Untitled (4)

Message from the Chief – January 26, 2024

Dear Members of the Qalipu First Nation,

I hope this message finds you all in good health and spirits. It is with great honour and sincere appreciation that I write to you today as the Interim Chief of the Qalipu First Nation. On behalf of our entire community, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude and admiration to Chief Mi’sel Joe for his remarkable 31 years of dedicated service as Chief of the Miawpukek First Nation.

I had the privilege of joining Chief Joe for dinner as he marked his final day as Chief. On January 17, exactly 31 years to the day since beginning his journey as the leader of Miawpukek First Nation, we shared a meal and reflected on his incredible journey and the path ahead for our respective communities.

Chief Joe has been a mentor to me and so many others throughout the years, always willing to share his wisdom and provide invaluable guidance. I am profoundly grateful to him for his unwavering support and encouragement, and I look forward to continued friendship as Chief Joe embarks on this new chapter in his life.  Please join me in wishing him the best as he enjoys more time with his beloved family and his passion for the outdoors.

We look forward to working with the new Chief and Council of Miawpukek First Nation and we wish Chief Joe the very best in this new phase of his life.

Chief Jenny and Joe

Message from the Chief web header

Message from the Chief – December 14, 2023


I hope that this message finds you well.  The holiday season can be stressful, but I hope that each of you has the opportunity to rest and relax as we move into the new year.

Life’s journey can be full of twists and turns; entering the role of Interim Chief has been another twist along my path that I’m happy to say, I’m quite comfortable with. I feel privileged to have this opportunity and I look forward to working with our Council and staff for another year of elevating and celebrating our Mi’kmaw community. I hope to meet you and your families in the new year, and I wish you all the best in 2024.

From my family to yours, Wli Nuelewi aq Pusu’l Puna’ne, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year



Interim Chief Jenny Brake

Message from the Chief November 2024

Message from the Chief – November 24, 2023

Update on Veterans and Service Members Agreement


By now most of you have heard that I am saying my goodbyes at Qalipu First Nation as I prepare to begin a new journey as Regional Chief for Newfoundland with the Assembly of First Nations.  While I will no longer be serving you as Chief of Qalipu, I will not be going far.  I will continue to work on behalf of Qalipu as it is one of the four AFN affiliates in this province.

It has been my privilege and my honour to serve you as Chief and I thank you for affording me that opportunity.

Before I go, I am pleased to provide an update on the Service Members Agreement, an initiative that has been very near and dear to my heart and an accomplishment of which I am very proud.

This is an update to members following the positive support for the Agreement that the Government of Canada, Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians reached last year on December 22, 2022. The Agreement establishes criteria for accepting former and current members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as Qalipu Founding Members. Acceptance is based on the special place of honour these new members hold in the Mi’kmaq culture due to their service as protectors of Canada and their communities.


Applications Process

  • The Enrollment Committee has completed its initial review of all applications for Founding Membership with Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation.
  • An appeals process will follow for those who wish to exercise this option.


Founding Membership List

  • The review of applications under this exercise will result in over 580 additions to the Founding Membership list.
  • Decision letters to all applicants and requests for additional information in some instances will follow.
  • It is anticipated that this phase of enrolment will be completed in 2024 following the regulatory process by Canada to officially add new members to the Founding Members list of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation. For more information on the Order in Council process, please visit Orders in Council – Canada.ca.
  • Individuals who are recognized as Founding Members will immediately be registered as Status Indians under the Indian Act, thus becoming eligible to receive benefits such as those from the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program.


If you have any questions, please call the Government of Canada’s Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation toll-free line (1-800-561-2266; TTY: 1-800-465-7735).


Wela’lioq, thank you all.

Chief Brendan Mitchell


Message from the Chief October 2023 (2)

Message from the Chief – October 26, 2023


Have you noticed some of the great information being shared this month for Mi’kmaw History Month? Sports, language, music and values are some of the many topics of focus for this annual celebration of our shared Mi’kmaw history.

Here at home in Ktaqmkuk perhaps the most important place we can turn our attention this month is to our identity and belonging as a part of the Mi’kmaq Nation. Unama’ki aq Ktaqmkuk (Cape Breton and Newfoundland) is one of the seven districts that make up Mi’kma’ki, the traditional homeland of the Mi’kmaw people.

We are unique in that we have lived most of our history outside the bounds of the Indian Act.  Our Mi’kmaq ancestors living on the island were denied rights and acknowledgement when Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949.  The government of the day, in fact, said that they didn’t exist.

But exist they did and like the caribou for whom our Nation is named, our ancestors wandered far and wide building families and lives alongside and interwoven with European cultures.  It was more than sixty years later, after decades of advocacy by our Mi’kmaq leaders, that Qalipu First Nation was created.  This acknowledgement by the government didn’t change who we are but it provided for acknowledgement of our Mi’kmaw ancestors and their many descendants who could now stand up and claim Indian status in their place.

This is not the story of every First Nation, but it is our story.

Identity is founded in our relationships with each other, our language, values, spirituality, our connection to the land, and our relationship with the greater Mi’kmaq Nation which extends all the way from Maine to Newfoundland.

