majestic lawn 3

Moose Hide Campaign Day – May 16, 2024

The Moose Hide Campaign is an Indigenous-led grassroots movement that originated in British Columbia to combat violence against indigenous women and children in Canada.

This campaign began over 10 years ago by a father and daughter who were moose hunting along the Highway of Tears and felt connected to this area where many women have gone missing or been murdered.

Since that time, thousands of communities and organizations have taken part in the campaign. This year, the Men’s Fellowship Circle and in support with the Qalipu First Nation, held an event on the Majestic Lawn in Corner Brook on Thursday, May 16. The event included a free BBQ and distribution of moose hide pins.

The squares of moose hide are worn as visible tokens of a personal pledge to respect, honor and protect women and children and to be an active participant in addressing and preventing gender-based violence.

More information on this campaign can be found on the website: https://moosehidecampaign.ca/

Ernest Green bringing greetings
Ernest Green bringing greetings

Ernest Green, a member of the Men’s Fellowship Circle bringing greetings. Ernest brought to light some stats that demonstrated why we bring awareness to this important topic.

  • Indigenous women are killed at 6 times the rate of non-indigenous women.
  • Spousal violence of indigenous women is 3x higher then non-indigenous women.
  • 1 in 2 women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16.
    Reference: https://moosehidecampaign.ca/issue/
  • A woman or girl is murdered every two and a half days in Canada.
Thank you to the Men’s Fellowship Circle for taking the lead with hosting this event.
Thank you to the Men’s Fellowship Circle for taking the lead with hosting this event.

 

Paul Pike, Cultural Outreach Offer, led the group with singing and drumming.
Paul Pike, Cultural Outreach Offer, led the group with singing and drumming.

 

Members of the Men’s Fellowship Circle with QFN councillors and community members participate in drumming and singing with Paul Pike.
Members of the Men’s Fellowship Circle with QFN councillors and community members participate in drumming and singing with Paul Pike.

 

Councillor Sherry Dean leading the group in singing and drumming.
Councillor Sherry Dean leading the group in singing and drumming.

 

It was a beautiful Sunday with a great attendance from the community, staff, and council.
It was a beautiful Sunday with a great attendance from the community, staff, and council.

 

Members of the Men’s Fellowship circle with Scott Reid, MHA St George’s – Humber, RNC Officer and staff enjoying the event.
Members of the Men’s Fellowship circle with Scott Reid, MHA St George’s – Humber, RNC Officer and staff enjoying the event.
mftc 10-05-2024

Message from the Chief – May 10, 2024

As we approach Mother’s Day, we are filled with gratitude and admiration for the mothers, grandmothers and all those who identify as women that play a pivotal role in shaping our communities. It is a time to honor and celebrate their remarkable strength, resilience, and nurturing spirits.

In our culture, matriarchy plays a central role. Women are life-givers, caretakers and decision-makers. They hold positions of leadership and authority, not as a deviation from tradition but as a continuation of it. Our matriarchs carry the knowledge of our ancestors and pass it along to future generations with grace and wisdom.

Water embodies life, and women are our water carriers. Just as water sustains the earth, women nourish our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

On behalf of Qalipu First Nation, we wish all mothers, grandmothers, and maternal figures a Happy Mother’s Day.

Meeting of Chief and Council

Council Meeting – May 25, 2024

The next meeting of Chief and Council is scheduled for Saturday, May 25, 2024 at 10:00am in the Qalipu Community Room, 1 Church Street. Registration is required to attend the meeting, the deadline for registration is May 17, 2024.

