A newspaper on a wooden desk - Press Release

Qalipu First Nation Set to Reopen Offices

Qalipu First Nation wishes to advise its membership that its offices will begin a partial re-opening this Monday, July 20th. Offices will be open for appointments only during the Band’s summer hours work schedule; 8:30-4:00 Monday to Thursday and 8:30-12:30 on Fridays.

In March of this year, Qalipu closed its offices amid the COVID-19 pandemic and arranged to have employees work from home. Programs, benefits, and services continued at a high level of service and new virtual programming was developed to reach its membership during a time of social isolation and staying at home.

Chief Brendan Mitchell noted that with the province at alert level 2, it’s time to begin bringing some staff back into the office to meet with clients where necessary.

“We know that parents need support in renewing SCIS cards for their children, with hundreds if not thousands of cards expiring this year. It’s important that we bring back those essential staff members to meet with members to support them on this and other services such as understanding how to access health and education benefits.”

Members who wish to visit the office are reminded that an appointment is required and that health and safety measures are in place. Physical distancing, hand sanitizing, plexiglass barriers and other precautions including a COVID symptom questionnaire prior to visitors entering the office, will be in place. Business support appointments and meetings with community partners will continue to be conducted virtually at this time. Phone and video conferencing are both available.

To make an appointment, please contact the reception desk in the Corner Brook office at 634-0996.

old carpenter man working in carpenter studio

Mi’kmaq Art and Craft to be Featured at Deer Lake Airport Gift Shop

July 7, 2020 Corner Brook—Qalipu First Nation is pleased to share that our tourism division, Experience Qalipu, has partnered with the Deer Lake Airport Gift Shop to provide retail space to Mi’kmaq artists and craftspeople in a location that reaches visitors from around the world.

This dedicated retail space will feature authentic Indigenous art and craft and will create an economic and promotional opportunity for Mi’kmaq artists and craftspeople.  Brent Marsden, the owner of the gift shop is enthusiastic about showcasing more of what Newfoundland has to offer.

Marsden shared, “I’m looking forward to showing visitors another aspect of Newfoundland culture.”

Tara Saunders, Director of Community Development with the Band noted that traditional and modern art and craft act as a catalyst to cultural revival and that artists and craftspeople play an invaluable role in preserving and promoting our traditional skills.

“Promoting Indigenous products not only creates economic growth for our people, but also helps to preserve important elements of who we are for many generations to come.  We will continue to work on other retail opportunities for our crafts people and artists throughout our region and beyond.”

If you are a Mi’kmaq artist or craftsperson who is interested in selling your items at the Deer Lake Airport Gift Shop, please contact Alex Antle for more information, aantle@qalipu.ca. Please note that you do not need to be a member of the Qalipu First Nation Band to take advantage of this opportunity, this retail space is open to all Indigenous people.

Artists and craftspeople can stay up to date with all Indigenous art and craft opportunities by signing up for the Experience Qalipu Art and Craft Opportunity Mailing list: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ArtistMailingList


Community Groups from Across Newfoundland to Share in Virtual National Indigenous Peoples Day


May 12, 2020 Corner Brook—The Qalipu First Nation is pleased to share that together with community groups from across the territory, it will host a full day of virtual content to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day.  Throughout communities, June 21 celebrations have been a day of social gathering; from sunrise to sundown people have come together to share in the special day.  This year, social gatherings are restricted, but the celebration will carry on.

Tara Saunders, Acting Director for the Community Development, noted that about a dozen groups are working together to bring something special to people who will be missing out on this important social gathering this year.

Saunders said, “We have Indigenous women’s groups from St. John’s to St. George’s, local Indian Bands from Exploits, Bay of Islands, the North Shore and Bay St. George, the People of the Dawn Indigenous Friendship Centre and individuals as well, all coming together to plan a special day for our communities.  Everyone involved is planning on developing and sharing their video content that will include storytelling, music, teachings and sharing of all kinds.  We’re excited about this opportunity to work together and create a memorable Indigenous Peoples Day despite the pandemic restrictions currently in place.”

The Band will develop some content, provide video development support to community groups as needed, and will also take on the role of organizing content so that videos are streaming throughout the day, both on the Bands Facebook Page and the pages of other groups, without any overlap.

Nicole Travers, Cultural Resource Coordinator for the Band and liaison with the Cultural Foundation, notes that she has cast her net wide trying to reach everyone and ensure that the day is inclusive of all those who would like to be involved.

“There are a lot of people at the table.  We have met a couple of times now and we are hopeful that more of our community leaders and knowledge carriers will come together to make this day truly memorable.  Not just for the content we create, but also the beauty of working together for all our relations.  I think is something truly unique and special this year.”