I call on you to take pride and share in our successes both from our past and present and take every opportunity to lift each other up.

I also ask you each to take time to consider how we can more fully embrace Mi’kmaw values.  How can we make life better for the Mi’kmaw community as a whole? Is there a way we can be supportive, especially with community members in need like seniors or those going through crisis? How can we each be more involved in our First Nation, beyond benefits and into participation and belonging?

Let us continue to grow our understanding of this shared history and identity and go forward together, building our Nation.


Chief Brendan

Elmastukwek Mawio'mi 2023

Message from the Chief – September 8, 2023



It’s a busy week for many with back-to-school activities in full swing! I’ve enjoyed seeing all the pictures of children looking sharp on their first day of school and seeing the hustle and bustle of buses and parents getting the kids to class as I drive into the office each morning.  I pray for a good year for all the students of our communities, one filled with many opportunities to grow and learn.

At Qalipu First Nation we have a few events coming up that I would like to share with you.

We are setting out on a community tour to meet with members for something we’re calling Community Conversations.  There are nine wards making up our territory, and more than 100 communities.  Often, we pick central locations to hold meetings or community engagement but this fall, we’ve decided to set out to visit more people in more places, off the beaten path.  The tour begins on Wednesday, September 20th in Port au Port East.  From 6:30 to 8:00 PM members of our team will be on hand at the Twilight 50+ Club at 15 Hynes Rd. to share information about programs and services and hear from Band members on whatever they would like to talk about.  We’ve never had a meeting in Port au Port East, and we hope to see a nice turnout of community members from the area.

Also coming up in the Bay St. George area is our Annual General Assembly scheduled for Sunday, September 24 from 2:00-4:00 PM at the Days Inn in Stephenville.  Qalipu staff Departments will have information tables, and Indian Registration staff will offer free passport-style photos and take care of your SCIS renewal if needed.   There will also be prize giveaways, music, a light lunch and an annual report that includes a presentation on the bands’ audited financial statements.  I’m looking forward to gathering once again in Stephenville where we have always seen a nice crowd of people turn out when we visit.

Finally, I want to share some details with you about a community event that we’ll be co-hosting in Corner Brook on Sunday, October 22.  The One Spirit Unity Run is an effort by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to advance Reconciliation by partnering with Indigenous communities and organizations for a community walk or run.  Their vision is to create an event that fosters healing, Reconciliation, and understanding between Indigenous communities and all Canadians.

We were approached to host an event, one of 12 happening concurrently across Canada, and I was pleased to be able to partner in this positive step toward Reconciliation.

Participation in the event is free, however, there is an optional registration where donations can be made.  All proceeds for the Corner Brook event will go towards our annual contributions to School Breakfast Programs across the territory.

Join the Qalipu First Nation team here:


I encourage everyone to save the date and plan to come out in support of this great initiative.


Chief Brendan

Elmastukwek Mawio'mi 2023

Message from the Chief – August 14, 2023


Can it really be that we are already approaching the end of summer? The last stop on the Newfoundland Powwow trail happened this past weekend in Elmastukwek and as I reflect on all the memories made this season, I know that I will cherish them in the year ahead until we see each other walk proud in our regalia under sunny skies again.

The first stop was Conne River for their annual Powwow.  It was a big event this year, with a great turnout.  The drumming was fantastic, and I know it couldn’t have been easy drumming and dancing in the hot temperatures! It was a very positive event, and well worth the visit.

The Annual Bay St. George Powwow in Flat Bay was special for me; I got to present the Veterans Millennial Medallion to six people and this meant a lot to me.  It’s important to recognize our veterans and I appreciated the opportunity to be a part of that.  The community was welcoming as always, and it was an enjoyable time.

The Mawio’mi in Degrau got rained out badly, but that didn’t stop us! The event was moved inside to the school gymnasium and people in attendance were in good spirits.  Hats off to the planners for delivering a great event despite the rain.

I also made it to Burgeo this year, they had a nice turnout, bigger than last year.  I’m really impressed with the way the community came together to host this event, especially the women’s drumming group who have been stepping up and demonstrating great leadership.

In Corner Brook, we didn’t have the best weather but what a nice turnout.  People didn’t leave because of a few showers, either.  We were lucky to see the sun for the Sunrise Ceremony attended by 180 people, and we all appreciated the opportunity to learn and share with special guests, including Elder George Paul who wrote the Mi’kmaq Honour Song and Mi’kmaq Grand Council Grand Chief Norman Sylliboy.

I’d like to take this opportunity to give a special thank you to the organizing committees for these very important community events.  I always enjoy myself when I’m out at these types of cultural gatherings and I know it all happens with the hard work of volunteers.  I’m so proud of each and every one of you.

Likewise, big thanks to our dancers, drummers, artists and others who share their talents at these community events.  Your dedication, rain or shine, means so much.

As we head into our final year for the current Council, I look forward to continuing to work together on behalf of people and communities and many more opportunities to gather, in particular, our acknowledgement around the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation coming up on September 30.


