing up for this service is as simple as giving me a call (709) 634-5163. 

In this edition of Maw-pemita’jik Qalipu’k find out who won medals at the North American Indigenous Games, get news from the Health Division, learn more about our new branch, Experience Qalipu, get the scoop on the establishment of a new Friendship Centre, an initiative led by the Bay St. George Cultural Circle, and so much more.  Please read on and stay in touch.

Click here to view this month’s newsletter

Thanks,

Alison

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Council Meeting Report – June 10, 2017

Finance: Donation and Sponsorship Policy

It was identified that, at present, other than the Cultural Support Program through the Qalipu Cultural Foundation (QCF), Council does not have a formal policy on how to respond to requests for sponsorships and donations from both individuals and groups but rather uses an ad hoc approach. All agreed that the development of policy on how the Band gives out donations, who they are given to and under what conditions must be established. The Band Manager will work with staff and Council to prepare a draft policy on sponsorships and donations.

One councilor commented that donations or sponsorships must be compatible with the Band’s core values. A high volume of requests come to Council and not all can be supported.

The Chair of the Finance Committee commented that an allocation for donations had not been budgeted for in this fiscal year and although the Council has approved multiple donations this year, it is difficult to manage a balanced budget if something has not been planned. It was his recommendation that the Council implement, not only a policy, but also a set budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Chair also commented on accountability to the membership. He said making donations can’t be a free for all. Policy, budgeting, criteria, and reporting need to be established.

A discussion took place about the QCF being in place with funds and rules governing the support of cultural initiatives but, the question remains about how to fund other initiatives such as Aboriginal youth who are involved in sport, or other activities that are not of a cultural nature.

While discussing QCF, Council expressed lack of understanding on how the QCF decides approval of its funding requests, and how much should be given. It was agreed that a representative of QCF make a presentation to Council at an upcoming meeting so that everyone is aware of the policies and procedures that have been put in place by this charitable organization.

A discussion took place regarding two letters that were received requesting support for athletes from NL who will attend the North American Indigenous Games.

All agreed that funding youth to participate in the games would be a very valuable investment.

One member of Council commented that supporting Mi’kmaq athletes on Team Mi’kmaq for the provincial games last year had been more straight forward following a detailed presentation from a representative of the Aboriginal Sports Circle. It was suggested that it would have been helpful to have a presentation or a visit from the Aboriginal Sports Circle to give an understanding of what was needed so that they could better respond to the request.

Without sufficient information about the actual financial needs of the initiative and the athletes themselves, and in the absence of a donations policy or budget, Council decided to take $1000 from savings for the donation. In a subsequent special meeting, Council decided to enhance the donation to $15,000.

Question and Answers with Membership

A member in attendance questioned whether there was a website dedicated to members as far as getting information out. Council confirmed there is a regularly updated website and that the Band actively communicates on social media (Facebook and Twitter). The member then wanted to know whether there was a members only tool for communication. The ginu membership portal is a place where members can login to add an email address and receive emails that are periodically sent out to the membership. It is possible that this portal could be updated to add a communications tab that would be visible to members only.

The same individual asked ‘what is the protocol for requesting information and receiving a response from the Band? It was clarified that If a member is looking for information on books and records such as financials, minutes, etc. a request is to be made to the Band Council. There is no set amount of time stated for this type of request other than to say that a reasonable notice is required. Response times may vary depending on the item requested. Some special requests may require action from council. If this is the case, an explanation is given along with an estimate of time required to make a decision.

Another member in attendance commented that not enough notice had been given prior to the meeting. He said that at least two weeks notice should be given. Council agreed that in this instance, the meeting notice had not been put up as early as usual. It will endeavor to give two weeks notice in the future. The same member also requested that more reminders be put out for upcoming events like the regular meetings of Council and other items.

Another member in attendance inquired as to whether the Band had any intention of helping “the people who have been left behind”.

Chief Mitchell commented that he has been doing everything he can to work with government for people who were negatively impacted by the enrolment outcomes.

A member in attendance talked about the Daniels Symposium. The individual said he had attended the forum in Corner Brook to participate live at the Daniels Symposium. He said that only seven people had turned out for this important forum in Corner Brook. He said, “We need more indigenous people to come together.”

Another member in attendance suggested that the Gros Morne Indigenous Cultural Festival had been planned with good intentions but that much of the misunderstanding that took place could have been avoided if there was a committee of community consultants. Council took this as a good reminder to go forward with plans to establish an Elders Advisory Council. The member also suggested that the Blanket Exercise might be helpful at this time. Another member suggested that a big talking circle is needed.

A Visit from CAP National Chief Bertrand

The Congress of Aboriginal People (CAP) National Chief Robert Bertrand was in Newfoundland to meet with the Qalipu Council and members in attendance. He noted that he was trying to meet with as many members of CAP as possible throughout Canada.

Chief Bertrand noted that his organization meets with federal and provincial ministers to bring forward the interests and concerns of non-status, off-reserve aboriginal people.

