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Bernie Hanlon Memorial Scholarship APPLY NOW!

The Education and Training Department is now accepting applications for the Bernie Hanlon Memorial Scholarship.

Bernadette “Bernie” Hanlon dedicated her life to supporting and encouraging the aboriginal people of Newfoundland both culturally and in working with them to meet their educational dreams. Bernie always went above and beyond for her many students and tried to help in any way possible through her many years with the Federation of Newfoundland Indians and later with the Qalipu First Nation. Bernie worked tirelessly to help those around her develop personally as well by supporting and encouraging cultural and spiritual growth. The Bernie Hanlon Memorial Scholarship was created to help a client of The Education and Training Department attending college or completing an undergraduate degree to continue to pursue those dreams.

The scholarship is valued at $1,000.00 and will be awarded to the applicant that best embodies Bernie’s passion for our culture and a commitment to academics as well as to their community.

To qualify, applicants must meet the following criteria:

· Currently be in receipt of support under the PSSSP

· Currently enrolled a college diploma or undergraduate degree program and planning to return to school in the fall.

· Achieve a grade average of B or higher in their program of studies

And answer the following essay question in 500 words or less:

“Using the information provided above, demonstrate how you embody the spirit of Bernie Hanlon.”

Please submit applications to Yvonne MacDonald via email ( by August 30th. Note: all essays must be submitted in PDF format.

Wrap up event post

St. Anne’s Day Mass and Community Feast in St. George’s Draws Crowd from Around the Region

On July 26, 2019, a mass was held at the St. Joseph’s Parish in St. George’s to honour St. Anne, the patron Saint of the Mi’kmaq people.  There was a large turnout for the event, which included a community feast after the mass, with people in attendance from all around Bay St. George and Bay of Islands region.

The Mi’kmaq people are known for honouring their elders. The love, wisdom and teachings of our grandparents are important to us. Some say this is the reason why St. Anne, the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus, is so revered and celebrated in our culture.  It was a very special day for all to gather in celebration of St. Anne, and the role of our community elders and leaders in passing down knowledge, tradition and culture to the next generation.

Qalipu First Nation wishes to thank and acknowledge the following donations, volunteers and service providers:


Donations and Volunteers:

St. Joseph’s Parish Church and Father Maurice O’Quinn—partnered to deliver the St. Anne’s Day Mass

St. George’s Indian Band –provided funding for St. Anne’s medallion gift giveaway and loaned St. Anne statue.

Indian Cove Women’s Circle—provided funding to cover cost of church service

St. Joseph’s Parish Gentleman’s Group—Parish Hall rental given in kind

Community women who volunteered by making sandwiches for the feast

St. Joseph’s Parish Choir with Director Andy Tobin

Drummers from around the region who provided music for the procession

Western Region Vice Chief Keith Cormier who sang Amazing Grace in Mi’kmaq

Spruce Root Basket: Melvin White

White Roses: collected from community people from Stephenville, Stephenville Crossing and St. George’s

Smudge: Gail Hickey

St. Anne Bearer: Judy Falle

Greeters: Noelle Blanchard and Alex Brake-Hetherington

Readers: Alice Miles and Alison White

Mi’kmaq Reflection: St. George’s Indian Band Chief Marlene Farrell

Altar Servers: Elton White, Linda Pieroway, Bertie Garnier

Eucharistic Ministers: Alice Miles, Dina Sheppard and Florence Young

St. Joseph’s Parish Ladies Guild

Tilla Brake, Country Kitchen and Crafts

EQ Funding Announcement

Strengthening Indigenous Tourism and the Economy

July 29, 2019 – Corner Brook, NL – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Tourism is a key contributor to the Atlantic Canadian economy. It generates new economic activities, creates good paying jobs for the middle class and diversifies communities. The industry also offers tremendous opportunity for further growth in areas like Indigenous tourism.

Recognizing the opportunities that exist in Indigenous tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Qalipu First Nation is undertaking various activities as part of the implementation of its Experience Qalipu Tourism Strategy. The five-year strategy will help to further develop and promote Indigenous tourism in the province, enhance community capacity and build stronger Indigenous communities.

Phase I of the strategy included creating a database of member tourism businesses, enhancing on-line entrepreneurial skills training, developing a marketing plan, hosting a tourism forum, designing signage and displays and conducting facilitation training. Phase II involves further analysis and design of tourism assets, hosting an additional tourism forum, advanced facilitation training, infrastructure improvements and tourism product development.

