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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.

community tour team

Message from the Chief – January 6, 2023


Pusu’l Puna’ne, Happy New Year! We’re all back in the office at Qalipu First Nation this week after a nice break at home with our loved ones, the people and pets we call family, enjoying some rest and holiday treats.  I pray that we all are coming into this new year rested, renewed and ready to take back up our journey.

For myself, I am pleased to report that 93% of members who voted in the recent referendum for our Service Members Agreement voted YES.  Yes, to the opportunity to bring more of our people into this Band where they belong.  The support of our membership in this endeavour, this negotiation with Canada, has strengthened and renewed me as I go forward this year as your Chief, working for the people of our Nation.   Who knows what else we can accomplish when we stand together?

Additional information regarding the Service Members Agreement will be communicated with all of you as we approach the next steps along the way.

I immensely enjoyed travelling the breadth of our territory on the community tour in December.  We met many folks who although busy with the season, were motivated to come out and learn more whether for themselves, a brother, or a friend.  We also met veterans who could now be eligible for Founding Membership.  What a fantastic gift, to have had thousands of voters come out just before Christmas and say yes, we want this for you, m’sit nokmaq.

On behalf of our Council and staff, I want you to know that there are more good things to come this year.  We will be working hard on your behalf, and we will treasure the moments, one by one.

Chief Brendan

Christmas 2022

Message from the Chief – December 15, 2022


It is my pleasure to bring Christmas greetings on behalf of Council and Staff at Qalipu First Nation. I pray that this season will be marked by many special moments of sharing and time together with family, friends and loved ones.

By now many of you will have heard the news regarding the Service Members Agreement which allows for reconsideration of the applications of members from the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and veterans of both.

Service members who applied for membership within the Qalipu Band were denied based on the group acceptance criterion.  This essentially means they had a difficult time showing a connection to their Mi’kmaw community of origin.  Since we know that these service members were required to leave home in service of their country, we are pleased to be able to have come to this Agreement with Canada that gives honour to the special place they hold in Mi’kmaw culture and allows for reconsideration of their applications.

After four years of engagement and negotiating with Canada since we first announced exploratory discussions in November 2018, I don’t want to waste any more time.  We will bring this Agreement to our membership for a ratification vote without further delay.  The decision to accept this Agreement is in your hands.  Your majority yes vote will put the Agreement into action.

On December 16, the seven-day voting window will commence.  Voting-age members of Qalipu First Nation will receive a voter information package either by email or in their mailboxes.  We expect these packages to begin arriving around the 13th of December.  As with our last Qalipu Council election, voting will be done from the comfort of your home either on the phone or on your computer.

If you do not receive a voting package, please be sure to call the Helpline at 1-888-281-8683.

My heart continues to be with all those who were denied membership in our First Nation.  Not only service members, but also those original members of the Federation of Newfoundland Indians especially those who voted to create our Band in the first place.  Know that the negotiating doesn’t stop here.  We can celebrate together this small victory in honour of our service members and veterans and know that tomorrow is a new day to pursue unity for Qalipu First Nation.

Merry Christmas to all, and a Happy New Year.



Chief Brendan

Chief Remembrance Day Profile-1

Message from the Chief – November 10, 2022 – Lest We Forget


This week, on November 8th, we celebrated Indigenous Veterans Day, honouring the Indigenous veterans of Canada who have served in missions across our country and around the world in times of war, conflict, and peace.  The military service of First Nations, Inuit and Metis in Canada has deep roots and its important that we recognize and remember their contributions and sacrifices.

Beginning with the War of 1812, Indigenous soldiers have been enlisted and this involvement continues in modern times in Afghanistan, in Europe and other places around the world.  Indigenous people in times of war and peace been involved in service for more than 200 years.

On Indigenous Veterans Day and tomorrow, Remembrance Day, we honour the service, the courage, and sacrifices of those in service today, all veterans, and those that have made the ultimate sacrifice.

It is my pleasure to share with you today a new project at Qalipu First Nation to honour and remember our Indigenous Veterans.  The Indigenous Veterans Memorial Wall was put together with the help of our community members who sent in pictures, names and other details of their family members and loved ones, Indigenous veterans who are no longer with us.  This wall of remembering will be maintained on our website and added to each year for Remembrance Day.

