Message from the Chief April 24 2024

Message from the Chief – April 24th, 2024

Kwe’,

I want to offer my sincere condolences to the immediate family and loved ones of Trevor Childs and Nicholas Skinner.  News of the tragic loss of these two community members from Lark Harbour after their boat capsized this past weekend has left a family grieving a loss that spans two generations.

Like many communities, the fishery represents both a livelihood, and too often, tragedy.

I also want to take the time to acknowledge the grief of an entire community.   My grandmother was born and raised in this community.  I can say from experience that residents are more than neighbours, they are a family, and this loss is being felt by everyone.

I would encourage our Band members to access mental health services through your Non-Insured Health Benefits.  This is a service that does not require payment upfront, and there is a list of providers to choose from.  If you require further assistance, please contact us.

I pray for the safety of our fisher people, many of whom are now on the water following the recent opening of the fishing season.  We will ask the Creator to watch over you and keep you safe.

 

Wela’lin,

Chief Jenny Brake

Message from the Chief

Message from the Chief – April 12th, 2024

Kwe’,

Last night I was honoured to meet the inspirational Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, founder and ambassador of the Orange Shirt Society.  Many of us are familiar with Orange Shirt Day, and the sad story of a little girl whose new orange shirt was taken away from her on her first day of Indian Residential School.  This is Phyllis’ story; she was that little girl.

At only 6 years old, Phyllis recounted that in that strange and lonely place, she felt that her life did not matter.  She didn’t understand why she was there, and why she couldn’t go home.  In times of loneliness and despair, she felt there was nobody to comfort her, and the little children turned to one another for support.

It is one thing for us to know of stories like this and to be aware of the tragic legacy of the Indian Residential School.  It is quite another to meet Phyllis and take on this experience from a survivor.  These words last night touched me deeply, I thought of my young girls at home safe in their beds. It is unfathomable to think of this happening to any child.

Phyllis’ message of love and hope, that Every Child Matters, is true blessing arising from this difficult experience that she experienced along with many, many others.

On behalf of the Qalipu First Nation, I want to express my sincere thanks to the Newfoundland Aboriginal Women’s Network along with partners the People of the Dawn Indigenous Friendship Centre, the Mi’kmaw Cultural Foundation and Ulnooweg, who brought Phyllis to Newfoundland.

I also want to give thanks to Judy Falle, a long-time employee of the Education and Training Department who wrote a children’s Indigenous book that deals with Truth and Reconciliation from a local perspective, Papa and His Drum.  Throughout that journey of writing, researching and publication, Judy reached out to Phyllis for guidance and support.  From that connection, a friendship was forged that ultimately led Phyllis to journey from coast to coast from British Columbia to Newfoundland for the very first time.

We wish Phyllis energy and strength on her journey sharing her message here in Newfoundland, on a four-and-a-half-hour time difference that must be very challenging, and telling a story that brings back her pain again and again.  This sacrifice she makes in sharing her story is to the benefit of all who meet her.

If you’re in or around the Stephenville area, I encourage you to head over to the Lion’s Club tonight from 6-8 where Phyllis will be on hand to meet and speak with community members.

 

Wela’lin,

Chief Jenny Brake

 

Res

from the Chief

Message from the Chief – April 5th, 2024

Kwe’,

April 2 was the 14th annual World Autism Awareness and Acceptance Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of the issues faced by autistics.

I feel honoured to have many friends within the autism community. Celebrating these friendships and relationships is incredibly important to me.

We learn so much from each other when we take the time to listen. I am grateful to the Autism Society of NL as they keep us informed and equipped with current and appropriate language and help us better understand how we can best advocate for people who may need our supportive voices. Education is key and leads to better understanding. We all have a responsibility to ensure all members of our communities are accepted and valued.

I invite you to take the time this week to promote awareness, acceptance, and inclusion in recognition of autistics as well as those who love and support them.   Every one of us is unique and has perspectives, gifts, skills, and abilities that shape the beautiful mosaic of our communities.

Did you know that there are supports available to Indigenous autistic children?

Jordan’s Principle can provide funding for health, education and social needs that may not be covered by our provincial health care plan, NIHB or private insurance.

For example, the assessment to confirm diagnosis, access to respite or alternate childcare, help with travel to medical appointments, sensory items, speech services, or help with accessing social activities recommended by a health care provider are all available under Jordan’s Principle.

It’s important to note that even children who do not have status cards are eligible to receive funding if their parent is a status card holder.

I encourage you to share this information in your community and help make sure that folks are aware.  Our Jordan’s Principle Service Coordinator, Brigitte, can be reached at 709-634-2234 or by emailing brigitte.white@qalipu.ca

 

Wela’lin

Interim Chief Jenny Brake

Phyllis Webstad

Meet & Greet with Phyllis (Jack) Webstad

Phyllis Webstad was the little girl who had her orange shirt taken away from her on her first day of residential school. Who would have thought that this traumatic experience would lead her to become the founder and ambassador of the Orange Shirt Society?

