If you receive an Appeal Notice with your letter notifying you of the Enrolment Committee’s decision, then you have the right to appeal the decision regarding your eligibility for Founding Membership in the band. If you do not receive an Appeal Notice in your decision letter it is for one of the following reasons:
- your application was determined by the Enrolment Committee to be invalid
- your application was submitted after September 22, 2011 and denied by the Enrolment Committee because you, or, if you are under the age of 18, either of your parents, is not named in a membership list of the Federation of Newfoundland Indians, Ktaqamkuk Mi’kmaq Alliance, Benoit First Nation or the Sip’kop Mi’kmaq Band nor did you submit any documentary evidence of self-identification of the type specified under section 8 of the Supplemental Agreement.
If you are entitled to appeal the Enrolment Committee’s denial of your application, an appeal notice was included in the mail out dated January 31, 2017. To initiate an appeal, you will need to complete the appeal notice. Please note that no additional documents will be accepted.
All appeals will be handled by a legal team of Appeal Masters who is neutral and independent from the Federation of Newfoundland Indians and the Government of Canada. An Appeal Master will review your record and Appeal Notice, in the context of the grounds for appeal, and render a decision that you will receive in the mail.
You will have until March 31, 2017 to provide your Appeal Notice to the Office of the Appeal Master. Retain a copy for your records and return the original to:
Office of the Appeal Master
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0M9
All appeals will be concluded by Fall 2017
The decision of the Appeal Master will be the final decision under the process for determining Founding Membership as set out in the 2008 Agreement and the 2013 Supplemental Agreement. Applicants may wish to consult with a lawyer to determine whether a decision should be made the subject of a judicial review.
If you are a descendant of Founding Members who remain registered at the conclusion of this process, you may be entitled to registration under the Indian Act. Founding Members in this category who had their applications rejected will receive a letter from the Indian Registrar regarding modifications that will be made to the applicant’s registration category in the spring 2018 since this can only come into force once the new Founding Members list is in effect.
Applicants who never had Founding Membership but are descendants of Founding Members who remain registered after this process may also be entitled to registration under the Indian Act but will have to make a separate application seeking registration since they have not been previously registered.
The Appeal Master will consider the applicant’s record that was used by the Enrolment Committee when reaching its decision, along with the reasons you believe the Enrolment Committee made a mistake or error in considering your application and why the documentation submitted with your application demonstrates that you met the requirements to become a Founding Member of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation.
He/she will evaluate the Enrolment Committee’s reason(s) for denying your application, your reasons for arguing that a mistake was made, and whether the documentation you submitted demonstrates that you met the requirements to become a Founding Member in the context of the Agreement-in-Principle and the Supplemental Agreement. The Appeal Master reaches his/her decision after taking all those factors into account.
It is important to note that no additional evidence (i.e. documents, photos, etc.) can be submitted for the appeal.
The Government of Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians jointly appoint the Appeal Masters in accordance with the 2008 Agreement and the 2013 Supplemental Agreement. When selecting the Appeal Master, the parties looked for neutral and independent individuals who are legally trained and well respected within the Newfoundland legal community.
The Appeal Master must be legally trained and well respected in the Newfoundland legal community.
The Appeal Notice will include
- Instructions on how to complete the appeal.
- Information on privacy and who will have access to your file (The Appeal Master will have access to the Applicant Record, including all documentations submitted on behalf of the Applicant, all documentation considered by the Enrolment Committee, and any correspondence received or sent by the Enrolment Committee).
- An explanation of the reasons for appeal. For example, if you can identify an error or mistake made by the Enrolment Committee in the application of the 2008 Agreement, the 2013 Supplemental Agreement, and directives to the Enrolment Committee, that resulted in the decision to deny your application, you must explain why you believe a mistake or error was made and why the documentation submitted with your application demonstrates that you meet the requirements to become a Founding Member.
- The form “Appeal Notice to the Appeal Master” has three parts that you will need to complete: Appellant Information, Reason(s) for Appeal and Declaration and Signature.
No additional documents will be accepted. The Appeal Master will base his/her decision on your applicant record and your Appeal Notice. The only information you can submit is the Appeal Notice to the Appeal Master. Your grounds for appeal can be supplied in Part 2: Reason(s) for Appeal. In this section, you must explain why you believe a mistake or error was made and why the documentation submitted with your application demonstrates that you meet the requirements to become a Founding Member.
The 2008 Agreement specified that additional documents could not be submitted with an appeal. In November 2013, all applicants were provided with an opportunity to submit additional documents to prove that they met the requirements of self-identification and group acceptance. It was the sole responsibility of an applicant to determine what additional documentation, if any, relating to self-identification and group acceptance he/she wished to provide in support of their application.
There is no assistance available to applicants to help them write or prepare the Appeal Notice. For general information, please contact 1-800-561-2266. You may also contact or visit an Enrolment Assistant in Glenwood, Grand Falls-Windsor, Corner Brook, Stephenville, or St. Georges to discuss your letter from the Enrolment Committee, the appeals process, or the enrolment process in general. Please visit Qalipu.ca for more information regarding the Enrolment Assistants.
You can get a copy of your file by calling the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation line at 1-800-561-2266 and ask to get a copy of your application. The call center will ask for the following information:
- Your full name
- Your INAC file reference number (or date of birth if you do not have your file number)
- Your mailing address. You may also be asked for your previous mailing address if your address has changed.
- Your phone number
Your information will then be verified, and a copy of your application will be sent to you.
Applicants can also make a written request via fax (1-204-984-3032)
On their written request you must provide :
- full name
- INAC file number
- address and signature
Requests for a copy of your applicant record will be processed within five business days.
You will receive:
- A copy of your initial application package and additional documents you directly submitted.
- A copy of the assessment tool completed by the Enrolment Committee supporting their decision on your file.
- Only if you reached the Pre-Confederation Mi’kmaq connection or ancestry criteria (please see question 17 for how files were assessed), a copy of your family tree completed by the Enrolment Committee supporting their decision on your file.
If you were a main applicant on a family package, you will receive back all ancestry documents you submitted. If you were not the main applicant on a family package, you will not receive ancestry documents that were submitted by the main applicant, even if they were used in the assessment of your file.
Eligibility for founding membership is based on more than ancestral lineage. Each applicant must meet the specific criteria noted below. The criteria established by the Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians was guided by the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in R. v. Powley, wherein the Court recognized that belonging to an Aboriginal group requires at least three elements: Aboriginal ancestry, self-identification, and acceptance by the group. The Supreme Court stressed that self-identification and acceptance could not be of recent vintage. This formed the basis of the eligibility criteria for founding membership in the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation, and this is why it is possible that some individuals with the same ancestor(s) as an accepted Founding Member may not receive status.
Criteria to become a Founding Member
- Is of Canadian Indian ancestry;
- Is a member of a Newfoundland Pre-Confederation Mi’kmaq Community (or is a descendent of such person);
- Was not registered on the Indian Register on the date of the Recognition Order (September 22, 2011);
- Self-identified as a member of the Mi’kmaq Group of Indians of Newfoundland on the date of the Recognition Order; and
- Was accepted by the Mi’kmaq Group of Indians of Newfoundland as a member of the Mi’kmaq Group of Indians of Newfoundland on the date of the Recognition Order.
The applications of immediate family members (siblings, parents, etc.) may not have been documented identically, as evidence of self-identification and of acceptance by the group may differ from one individual to another. As such, this may have resulted in different decisions having been rendered amongst family members.