I encourage everyone to take a moment to view the Memorial Wall and reflect on the sacrifices that have been made.  Likewise, I encourage you all to participate in activities taking place in your communities for Remembrance Day such as parades and ceremonies, and to lay a wreath where possible.



Chief Brendan


Click Here to View the Indigenous Veterans Memorial Wall


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Message from the Chief – October 4, 2022


It is my pleasure to greet you today from my office in Corner Brook where the fall colours are so beautifully on display.  I hope that you all are finding ways to enjoy the season whether it’s lighting your first fire in the woodstove, getting the kids ready for Halloween, or taking walks in the cool air.

The fall is an important time for our people in terms of special days.  October 1st marked Treaty Day, and the beginning of Mi’kmaq history month.  Today is the National Day of Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.   I look forward to seeing the women gathered outside as we do every year, wearing their red colours in honour of lost and stolen sisters.

Friday, September 30 was the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.  This year marked the first time that this day was nationally recognized, a statutory holiday, for all Canadians to take the time to reflect on the tragedy of the residential school system.  Across Ktaqmkuk, Qalipu and many grassroots organizations and volunteers held community events that aimed to raise awareness while honouring the families and communities who continue to be impacted.

Trauma has ripple effects that touch upon the lives of many generations; it is important that we remember this and continually move toward reconciliation.

This year, Qalipu held a logo contest for children in grades K-12 inviting them to create images that represented what the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation meant to them.  I had the opportunity to look at some of those images, including the winning artwork by Kali Gill, a grade 9 student from Corner Brook Intermediate.  I have to say, they were beautiful.  The way the children are learning about these important topics, this tragic part of our history, is incredibly valuable.  I’m proud of all those who took part in this contest, and proud of the many community events that took place.

A couple of weeks ago, we saw one of the worst storms ever to land in Newfoundland.  People on the south coast were in some cases severely impacted.  I wish to remind our members who had their homes lost or damaged that we do have some support available through our housing division.  There are several programs available, and I encourage you to make yourself aware of those.

As we complete year one of the term of this new Council, I wish to take this opportunity to thank our Council for their dedication and hard work and our staff for the important services they provide to our membership.  I would also like to thank Keith Goulding our Band Manager who is headed for a new career opportunity.  Keith led our staff in the administrative aspect of Qalipu First Nation for the past four years and contributed greatly to the development of our Band.  I wish Keith and his family all the best.

Chief Brendan

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Message from the Chief – July 14, 2022

Our new Qalipu Council took office in November and during the past several months there has been extensive engagement by our Councillors within Council and within our communities. Our Standing Committees have been working eagerly to further our programs on behalf of Qalipu, our membership and communities. I thank all on Council for their contributions to date.

The Summer period is an extremely busy time at Qalipu First Nation.

Our staffing usually increases during Summer as we have introduced 104 student job placements in local businesses and have our twelve River Guardians engaged in river monitoring and conservation services. Additional students are participating in a summer program with the RCMP. Further, we have four Qalipu members participating in the Black Bear Program at Camp Gagetown, NB as part of another summer employment initiative.

As I write this message, I reflect on the regional powwows just concluded at Conne River and at Flat Bay, NL. The reintroduction of these powwow events following a two-year hiatus, was welcomed by Indigenous and Non-Indigenous People alike. In conversation with Chief Mi’sel Joe, he indicated that the event at Miawpukek First Nation was a huge success with good attendance. I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank the Bay St. George Cultural Revival Circle and the Flat Bay Band for their work in returning the powwow to the Flat Bay powwow grounds. Despite some rain and lower than usual temperatures, many people turned out to enjoy the singing, dancing, and other events that were scheduled. The community of Flat Bay was welcoming in fostering a strong sense of kinship and friendship. I also extend sincere congratulations to the ten recipients of the Aboriginal Veterans Millennium Medallion. These medals were presented at a special ceremony held on Saturday July 9 conducted by Lieutenant Commander (Retired), Todd LaSaga

Other upcoming events include St. Anne’s Day on July 26, the Burgeo Mawio’mi on August 5-6, the Elmastukwek Mawio’mi scheduled for August 14, the Memorial University Grenfell Campus Mini Powwow planned for September and celebrations surrounding the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30. I ask everyone to mark these dates on your calendars and I encourage all to participate in as many events as possible.