The Orange Shirt Day movement and Phyllis’ message of love and hope that “Every Child Matters,” began in 2013 and a National day to recognize the impact of the Canadian Indian residential school system was implemented on September 30, 2021. This day became known as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.

Judy Falle (Client Intake Officer with QFN) recently published her children’s Indigenous book, “Poppa and His Drum”. The book explores the topic of Truth and Reconciliation from a local perspective. Throughout her creative process and the publication of the book, Judy sought guidance and support from Phyllis Webstad. This friendship and collaboration inspired Judy to meet Phyllis in person and bring her positive message of love to our community so she partnered with local organizations to host a visit.

After much planning and preparation, Phyllis will visit Newfoundland next week to meet with community members including several school visits.

Let’s show our community support by filling the Lion’s Club and welcoming Phyllis next Friday evening in Stephenville from 6:00-8:00 pm.

Thank you to Judy and her partners for working together to host this wonderful visit.

Partners: Newfoundland Aboriginal Women’s Network, People of the Dawn Indigenous Friendship Centre, Mi’kmaw Cultural Foundation, and Ulnooweg.

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

Qalipu First Nation Reports Back on Meetings in Germany

Interim Chief Jenny Brake and Band Manager Charles Pender were in Germany this week to represent Qalipu First Nation’s priorities and expectations as a key stakeholder among international interests in the development of clean hydrogen energy.   Other stakeholders included Canadian and German government officials, European offtakers (industrial clean fuel customers), First Nations leadership from Atlantic Canada, and Canadian renewable energy project developers.

Events included a workshop hosted by the Canadian German Chamber of Industry in Hamburg on March 18 and a conference hosted by the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD) on March 19-20 in Berlin.  Important conversations and collaborations took place at these sessions and helped expand reach and opportunities for Qalipu First Nation.

Chief Brake and Charles Pender shared feedback on their participation in a session at the BETD conference entitled “Community Engagement and Indigenous Knowledge as Underestimated Resources in the Energy Transition”.  They participated alongside Traditional Chief, Ktaqmkuk, Mi’sel Joe, and Rose Paul, CEO of Bayside Development Corporation (Paq’tnkek Mi’kmaw Nation), who was a speaker on the panel.

“We were excited to be at this session today and feel fortunate to bring these important conversations back to our communities. We were especially proud that Rose Paul was here to share the Mi’kmaw voice from Atlantic Canada. As we say, ‘nothing about us, without us,’ and she was here in Germany to share that message.

Chief Brake also joined Chief Joe at an important Ministerial-CEO roundtable meeting that offered a unique and timely opportunity for Qalipu First Nation to have a direct voice at the table in an intimate setting, alongside Minister Wilkinson and Vice-Chancellor Habeck.

Chief Brake added, “To ensure Indigenous perspectives remain a focal point in resource exploration, we need to be here; speak with project proponents, and governments, and share our voice. We are offered a seat at the table alongside Minister Wilkinson and Vice-Chancellor Habeck and that demonstrates their commitment to respecting our communities.”

Atlantic First Nation representatives participated in a session “Community Engagement and Indigenous Knowledge as Underestimated Resources in the Energy Transition”  (L-R) Representative with Paq’tnkek Mi’kmaw Nation; Rose Paul, CEO, Bayside Development Corporation, Paq'tnkek Mi'kmaw Nation; Chief Terry Paul, Membertou First Nation; Interim Chief Jenny Brake, Qalipu First Nation; Traditional Chief, Ktaqmkuk, Mi’sel Joe (Miawpukek First Nation), and Strategic Advisor, World Energy GH2.
Atlantic First Nation representatives participated in a session “Community Engagement and Indigenous Knowledge as Underestimated Resources in the Energy Transition”
(L-R) Representative with Paq’tnkek Mi’kmaw Nation; Rose Paul, CEO, Bayside Development Corporation, Paq’tnkek Mi’kmaw Nation; Chief Terry Paul, Membertou First Nation; Interim Chief Jenny Brake, Qalipu First Nation; Traditional Chief, Ktaqmkuk, Mi’sel Joe (Miawpukek First Nation), and Strategic Advisor, World Energy GH2.
(L-R) Greg Heath, Chief Commercial Officer, World Energy GH2; Dr. Stefan Kaufmann, Senior Advisor, World Energy GH2; Sheila O’Neill, Indigenous Relations Manager, World Energy GH2; Chief Jenny Brake, Qalipu First Nation; Traditional Chief, Ktaqmkuk, Mi’sel Joe (Miawpukek First Nation) and Strategic Advisor, World Energy GH2; Charles Pender, Band Manager, Qalipu First Nation.
(L-R) Greg Heath, Chief Commercial Officer, World Energy GH2; Dr. Stefan Kaufmann, Senior Advisor, World Energy GH2; Sheila O’Neill, Indigenous Relations Manager, World Energy GH2; Chief Jenny Brake, Qalipu First Nation; Traditional Chief, Ktaqmkuk, Mi’sel Joe (Miawpukek First Nation) and Strategic Advisor, World Energy GH2; Charles Pender, Band Manager, Qalipu First Nation.
The word NEWS written in vintage wooden letterpress type in a wooden type drawer.