The Government of Canada is providing a non-repayable contribution of $418,257 and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is contributing $157,892 towards phases I and II of the tourism strategy.

Gudie Hutchings, Member of Parliament for Long Range Mountains, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), along with Scott Reid, MHA for St. George’s-Humber, on behalf of the Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of  Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation (TCII), made the announcement today.

These investments build on commitments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic Provinces to drive economic growth in the region through the  Atlantic Growth Strategy by helping the region’s tourism industry attract more visitors and create new jobs. This bold approach is in line with  Canada’s Tourism Vision, which seeks to make Canada a top-ten global tourism destination by 2025.



“Indigenous tourism is a key part of Canada’s growing tourism industry. It is outpacing the growth of this sector overall, as more and more travellers are coming here to experience Indigenous cultures and heritage. Our government is committed to making sure this growth continues by helping Indigenous communities across the country showcase their authentic products, traditions and histories, while generating new economic opportunities and creating good middle-class jobs.”

–     The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie


“Our investment in this initiative will better position the Qalipu First Nation to advance Indigenous tourism in our province, encourage entrepreneurship and foster economic development in Indigenous communities. We are proud of our partnership with the Qalipu First Nation and I commend their commitment to seizing new opportunities to promote Indigenous culture and history and build a strong and sustainable tourism industry that will draw more visitors seeking authentic cultural experiences.”

–     Gudie Hutchings, Member of Parliament for Long Range Mountains on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of        Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA


“This investment will allow the Qalipu First Nation to continue to enhance economic development opportunities in key areas such as tourism. One of the top recommendations from the Destination Development Plan for tourism operators is to focus more on building program-and people-based experiences and understanding visitor profiles that will drive visitation. Many of the elements of the Experience Qalipu Tourism Strategy are aligned with this recommendation. This project will help to ensure the stories, traditions and beliefs of the Mi’kmaq are captured as a vital part of this region’s growth and development.”

–     The Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation


“Qalipu First Nation is appreciative of this funding and the ability to support our Indigenous tourism providers. We look forward to the next phase of our five-year Experience Qalipu Tourism Development Strategy and any opportunity to support Indigenous tourism on the provincial level, including our collaboration with the Newfoundland and Labrador Indigenous Tourism Working Group.”

–     Brendan Mitchell, Chief, Qalipu First Nation


Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada is investing $398,338 in this project through ACOA’s  Business Development Program and $19,919 from the Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs.
  • The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is contributing $157,892 towards this project.
  • The Experience Qalipu Tourism Strategy focuses on developing market-ready cultural experiences and other tourism products throughout Mi’kmaq communities, connecting the visitor to the vibrant culture of the Mi’kmaq people and forming strong partnerships within the industry to lead to a strengthened economy and culture.
  • Officially formed in 2011, the Qalipu First Nation is the largest Indian Act Band in Atlantic Canada and represents over 20,000 members who live in nine Wards throughout Central and Western Newfoundland.
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Mawita’jik Maljewe’jk 2019

July 25, 2019 Corner Brook—The Qalipu First Nation is pleased to affirm its commitment to honoring the youth voice within our communities through the establishment of a youth seat at the Qalipu Council table.  To facilitate an election for the youth to choose their representative, the inaugural Mawita’jik Maljewe’jk (youth gathering) will be held September 13-15 at West Haven in Pasadena.  This gathering will see three youth, age 16-28, from each Ward brought together to hold an election.

Randy Drover, Central Vice Chief for the Band and Chairperson of the Mawita’jik Maljewe’jk Planning Committee said that one of the Bands core values is respect for the input of all members.  “Empowering our young people to lead and learn important knowledge from their elders is a pillar of success for our First Nation.  It is through listening to all our people that Council can effect positive change.”

This gathering will also focus on connecting youth with elders through cultural teachings; hearing the issues and concerns of youth delegates and; guiding youth to form resolutions to impact change.  The event will include traditional ceremony, teachings, roundtables focused on learning and leadership, drumming, singing and plenty of opportunity to network and enjoy time outside around the campfire.