I continue to receive inquiries related to enrolment in Qalipu First Nation. The overall process has been ongoing for the past twelve years and I can appreciate that applicants are losing patience with this process. The much-anticipated Agreement for Military Personnel, RCMP and Veterans of both, is now in final draft. We hope to have the Agreement available for review with Qalipu members in preparation for a ratification vote in the coming weeks. I am disappointed to report that Indigenous Services Canada remains unwilling to address the situation for former members of the Federation of Newfoundland Indians until such time as the outstanding court cases related to enrolment are finalized. We continue to exert pressure on the Minister of Indigenous Services Canada to change Canada’s position on this situation.

The past several years, facing a global pandemic have been challenging for everyone. We have been happy to alleviate some of these challenges for our members through our COVID Support Programs including our Home Repair and Accessibility Programs, Residential Home Heat and Energy Rebate program, Senior’s Essential Travel Subsidy, and our Food Relief Fund. These programs have been invaluable for our members to face the challenges of recent years and I am hopeful that we are moving forward to better days ahead.

This Summer, our Province is celebrating Come Home Year 2022. Many events are planned for communities in Newfoundland and Labrador. Many people will be visiting our communities. While I encourage everyone to actively participate in Come Home Year festivities, I also remind everyone of the need to be vigilant regarding Covid and new variants.

I wish everyone an enjoyable and safe Summer.


Chief Brendan Mitchell


Holiday Greetings from Chief and Council


As we step into this Holiday Season, the Chief and Council of Qalipu First Nation wish all members of our Nation, our dedicated staff, and our many partners and supporters a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous and Healthy 2022.

We encourage everyone this Christmas to spend time with loved ones and take moments to reflect on the good things we have in our lives and the abundance of opportunities 2021 brought our way. We hope that your homes will be filled with the true spirit of Christmas. Allow yourselves time spent with family and loved ones and we hope that good times and the love and respect for one another abound.

While we enjoy creating new memories this Holiday Season we ask that you stay safe. We look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year!

Wli Nuelewi aq Pusu’l Puna’ne!
[ Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! ]

Chief Brenden Mitchell


Message from the Chief – September 2, 2021


I look forward to meeting with our membership during our Annual General Assembly (AGA) scheduled for Sunday, September 26, 2021, to be held at the Greenwood Inn in Corner Brook, NL. This Assembly is an opportunity to provide to our members a review of the activities of the past year and present our year-end financials. The AGA also provides an opportunity for our Council to hear directly from our members. Again, our AGA is being live streamed to enable involvement by members who can’t attend the meeting in person. Separate AGA events are planned in Western and Central Regions.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank our Council members and staff for their support and commitment to Qalipu First Nation (QFN) and our members during the past year and particularly, for their efforts in dealing with the impacts Covid-19 on operations. During 2021, Covid-19 continued to interfere with carrying out normal activities, however, we managed to provide an acceptable service level to our people. We must continue to take the necessary precautions to protect our staff and our members. We will continue to take this Covid reality seriously by following prescribed measures. We must be vigilant given the new Covid variants that are appearing in our Province.

In addressing the impacts of Covid-19, QFN has been able to secure to date, Federal funding in excess of $4.3 Million to support our members. We will continue to lobby Government for additional funds to support current and future needs.

We now approach the end of Council’s three-year term and prepare for a Council election on October 22, 2021. For those Councillors leaving Council and not seeking re-election, I thank you for your service to our people during your term in office and wish you well in your future endeavours.

QFN continues to be an active member of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). The AFN election this summer established Roseanne Archibald as the new National Chief. I look forward to working with Chief Archibald and our ongoing positive relationship with the AFN both as an AFN member Chief and as the Newfoundland representative on the AFN Chief’s Committee on Emergency Management.

We continue to build on our relationship with the Atlantic Policy Congress Chiefs Secretariat and the Mi’kmaq Grand Council. In the Fall of 2020, Qalipu obtained a seat at the Atlantic Health Partnership for the first time. These are significant milestones in advancing our relationship with other First Nations and associated organizations.

