Like other First Nations, the Mi’kmaq people have a long and rich history that includes unique cultural, social, political and spiritual traditions. However, with centuries old European contact and the subsequent domination of European policies and culture, many of these traditions have been eroded and lost.
In Newfoundland and Labrador this has been most acutely felt by the Mi’kmaq. Exclusion from recognition as status Indians through the province’s Terms of Union with Canada in 1949 and the perpetuation of myths in history books and popular culture have served to obscure the very real culture and traditions of the Mi’kmaq Nation.
Many of the new members of the Qalipu Band will have grown up in a vacuum of information and knowledge of their heritage. Qalipu is reaching out to these individuals and providing them with information and experiences that will assist them in the discovery process.
The Culture and Heritage division is responsible for preserving and promoting the culture, language, and traditions of the Mi’kmaq people of Newfoundland and Labrador. It will identify Band members who have a commitment to preserving and promoting culture and heritage and designate cultural ambassadors. It is also responsible for ensuring cultural documentation and promoting the involvement of youth and Elders in cultural activities within the Band.