Members wishing to attend can contact Natasha by telephone 709-634-6895 or by email: nlavers@qalipu.ca or contact Allyson by telephone 709-634-5111 or by email: arobbins@qalipu.ca. Members can view the meeting’s livestream by logging on to their KINU membership profile: https://mala.qalipu.ca/ginu/login.aspx

red dress and tipi2

May 5th – National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2 Spirit People

Chief Brake standing in front of the tipi lit up in red. Thank you to our all the volunteers from the Men’s Fellowship Circle and Elmastukwek Mawio’mi Committee who took the time to assist us with the set-up of our tipi at Mikwite'tm Garden.
Chief Brake standing in front of the tipi lit up in red. Thank you to our all the volunteers from the Men’s Fellowship Circle and Elmastukwek Mawio’mi Committee who took the time to assist us with the set-up of our tipi at Mikwite’tm Garden.

Sunday, May 5th was a beautiful sunny day to gather at the Mikwite’tm Garden in Corner Brook to raise awareness in support of Red Dress Day, the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2 Spirit People.

The gathering started at 1pm with a walk from the Garden up West Street led by children carrying one of the banners that was designed by attendees before the walk. Following the walk, participants gathered for the official opening which included several special guests.  Anne Marie O’Keefe provided an opening prayer; the Honourable Lisa Dempster, Minister of Minister of Labrador Affairs and Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation brought greetings on behalf of the province; Quinn Jesso spoke on behalf of the 2SLBGTQQIA+ community and Corner Brook Deputy Mayor Linda Chaisson brought greetings on behalf of the city.  The event also featured the sharing of a poem by Corner Brook Ward Councilor Sherry Dean and music provided by the Corner Brook Aboriginal Women’s Association and Paul Pike accompanied by the Men’s Fellowship Circle. Chief Jenny Brake guided the event as Emcee and brought greetings on behalf of council.

“As the first female Chief of Qalipu First Nation and a survivor of gender-based violence, I carry with me the stories and struggles of countless Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people who have been taken from us too soon, whose voices have been silenced by violence and injustice. Today, we honor their memory, we stand in solidarity with their families, and we renew our pledge to never forget and never stop working toward a safer future for the next seven generations”.

Chief Brake reminded guests that behind each statistic lies a name and a story. She encouraged everyone in attendance to remember their names—those who have been taken from us too soon—and ensure that their voices are never silenced.

She added, “On this National Day of Awareness, let us recommit ourselves to the pursuit of justice and healing. Let us stand in solidarity with the families and loved ones of those who have been lost, offering them our unwavering support and compassion. And let us hold our governments and institutions accountable, demanding concrete action to address the root causes of violence and ensure the safety and well-being of all Indigenous peoples.”

(L - R) Ivy Strickland, Natalya Osmond, Chief Jenny Brake, Mya Strickland. The banner was signed by those in attendance.
(L – R) Ivy Strickland, Natalya Osmond, Chief Jenny Brake, Mya Strickland. The banner was signed by those in attendance.

Children leading the walk down West Street
Children leading the walk down West Street
Miranda Osmond with red dress project she completed with the help of students
Miranda Osmond with red dress project she completed with the help of students

Miranda Osmond is an Education Outreach Officer with Qalipu First Nation.  She was invited to create a mural for Red Dress Day and came up with this impactful mural representing a woman in a red dress.

Miranda shared, “I was inspired by a dream that I had.  I was hovering above Miktwite’tm Garden looking down, like a star.  And I could see her, this tall figure.  She had butterflies in her hair.”

Miranda added that the mural, standing 8 feet tall, represents all those whose lives have been lost.

“She has her back turned.  This is meant to be symbolic of when we smudge behind us to honour our ancestors and those who have crossed over.”

Miranda worked with teachers and children at Xavier Elementary, Stephenville Middle School and J.J. Curling to create artwork that could be added to the mural including butterflies, feathers, and dragonflies.

Special thanks go out to Jonathan Murphy who helped with the construction and the cultural team at QFN who helped to laminate all the kids’ artwork.  Also, to Xavier teacher Petra Snook who saw to it that all classes could participate in the project even though Miranda could not be there every time.

The mural was given the name Beverly in honour of someone who was lost here in Newfoundland.

Beverly’s family members brought the mural home with them after the event, and they will keep her safe.  She will come out again to be a part of the Elmastukwek Mawiomi this coming August 10-11.