Despite the impediments created by Covid-19, Qalipu has accomplished several new initiatives during the past year. These include the introduction of a Mi’kmaw Language program, construction and official opening of Mikwite’tm Garden to honor Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and their families, the permanent flying of the Mi’kmaq Grand Council Flag at City Hall and Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook, collaboration with AFN Regional Chief PJ Prosper and Chief Mi’sel Joe of Miawpukek First Nation to create a representative office of the AFN in Newfoundland and support for repatriating Beothuk remains to Newfoundland from the Museum of Scotland. Also, during the past year, Qalipu Council approved a 10-Year Strategic Plan based on input from our membership.

Further to new initiatives, as promised by Qalipu Council in 2018, Qalipu submitted an application to the Federal Fisheries Minister for fishing access for Qalipu members. This application is awaiting approval by the Minister. Additionally, QFN Housing Committee has been working diligently to develop a housing program which can benefit Qalipu Members.

In addition to these initiatives, ongoing Qalipu programs provide $12 million annually for needed health benefits to members and a further $8 million annually in education support for those pursuing post-secondary education and other types of training.

Enrolment in Qalipu continues to be an area of concern for Council. We’ve witnessed too many Founding members and their families impacted negatively with loss of status and former FNI members not having gained the recognition they deserve.

Our conversations with the Government of Canada have led to a potential Agreement which will be put forward and ratified by our membership, pertaining to military personnel, RCMP and veterans of both gaining Founding Membership. We continue to press Government to resume exploratory discussions related to former FNI members as identified in the November 2018 announcement by the Minister of Crown Indigenous Relations.

The urban reserve file is still active and an alternative to establishing an arrangement under the Indian Act is being pursued.

On September 22, 2021, we will celebrate our 10th Anniversary as a First Nation. We’ve accomplished much during our short journey. I thank those who came before us and laid the groundwork and persevered to create the foundation of what QFN is today. We can look forward with optimism about our future.

The next three-year term for Council is expected to see the successful conclusion of outstanding initiatives and will be a period of solid growth. I encourage all of us to work in peace and harmony as we move Qalipu forward together on behalf of our Nation.



Chief Brendan Mitchell

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Message from the Chief – May 6, 2021

On behalf of the Council and staff at Qalipu First Nation I wish to congratulate the group of youth who were recently elected to the Qalipu Mi’kmaq Youth Council

Co-Chairs Sabrina Muise and Salome Barker will bring the youth voice to our Council table, and we look forward to supporting the initiatives and efforts they will bring forward on behalf of our Youth.

Qalipu First Nation recognizes the significance and contribution that the youth of our communities can make, and our Council is here to provide support and assistance any way that we can.

We wish to thank all those elected, as those who put their names forward for positions and participated in the youth election process.

We look forward to the continued active involvement of our Youth through this newly formed Council.

Chief Brendan Mitchell

In Memory of Bernard White

Message from the Chief – Passing of Ward Councilor Bern White

On behalf of Council and Staff of Qalipu First Nation, I am extremely saddened to announce that Bern White, Benoit’s Cove Ward Councilor, passed away this morning leaving behind a loving family, many friends and a community that has long known Bern for his leadership and community values.

Bern was an active Councilor, having served three terms as Ward Councilor for Qalipu First Nation. In addition to his work with the Band, Bern was also a Municipal Councilor for the Town of Humber Arm South.

Bern actively participated in all Council meetings and was particularly active in the fisheries file. Bern was steadfast in his support of our members and the applicants throughout the enrolment process. A man of principle, Bern stood up for the rights of those fighting for recognition and was helpful to countless applicants in understanding their Indigenous ancestry and navigating the membership application process. Bern will always be remembered as a man of the people and a voice for the membership of Qalipu. He will sadly be missed by Qalipu Council and our staff.

I would like to extend my condolences to Bern’s wife Leona, his son, Ed, daughters Karen, Christina, Pam, and Diane, nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. I ask that you pray with me for strength and comfort for Leona and her family as they say goodbye and fondly remember a loving husband, doting father and grandfather as well as a kind and generous person.

–Chief Brendan Mitchell