Land Monitor Program Exceeds Expectations and Builds on Collaborative Research

As interest in the utilization of environmental resources has increased, the need for land monitorship became evident. Qalipu First Nation’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources launched a Land Monitor Program in the fall of 2023. The Department has a long history with their Fishery Guardian Program working to protect local waterways, so it was a natural progression to ensure natural resource protection was the focus of any land development, particularly in the Central region of the province that has seen a rapid expansion of wind energy development and mining. The goal of guardianship is to protect the environment that holds reverence in our ancestral traditions. Land monitors use a combination of traditional and modern scientific exploration to not only protect the environment but also to participate in vital preservation research undertaken by the Department.

Land Monitors Dean Gillingham (L) and Justin Hodge (R) patrolling the area around Charlie's Place. Qalipu First Nation has been working to turn the location into an Indigenous Protected Area.
Land Monitors Dean Gillingham (L) and Justin Hodge (R) patrolling the area around Charlie’s Place. Qalipu First Nation has been working to turn the location into an Indigenous Protected Area.

The site of the inaugural Land Monitor Program undertaken by Qalipu was Charlie’s Place, nestled between the Southwest and Northwest Gander Rivers, it has been a cultural beacon in its neighboring communities for generations. Qalipu First Nation Council has been working to establish the area as an Indigenous protected area for several months, bolstered by support from band member and Land monitor, Justin Hodge. Justin was joined by Dean Gillingham to maintain guardianship of Charlie’s Place during the Fall of 2023.

In addition to patrolling the land, Land Monitors also observe species and environmental conditions in the area. They compile reports based on their observations. These findings help to build on bodies of knowledge and research conducted with other organizations.
In addition to patrolling the land, Land Monitors also observe species and environmental conditions in the area. They compile reports based on their observations. These findings help to build on bodies of knowledge and research conducted with other organizations.

The 2023 Land Monitor Program was a resounding success supported by many fellow land monitors, environmental researchers, including Natural Resources Canada, and corporate partner Teck Resources Limited, which supported the program via a financial contribution. The work helps to build on Environment Canada’s knowledge base regarding the biodiversity and significance of the area. Working closely with these partners has demonstrated the value of collaboration between government entities, industry, and Indigenous peoples to share knowledge and protect sacred environmental resources. Based on the success of last year’s work, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources hopes to expand into the western region, and to make this program a permanent part of their operations.

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Clarification, Residential Home Heat & Energy Program

*No new application process, disbursement of available funds to existing applicants*

In the fall of 2021 and again in June 2022, Qalipu First Nation announced funding under the Covid-19 Residential Home Heat & Energy Rebate Program.   Band members were invited to submit an application to be eligible for a one-time payment of up to $350 to help with their home heat and energy costs.   Available funds were allocated by random draw and the application process was closed.

This year, based on existing available funds, Qalipu revisited this original pool of applicants to award payments to those who had not yet been selected (approximately 700 applications).

There is no new application process.  Funds are being awarded to those who previously applied and were unsuccessful.

If you received a phone call or an email from our housing division, it is because you previously applied, and you have now been selected to receive the one-time payment.

Please check your email and voicemail and be sure to respond if your mailing address or direct deposit banking information has changed.

To discuss this, please reach out to the Housing Division.

Contact:
Jason Park, Housing Development Officer
tel. 709-634-0411
email housingproject@qalipu.ca

Emergency Housing Feb 2024

Financial Support Available for Band Members: Emergency Housing Support Program

You may be eligible for financial support from our Emergency Housing Support Program if you fall into one of the following situations:

  • Are you currently renting but have received an eviction notice?
  • Are you overdue on the rent and don’t have the money to pay it?
  • Are you homeless and trying to get into a place but need financial support to get you started?
  • Have you received a utility disconnection notice due to non-payment?
  • Are you on a fixed income and coming up short for rent?

Please reach out to our housing team to discuss your situation and start the application process to receive support.

Contact:
Jason Park, Housing Development Officer
t. 709-634-0411
e. jpark@qalipu.ca