To register, Click Here


Banded Killifish 2019

The Banded Killifish (Fundulus diaphanous) is a small fish that are generally between the size of a stickleback (a.k.a. pinfish) and a brook trout. They have an olive like color with alternating lighter and darker stripes on their sides stretching from their back to their stomach.  Although banded killifish are found throughout Atlantic Canada and into Manitoba, there are only seven documented locations in Newfoundland and Labrador. Of the seven sites, six are in coastal southwestern Newfoundland, and the other is northeastern Newfoundland.

The lack of information about where the banded killifish are found has presented an opportunity for us to do more research on developing a better understanding of other locations and the habitat preference for the Newfoundland population. During the 2016 field season, Qalipu Natural Resources (QNR) staff discovered banded killifish in a remote, high elevation pond in the Bay of Islands region. This discovery led to an expansion in sampling effort throughout the Bay of Islands region for the 2017 season. The 2018 sampling season went well with the continued survey and monitoring of Banded Killifish in the pond in which they were discovered in 2016. Although our sample size was small, we were still able to learn more about this interesting species. As we observed last year, adjusting our trapping times helped with our trapping success. In addition to this, we also learned about bait preference of banded killifish. After talking with other banded killifish researchers, we learned that banded killifish prefer Ritz crackers over No Name soda crackers.

We are happy with our repeated findings in the Bay of Islands this year and are already making plans for the upcoming season. With the knowledge we have gained from last season, we hope that this upcoming season will be our most successful yet. This year we are planning to continue monitoring where we find banded killifish within the pond, throughout the year. Stay tuned for our next killifish update.

This is an Environment and Climate Change Canada funded project. For More information about Banded Killifish, please visit

Breaking news

Important Notice Regarding Fake Employment Listings with Qalipu First Nation

It has come to our attention that unauthorized persons have listed one or more fake employment opportunities using the Qalipu Band name and logo.

These false listings may be an attempt by malicious parties to collect private information.

To recognize an authentic job posting with Qalipu, look for the apply to address, which we use for all job postings. You can also check our website career page Here. If it’s not on our website, it isn’t our job posting.

NL Strategic Session Photo 5

NL Indigenous Tourism Working Group Strategic Planning Session

The NL Indigenous Tourism Working Group has set out to create a 5-Year Indigenous Tourism Strategy in order to mobilize a Provincial Indigenous Tourism Association that will strengthen and support the development and growth of the Indigenous tourism industry in Newfoundland and Labrador.

On June 18, 2019, the Working Group met in Goose Bay, Labrador rolling up their sleeves to plan out the critical elements in establishing Newfoundland and Labrador’s Indigenous Tourism Association (NLITA). The team covered everything from governance and operational aspirations to people, process and budget. It was an intense day with outstanding results, all produced and powered by the group’s knowledge of their communities and passion for preserving culture through tourism.  One of the motivating factors for the team throughout the day was the commitment to champion grassroots tourism, where communities and people will be at the heart and forefront of tourism development in the province. The day concluded with a clear and concise plan on how to mobilize NLITA.

In support of establishing NLITA’s 5-Year Strategy, we want to hear the voices of all Indigenous tourism stakeholders throughout the province, including Indigenous community members, operators and partners. Be part of NLITA’s grassroots movement and have your voice heard by sharing your thoughts with a 15-minute phone interview and/or by taking our 10-minute survey, which could give you a chance to win a $250 prepaid Visa gift card!

Complete our 10-min online survey: Click Here

Sign up for a one-on-one phone interview: Click Here

A person holding a Red Apple with engraved heart

Health & Social Division at Qalipu First Nation

The Health and Social Division at Qalipu strives to improve the lives and wellbeing of our members and communities.  We promote health education, active living, mental health, and spiritual and cultural practices in all our programs and services.  We take a holistic approach; the health and wellbeing of our members is important to us.

Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program

Currently Qalipu coordinates and oversees the administration of the Medical Transportation Benefit, and the Mental Health Counselling Benefit.  The division continues to set goals that will see the transfer of additional Non-Insured Health Benefits from Indigenous Services Canada to the Band.  This continued growth will allow for greater capacity and expertise within the Band, our province, more employment opportunities, and improved response times.

We have staff in various office locations to help you navigate and understand your health benefits.  Please contact us.

NIHB Support Specialists: Ensure membership reimbursements are screened, scanned and directed in timely and effective manner.  Prepare preapprovals for Mental Health and Medical Transportation Benefit. Coordination of travel and accommodations for medical appointments, assess and process reimbursements. 