The Department of Culture, Tourism and Community Development led event planning and preparations. Pictured here (L-R) Jonah Rowsell, Business Development Officer, Lindsey Swift, Manager of Culture, Tourism and Community Development, Chief Jenny Brake, Miranda Osmond, Education Outreach Officer, Monica Companion, Early Education Outreach Officer, Ann Crocker, Tourism Development Officer, (front) Sage Elford and Natalya Osmond.
The Department of Culture, Tourism and Community Development led event planning and preparations. Pictured here (L-R) Jonah Rowsell, Business Development Officer, Lindsey Swift, Manager of Culture, Tourism and Community Development, Chief Jenny Brake, Miranda Osmond, Education Outreach Officer, Monica Companion, Early Education Outreach Officer, Ann Crocker, Tourism Development Officer, (front) Sage Elford and Natalya Osmond.

 

Drummers from the Men’s Fellowship Circle with Paul Pike, Cultural Outreach Officer
Drummers from the Men’s Fellowship Circle with Paul Pike, Cultural Outreach Officer

 

AFN Newfoundland Regional Chief, Brendan Mitchell was on hand for the event, pictured here with members of the Men’s Fellowship Circle
AFN Newfoundland Regional Chief, Brendan Mitchell was on hand for the event, pictured here with members of the Men’s Fellowship Circle
birdmonitoringqithQFNlogo

Marine Bird Monitoring Update

Qalipu’s Environment and Natural Resources department (QENR) started their initial partnership with Environment and Climate Change Canada on marine bird monitoring in Western Newfoundland in 2022. Since then, QENR staff have received training on shorebird banding and bird identification. Additionally, multiple boat and shore surveys throughout the Port au Port Peninsula, Bay St. George, and the Bay of Islands have been completed to contribute to the growing database of marine bird knowledge on the west coast.

Many marine birds are considered ‘indicator species’, meaning that changes in their behaviour can often point to changes in the ocean environment. Monitoring for changes in the health and behaviour of these species can lead to a better understanding of the conditions of the greater environment, as well as potential impacts caused by development.

Below is a web map highlighting the locations that QENR staff conducted marine bird surveys in 2023-24, including lists of species observed at each site. Click on a site to learn more!

https://qnr.maps.arcgis.com/apps/instant/basic/index.html?appid=399dba84f30a4887b46e0599ec672d36

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

FNI Update

Acting Chief Jenny Brake and Central Vice Chief Andy Barker have filed an application in the Court of Appeal seeking standing as former members of Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI) Board of Directors. Their request is scheduled to be heard at the Court of Appeal in St. John’s at 10 AM on May 21st.

Addressing concerns about the involvement of QFN directors or local chiefs in the process, Acting Chief Brake stressed the significance of unity and cooperation towards a common objective. The former FNI directors actions were driven by a sense of duty to the community and their legal obligations.

“We understand the potential perceptions, but fulfilling our role as former members of the FNI board was necessary to ensure the process proceeds appropriately.”

 

“Our efforts are geared towards reinstating disenfranchised members. This was our responsibility as FNI directors, and one we wish to continue. Our focus is to ensure that the veterans file has an opportunity to be completed , and those who will gain membership in the Qalipu Band under that agreement are not delayed in any way.  We wish to ensure that we have further opportunities to work with Canada to support the reinstatement of the members of the FNI including the many family members that are still seeking membership.”

 

“We remain dedicated to assisting families,” stated the former directors. “The determination of who is eligible for membership is not the exclusive role of QFN or FNI. As directors of the FNI, we had an opportunity to advocate fully for those seeking reinstatement and we wish to continue to do so.”

The Qalipu First Nation continues to emphasize its steadfast commitment to upholding justice and ensuring equitable processes for all community members.

Bear Witness Day

Bear Witness Day

Did you know that Jordan’s Principle is named after a little First Nations boy named Jordan who was denied health benefits and died at just five years old while the provincial and federal governments argued about who was responsible for his care?

