July 26, 2018
Today in Vancouver at the 39th Annual General Assembly of the Assembly of First Nations, the Qalipu First Nation was accepted as a member of this national group that represents some 900,000 First Nation citizens in Canada. Chief Mi’sel Joe of the Miawpukek First Nation brought forward the resolution to accept Qalipu into the Assembly, seconded by Miawpukek Councilor Corey John who voted under the Glenwood proxy.
In an email to the Qalipu Council following this significant moment, Chief Mitchell wrote “I am pleased to inform you that Qalipu First Nation was accepted into the Assembly of First Nations just a few moments ago. This is a significant and important move for us as we now take our rightful place with other First Nations in Canada. I have to acknowledge the incredible support provided by Chief Joe, Shayne MacDonald, Corey John and Regional Chief Morley Googoo. I want to add that we had full support from National Chief Perry Bellegarde and the Atlantic Provincial Chiefs. I am also thankful for the decades of support that we received from the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, the national body who advocates for the rights and recognition of Indigenous groups across Canada.”
Chief Mitchell added that reconciliation can take many forms. He said, “For the Mi’kmaq of Newfoundland, today’s acceptance and acknowledgement are significant means of reconciliation for all.”
Chief Mi’sel Joe was pleased to see his resolution move forward and has positive plans for the future of the Mi’kmaq of Newfoundland. He said, “I am quite pleased that Qalipu is now a voting member of the Assembly of First Nations. This is very appropriate and long overdue. Now, with four First Nation members of the AFN located on the island portion of Newfoundland which includes Miawpukek, Qalipu, Flat Bay and Glenwood, we feel that we have a strong case to convince the AFN that a regional Vice Chief position is warranted for Newfoundland. The next challenge and task is to have the AFN agree to a Newfoundland Regional Vice Chief position and we will be bringing a resolution to that effect to the AFN Special Chief’s Assembly in December of 2018.”
This move for the Qalipu First Nation will allow the Band to become a part of the wider First Nation community in Canada, sharing ideas and learning from the experiences of other First Nations. Qalipu will have a strong national voice and will be part of shaping future education, lands and economic development programs and services. Qalipu will continue to work toward supports and services for its membership, now with the support of other First Nations in Canada. We share the vision of AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde in his efforts to create a better tomorrow for First Nation peoples and communities throughout Canada.
Qalipu First Nation
tel. 634-5162, mobile 649-7194