An election to choose Qalipu’s governing body, the Chief and Council, takes place every three years, and was recently conducted this year on October 23. Today, the newly elected Chief and Council take office following a 30-day transition period. The occasion was marked with a Swearing in Ceremony at the Civic Centre in Corner Brook.
The ceremony was officiated by Chief Mi’sel Joe of the Miawpukek First Nation, included musical sharing by Troy Bennett and Friends on the Community Big Drum, Paul Pike, and the Corner Brook Aboriginal Women’s Association.
Chief Brendan Mitchell, re-elected for a second term, said he is looking forward to working together in unity with the new Council, building upon initiatives that were started during his first term, and striving to achieve shared goals.
“Members of Council will have unique priorities and vision for their communities, however we share common interests including achievement of positive results in new negotiations with government. Veterans, members of the Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP and FNI members or members of other Mi’kmaq organizations who were involved in the enrolment Process and denied Founding Membership will all be considered”, he said.
Mitchell also noted other priority areas that he believes will be shared on Council. He said, “We share a common vision of cohesiveness and unity within our communities; advancing business development initiatives leading to greater self-sufficiency for Qalipu as a means to contributing financially to our Ward communities; working towards obtaining a food, social and ceremonial license that will benefit our membership; and continuing to support the cultural revitalization that we have witnessed in recent times.”
The ceremony was attended by representatives from local indigenous organizations, community members and government officials.
Following the swearing in ceremony the new Council went on to hold their first meeting together, at the Community Room in Corner Brook.