Chief Brendan

MicrosoftTeams-image (12)

Message from the Chief – June 8, 2023


Well, we had a day or two that felt like summer and then plenty of wind and rain! That’s Newfoundland for you but I can’t complain; the trees are once again covered in leaves; dandelions offer splashes of brightness and when we consider the many challenges faced by others in the world, I know that to call this place home is a blessing.

Chief dancing with Eva and Aaliyah Pike at first Exploits MawiomiAs we look forward to warmer days ahead, we can also anticipate a chance to gather with family and friends at a variety of events happening this summer.  I believe we even have enough powwows to say we have our own Newfoundland powwow trail!  There are events happening in Conne River, Flat Bay, Degrau, Burgeo and Corner Brook.

Up first is National Indigenous Peoples Day on Wednesday, June 21.  I’ve heard about events happening in various communities and I’m excited to celebrate this important day that celebrates the history, culture and unique contributions of Indigenous people in this country.

In Corner Brook, I invite you to meet me at the Sunrise Ceremony hosted by the Corner Brook Aboriginal Women’s Association.  I look forward to that peaceful morning light and the special bonds that are formed when we stand together to give thanks for another day.

Later, we’ll gather on the Majestic Lawn in front of our offices at 3 Church Street.  From 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM there will be singing, drumming, activities, and fun for the whole family.  We’ll fire up the BBQ for lunch and please know that everyone is welcome.

I wish you all the best this season and look forward to seeing you soon! Have a safe and enjoyable summer.


Chief Brendan


Newfoundland Powwow Trail:

July 7-9 in Conne River

July 14-16 in Flat Bay

July 22-23 in Degrau

August 4-5 in Burgeo

August 12 in Corner Brook


msg aprl28 2023-1

Message from the Chief – April 28, 2023



Mark your calendars and meet me outside at the Mi’kwite’tm Garden for the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).

Next Friday, May 5th, we will gather in honour and acknowledgement of all those sisters who have been lost.  Indigenous women and girls are five times more likely to experience violence than any other population in Canada and this violence tends to result in more serious harm.  This statistic, and others like it, can’t be allowed to go unnoticed.  We must continue to raise awareness and be a part of positive change.

The plan for our afternoon event, beginning at 1:00 PM outside the Qailpu offices at 1-3 Church Street, will include smudging, prayer, drumming and singing, poster-making, and a walk of remembrance.

I encourage those of you in the area to come on out, wearing something red, if possible, to share in this day together, and to show solidarity for this important issue.

You can also raise awareness and be a part of this important day by hanging a red dress outside for all to see and remember, wearing red, and posting a picture to social media using one of the hashtags such as #MMIWG or #NoMoreStolenSisters!



Chief Brendan

MicrosoftTeams-image (9)

Message from the Chief – March 31, 2023


Spring is in the air! At last, the piles of snow are dwindling down and we can once again see the earth, ready to bring forth new life.  It is a special time of year when we may feel more able to go outside, begin tending to yard work and gardens, and enjoy longer days to the tune of birds singing.  How lucky we are just to be alive.

Today, March 31, we celebrate National Indigenous Languages Day, a day to recognize and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Indigenous languages.

Kiskuk Muwiwatmu’k Tli’sutiminu – Today we Honour our Language!

Language is more than just words.  Language-what we say and how we say it- carries culture and history, it tells the story of our ancestors and how they interacted with the world.  Language connects generations and is at the heart of who we are.

Although Mi’kmaw language in Newfoundland was slowly replaced with French and English as our ancestors adapted to settler life, there are remnants spoken among our grandparents and there is a renewed energy to reclaim language among our people today.

Hundreds of students have taken up the language journey with Qalipu’s language classes initiative L’nui-kina’masulti’kw (we are learning to speak Mi’kmaw).  Classes are ongoing and I’m so proud of the dedication of our students.  Keep up the great work!

For those who may be curious about learning Mi’kmaw, please keep an eye out for additional upcoming language classes.


Chief Brendan

MicrosoftTeams-image (9)

Message from the Chief – February 1, 2023


It is my pleasure to be the first to share with you our new T-shirt design for Pink Shirt Day, coming up later this month.

The design I’m wearing was inspired by traditional Mi’kmaw art.  The stylized patterns connect like a hug to form the universal symbol for love – the heart.  The eight-sided star points to life, light and bright days ahead.

I invite you all to participate in this annual event and consider what you can do to bring more kindness and compassion into the world, not just on Pink Shirt Day, but every day.


Chief Brendan

Pink Shirt Day happens annually on the last Wednesday in February, this year on February 22.  It began in 2007 when a student in Nova Scotia was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school. It has since been recognized annually worldwide as a day to stand against bullying.


Get Your Own Pink Shirt

A limited supply of this T-shirt will be available for sale at our Corner Brook office starting on February 2.  The shirts cost $12 each with all proceeds from the sale to be donated to the Janeway Children’s Hospital.

For individuals outside the Corner Brook area, please call 634-0996 to place your order and arrange email money transfer.  T-shirts will then be delivered to one of our participating satellite offices at St. George’s, Grand Falls-Windsor, and Gander.  This option is available from February 2nd-10th only.