The blue teddy bear that you see associated with Jordan’s Principle was the friend that Jordan kept at his side in the hospital.  After he passed, a human rights case was filed.  Jordan’s bear was brought to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal hearings to remind those in attendance of the little boy whose life was lost, and to bear witness.

On May 10th, we celebrate Bear Witness Day and bring remembrance to the little boy whose life led to the creation of Jordan’s Principle, a program that ensures that children can access all public services in a way that is reflective of their distinct cultural needs, takes full account of the historical disadvantage linked to colonization, and without experiencing any service denials, delays, or disruptions because they are First Nations.

The Health and Wellness Department is asking community members to join in remembrance and bring awareness to Jordan’s Principle by staging a picture with a teddy bear and sharing it on your social media accounts using the hashtags #JordansPrinciple, #BearWitnessDay, #QalipuFirstNation.

Additional Information:

Jordan River Anderson was from Norway House Cree Nation.  Jordan spent the first two years of his life in a hospital for a rare genetic condition. The two years following, while living with his family, he was denied health benefits. The federal and provincial governments argued over which government was financially responsible for the child’s health care. In 2005 Jordan passed away at the age of 5.

This jurisdictional dispute caused a lapse of service to a First Nation’s child, where other children would have normally received care or service. A human rights case was launched and won, resulting in First Nation children and families accessing Jordan’s Principle. Spirit Bear served an important role in the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal hearings on Jordan’s Principle.

After ten years at the Tribunal, using the powerful case of Jordan River Anderson and a history of racism as evidence, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society was finally successful in proving that discrimination existed, and the federal government was ordered to make things right. The CHRT issued the first of several compliance orders on May 10, 2016. May 10 is Spirit Bear’s birthday, which has become the mascot and an important symbol of Jordan’s Principle.

Bear Witness Day serves as a reminder – and a day for us all to “bear witness” that First Nations children receive the services and support they need when they need them.  If you or someone you know have a child in need, please reach out to Brigitte White, Jordan’s Principle Service Coordinator at 709-634-2234 or email Brigitte.white@qalipu.ca

May 10, 2024, between 1pm to 3pm anyone who is in the Corner Brook area is invited to stop by the Qalipu Community Room at 1 Church Street to share a piece of birthday cake with Jordan’s Principle Service Coordinator Brigitte White and Jordan’s Principle Service Officer Jadean House.

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Message from the Chief – April 26th, 2024

This week, on April 22, we celebrated Earth Day—a day dedicated to reflecting on our responsibility to protect Mother Earth. For many of us, Earth Day is not confined to a single day but is an ongoing commitment. We extend our gratitude to all who share in this care and understanding.

It was moving to learn about a Water Ceremony organized by community members in Bay St. George to commemorate this occasion. Despite adverse weather conditions with snowfall and strong winds at Black Bank near St. George’s, they gathered to honor and pray for this precious resource.

All over the world, there is a growing consensus in favor of renewable energy options like wind energy and green hydrogen. While we are still learning and trying to understand what this means for us here in Newfoundland, we know that we must emphasize the importance of environmental stewardship and building strong relationships. These projects are not solely about financial gains; they encompass people, land stewardship, the environment, and the well-being of future generations.

Projects such as Atlas Salt and Project Nujio’qonik, recently received approval through the provinces rigorous Environmental Impact Assessment process. These projects represent unprecedented opportunities and can only be successful by listening to the voices of the residents, Indigenous and non-Indigenous.

We want to assure our membership that we hear your feedback and appreciate the diverse perspectives within our communities. We are committed to understanding and addressing your concerns and work collectively with municipalities, local groups and industry partners to ensure our voices are heard and respected.

From the moment we wake up each day, we all have an impact on our environment. Together, we will navigate these challenges and continue to strive for a sustainable and prosperous future.

 

Wela’lin,

 

Chief Jenny Brake

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