Adding to the Daniels Symposium comment , Chief Bertrand said that there is a lot of work to be done but that the Daniels decision means that, legally, all indigenous people are now Indians under 91.24 of the Indian Act. He said that what this means has many interpretations. Chief Bertrand mentioned that he has a draft report from the Symposium which needs to be approved by the board before publishing on the CAP website. He said the report will be sent to various levels of government.

A member of Council asked what CAP was doing to support Qalipu on the enrolment file.

Chief Bertrand said, “We sympathize, there is a situation here and it was caused by the federal government but they left you to pick up the pieces. The last meeting I had with Minister Carolyn Bennett I did bring it up. She’s well aware of it. We are working on it.”

The member of Council requested that Chief Bertrand write a letter of support for Qalipu, specifically in support of those current members who have been notified they will lose their status. Chief Bertrand agreed to do this.

Chief Bertrand added that Chief Mitchell should feel welcome to call on him for support on any initiative.

A member in attendance inquired as to whether Chief Bertrand had been in contact with MMFNAN and whether this group would become the CAP affiliate for Newfoundland. Chief Bertrand responded that he would not come into Newfoundland and negotiate with a body to replace Qalipu. He said it would be Qalipu’s decision to walk away from CAP or not. CAP will respect Qalipu’s decision to stay with CAP or move on to the Assembly of First Nations (AFN).

Business Structure and Election Committee Update

The Band Manager provided a presentation on the Cox and Palmer review of Qalipu’s economic development branch.

Council established a special committee to review the recommendations of Cox and Palmer and bring forward recommendations for organizational structure for the next meeting of Council.

Election Committee Update: A 2018 Election timeline was presented which works within the current election bylaws. Since bylaws cannot be changed without a referendum, the committee plans to make changes that allow for a longer space between nominations and voting, and a longer period for mail-in-ballots. A motion was passed to accept the proposed timeline pending review by legal. Once the proposed timeline is reviewed by legal it will be presented to membership.

A survey will be issued in September regarding suggestions from membership on how to update the election bylaws with a referendum vote to take place at the same time as the 2018 Election. Members at large will also be engaged to sit on the Election Reform Committee in the fall.

Next Meeting of Council: August 26 in Corner Brook
Contact Mabel MacDonald to register at
mmacdonald@qalipu.ca or call 634-5111

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Internship Opportunity: Work with the Qalipu First Nation Natural Resource Team

Conservation Corps of Newfoundland and Labrador is a non-profit organization with a mandate to provide young people with meaningful work, training and educational opportunities in the areas of environmental and cultural heritage conservation and enhancement. Conservation Corps is now accepting applications for the following internship position.

Wetland Delineation and Aquatic Invasive Species Intern (1 position)
In partnership with the Mi’kmaq Alsumk Mowimsikik Koqoey Association (MAMKA). Under the supervision of the Natural Resources Technician, the Intern will be responsible for key logistics related to the planning and implementation of two major MAMKA projects: 1. Inventory and monitoring of wetlands in member communities of Qalipu First Nation and 2. Invasive green crab mitigation. Project 1 (Wetland inventory): Ecosystem services provided by wetlands are significant, however; wetlands are not well inventoried on the island of Newfoundland. Wetlands are a historic source of medicinal plants and animals, food, and travel ways for the Mi’kmaq people and continue to be to this day. To help our organization to identify potential sites for future wetland restoration and/or enhancement, we will inventory and monitor wetland locations within selected member communities of Qalipu First Nation. Project 2 (Green crab mitigation): Invasive green crab compete with native fauna and destroy significant habitat (eelgrass beds). MAMKA has studied the distribution and abundance of green crab in western NL over the past several years and completes focused removals yearly in the Bay St. George area as part of the mitigation effort.

Candidates for this position should have a demonstrated interest and or education in research and habitat conservation, restoration and enhancement; strong verbal and interpersonal communication skills; and strong research skills. This position requires the ability for physical exertion to traverse rugged terrain and work in coastal zones. Candidates must be willing to work in inclement weather and be capable of lifting up to 50 lbs. Valid driver’s license and access to own vehicle with appropriate insurance considered an asset. Position based in Corner Brook.

Salary for the above positions is $13.00 per hour for 35 hours per week for 12 weeks with an anticipated start date of August 21, 2017. CCNL is a youth serving not-for-profit, therefore successful individuals to the above positions must be between the ages of 16 and 30.

Please apply with cover letter, resume and three references. The same application can be used to apply for more than one Intern placement. Please indicate clearly in your cover letter which Intern placements you are applying (if applying via email please indicate position in email subject title). For more information on Conservation Corps Newfoundland and Labrador please visit www.ccnl.ca

Application Deadline is August 11, 2017
Applications should be forwarded to:
Selection Committee, Conservation Corps Newfoundland & Labrador
Suite 103, 10 Austin Street
St. John’s NL, A1B 4C2
Tel: (709) 729-7266
Fax: (709) 729-7270
Email: applications@ccnl.ca

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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