Grand Falls – Windsor Office
Susan Bryan
Glenwood Office
Jasmine Collis
Stephenville Office (rear entrance)
Melissa Sullivan
Corner Brook Office
Megan Blanchard
Corner Brook Office
Natasha Lavers

NIHB Navigator: Ensures broadest possible access and understanding of the NIHB program, educates membership and communities on their benefits, advocates and liaise on behalf of membership  with respect to health benefits.

Howard Thistle
709-679-5743 or 855-675-5743

Manager of Health Services:
Provides leadership to the Health and Social Division, builds partnerships and collaborations, increases capacities and addresses concerns.

Mitch Blanchard

Photo caption: (L-R) MFN Councilor Corey John, Qalipu Chief Brendan Mitchell, AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde, MFN Chief Mi’sel Joe

Message from the Chief- July 31, 2018


I’m pleased to greet you today, back home in Newfoundland after a visit to Canada’s west coast for the 39th Annual General Assembly of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) in Vancouver.   The AFN represents some 900,000 First Nations people in Canada, across hundreds of communities and I’m pleased to say that the Qalipu First Nation, and its membership, is now a part of that family.

Acceptance into the AFN is a significant moment for our First Nation.  This move will allow the Band to have a strong national voice and become a part of the wider First Nation community in Canada, sharing ideas and learning from the experiences of other First Nations.

I would like to acknowledge those who supported this positive step forward including Chief Mi’sel Joe of the Miawpukek First Nation (MFN) who brought forward the resolution to admit Qalipu into the AFN, and Corey John, MFN Councilor, who seconded the resolution and voted under the Glenwood proxy.  I wish to also thank MFN Vice-Chief Shayne MacDonald for his valued assistance.  Qalipu was also strongly supported by our Regional Chief Morley Googoo.  Chief Googoo represents Newfoundland and Nova Scotia on the AFN, and we will welcome him for a visit in Corner Brook this fall.

For members who may be wondering who the Assembly of First Nations is, and what they stand for, I encourage you to check out this video What is the AFN?

I would be remiss not to extend my sincere thanks to Chief Robert Bertrand and the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP), the national organization with whom both the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI) and Qalipu have been affiliated with for many years.  CAP supported our people and communities through a variety of programs and services and helped us on our journey to achieve recognition.

August 31 will mark a disappointing event for our people as 10,500 may be losing their status.  I am disappointed with the treatment of these members, particularly those who are living away from our communities for no other reason than to find employment and better their lives.  Qalipu continues to press government to change their decision and to allow our members to retain their status at this time.  Qalipu First Nation has upheld the decision of the Newfoundland Supreme Court on the Benoit case, and has written to the Minister imploring that the Federal Government allow not just the six plaintiffs impacted by this case, but all members to retain their Indian Status.

This fall will be a busy time for the Qalipu First Nation as we prepare for our Annual General Assembly on September 15.  This Assembly will be hosted in St. George’s and we hope to see many of you make it to this special annual event.  As well, our election for Chief and Councilors is just around the corner and is set to take place on October 23, 2018.  Our Election Reform Committee has been working effectively to make improvements to the election process based on feedback we received following the last election.  Please keep an eye on our website for more information, including the Amendment Vote to change our Custom Rules, and to sign up for mail-in ballots if you will have difficulty making it to the polls.

Before all that, let’s head out for one more Newfoundland Mawio’mi.  It was a wonderful time in Exploits, Conne River and Flat Bay and now, it’s time to head to Burgeo to participate in their first ever Colour and Culture Mawio’mi.  This event will be held on August 18 and I hope to see you all there!

I wish you all the best, and am sending my prayers for health, wellness and happiness all summer long.



Chief Brendan Mitchell

The word NEWS written in vintage wooden letterpress type in a wooden type drawer.

Notice of Referendum Vote to Change the Custom Rules Governing Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band Elections

Per Section 34 of the Custom Rules Governing Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band Elections, we wish to advise our members that a referendum vote to amend the Custom Rules will be held on October 23, 2018 at polling locations in each of our nine Wards, and at an advance poll to be held on October 16.  Amendment voting ballots will also be included in mail-out voting packages provided in the 2018 Qalipu general election.

A summary of the proposed changes can be found below in the Q & A

NEW! A full copy of the Custom Rules with amendments is now available to membership please click here to view.

Referendum Vote Q & A

Is Qalipu having a referendum vote to change the way it runs elections?

