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

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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


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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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