Yes.  To change the Custom Rules that govern our elections, the Council may direct that a referendum (amendment vote) be held to obtain the consent of membership.

Council has indicated that a referendum will occur in harmony with the 2018 election.  Meaning, with mail-in ballots, at the advance poll, and on polling day, membership will have an additional question included in their ballot package to change the way we administer elections.

The referendum will take place by advance poll on October 16 and at polling stations throughout the nine Wards on October 23, 2018.

Why does Qalipu want to change the way we do elections?

Following the election in 2015, Qalipu realized several issues that need to be resolved to make our elections more effective in the future.

  • Some voters reported arriving at their polling station to find that they had been incorrectly listed in a different voting location.
  • Others found that the distance they had to travel to their designated poll was unreasonable, which is not surprising considering Qalipu is made up of 67 geographically spread out communities in nine different Wards.
  • In some areas where there is a high concentration of voters, some voters were stuck waiting in line for several hours just to cast their vote.
  • Most people agreed that the time frame on returning mail-in ballots was too short. The 2015 election also saw a low voter turnout (approximately 23%) and this is something else that we can do better.
  • The polling station election format is expensive, time consuming and inaccessible.

 So, what election change will voters be asked to decide on?

Membership will be asked whether they are in favour of moving to a mail, telephone and internet voting solution.

What does that mean?

It means that every eligible voter will receive voting details in the mail without having to request it.  Voters will be given a personal identification number to cast their vote using either the internet, wireless devices and mobile or landline telephones.  A helpline would be available for anyone who has trouble with the process, and Qalipu is looking at making several polling stations available regionally to provide in-person support should voters feel they need to vote in person.

Why would we change to this way of voting?

There are many benefits to this voting method:

  • Every eligible voter will be engaged in the election. They will receive a Personal Identification Number and Voter Instruction Letter in the mail via Canada Post.
  • Voters will be given a 5-10-day period to vote from the comfort of their home via the internet, wireless devices OR mobile or landline telephones. Voters may also choose to visit one of several regional polling stations to receive in person voting support.
  • Voters will be provided with the contact number for a Voter HelpLine so that they have someone to contact if they have any trouble casting their vote.
  • Inclusion: ability for everyone to vote regardless of their mobility or location.
  • Automatic: voters will not have to request their ballot. All voters will receive everything they need to vote in the mail through Canada Post.
  • Greater participation: Since every voter will receive their voting details in the mail, and they can vote from the comfort of their own home, we expect a much higher engagement from our membership during election time.
  • Voting is private, secure and anonymous. PIN security and event auditability are paramount in the design and delivery of this voting solution which is delivered by an experienced and trusted company.
  • Financial savings. E-voting will cost less than half of our current method of voting, money that can be put back into community development, and cultural initiatives.
  • Results will be clear and timely.

Can we trust a company to deliver our election?

Intelivote Systems Inc. (ISI), the company with whom we have been working, is a recognized leader in the successful implementation of this type of election.  The company has extensive subject matter expertise in Union voting events, Municipal elections, Aboriginal voting events, Leadership Elections and Association Elections.

All the election services are provided through Intelivote software are secured by encryption, digital certificates and login IDs and passwords.

Voter anonymity, PIN security and event auditability are paramount in the design and delivery of the eVoting solutions they provide.

ISI maintains a hosted data centre environment in Halifax through Bell Canada, which also hosts some of the most sensitive government and financial applications running in Atlantic Canada.

ISI delivers elections with a team of information systems professionals and electronic voting experts.

Who will be eligible to vote to change the Custom Rules Governing Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band elections?

Only those members 18 years of age or over on the date of the Qalipu election, whether Founding Members on the updated list, former Founding Members who have remained members through a category change or have become members through an application seeking registration under the Indian Act, will be eligible to vote.

An updated Founding Members list has been passed through Order in Council and came into effect on June 25, 2018.   Qalipu expects to have a copy of this list on August 31, 2018.

Won’t the recent court rulings change this?

With the recent court rulings, regarding the right to appeal for applicants denied on the self-identification criterion, for instance, we could see more people added to the Band.   At this time however, we can only work with what’s in front of us.  We expect to have an established Band list by August 31, and this will determine not only who our eligible voters are but also, who can run for Council.

If the membership accepts these proposed changes to the Custom Rules, when will the changes come into effect?

Changes to the Custom Rules would come into effect for the next general election in 2021.