To join in the shared celebration, individuals and community groups are encouraged to contact Nicole at ntravers@qalipu.ca

NLITA Announcement
L-R Robert Bernard, Roxanne Notley, Jillian Larkham, Tara Saunders and Keith Henry

Qalipu First Nation a part of first Newfoundland and Labrador Indigenous Tourism Association, announced at HNL Conference 2020

February 28, 2020, Corner Brook—Yesterday, members of the newly established Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Association (NLITA) shared their story of coming together to form an association that will support Indigenous tourism development in this province.  What began as a conversation two years ago during the first province-wide Indigenous Tourism Gathering in Happy Valley-Goose Bay became a reality as the group announced their new Association and 5-year development strategy.

On hand to share in the announcement were Tara Saunders of Qalipu First Nation, Roxanne Notley of NunatuKavut and Jilliam Larkham of Nunatsiavut. Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) representatives President and CEO Keith Henry and Atlantic Coordinator Robert Bernard were also on hand to show their support. The Indigenous-led team will pursue grassroots tourism support, cultural preservation, inclusion, leadership, marketing, product development, education, training and capacity building.

Tara Saunders, who also holds the provincial seat on the ITAC Board of Directors and serves on the Board with Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, noted that the five-year strategy was developed with input from many voices heard through an engagement process that included industry, partners and Indigenous communities.

Saunders noted that 91% of those reached during the engagement process agreed that an Indigenous tourism association would be an asset for their communities. They also felt it could help businesses to prosper and reconcile with the past. She added, “this is the first step in laying a solid foundation for the Indigenous peoples of this province to positively impact their communities through the fastest growing tourism sector in Canada. Indigenous tourism is about so much more than economic benefit, it is about giving the community a platform through which they can share their own stories and values.”

Community pre-launch events were held in Goose Bay and in Corner Brook so that community people would have the opportunity to be the first to hear about the new plan. In Corner Brook Chief Brendan Mitchell was on hand to pledge his support to the development of Indigenous Tourism.

To learn more about NLITA, the new Provincial Indigenous Tourism Strategy, and how Mi’kmaq and Qalipu member owned businesses can be part of the good work being done, please visit nlita.net or connect with Tara Saunders at tsaunders@qalipu.ca

Office Closure

Qalipu First Nation to Close all Office Locations

March 17, 2020, Corner Brook—Qalipu First Nation wishes to advise that effective 4:00 PM today, all Qalipu office locations will be closed. Services will continue to be delivered by our dedicated body of staff from their home office locations. This decision has been made to support efforts being made to reduce contact and spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

Qalipu Band Chief Brendan Mitchell noted that, for Council, the decision to send staff home was a good one. He said, “We are experiencing an unprecedented moment in our shared history. In our province and around the world businesses and individuals are demonstrating that we are willing to put the wellness of our communities ahead of business as usual. At Qalipu First Nation, we are willing to do what is needed.”

Chief Mitchell noted that the Band will maintain a high level of communication with community members via social media, the Qalipu.ca website, by email and phone.

He said, “We are each finding our way day by day as this health crisis unfolds. It’s important that we find ways to stay connected and know that we are getting through this together. I encourage you to sign up for our Community Mailing List if you haven’t already done so. We plan on staying in touch.”

While the Band transitions to work from home, we ask community members to be patient. At this time, contact by email would be most direct and staff will be available to respond during regular business hours. We will check voicemails daily for those who may not be able to avail of online communication. It is important to note that there will be no break in our services. Health claims will be processed, education benefit intake and management as well as other services will continue.

We are all in this together. M’sit No’kmaq.

Coronavirus COVID-19 - 2019 Cronavirus Disease

COVID-19 Additional Safety Measures Added at Qalipu First Nation

March 16, 2020, Corner Brook—Further to a press release issued on March 13, Qalipu First Nation wishes to advise its membership and other stakeholders that we have added additional safety measures to help prevent unnecessary contact or potential spread of COVID-19 in our communities.  As previously noted, all events, workshops and other gatherings have been postponed, and staff travel has been restricted.

At this time, we wish to advise that our offices will not be open to walk-in traffic or appointments in St. George’s, Stephenville, Corner Brook, Glenwood, and Grand Falls-Windsor.  We will continue to provide a high level of service and encourage our members to contact us by phone or email.  A full list of staff contact and Council information can be found on our website: https://qalipu.ca/about/office-and-e-mail-addresses/

The Council meeting scheduled for March 21 in Corner Brook will proceed as planned however, this meeting will not be open for the attendance of membership.

Additionally, until further notice, our community rooms in Grand Falls-Windsor and Corner Brook will be closed.  If you have reserved this space, you will be contacted regarding this change.

We will continue to monitor updates and update our emergency preparedness plans as needed.  We will advise of all changes impacting our members and the services that we provide.

A newspaper on a wooden desk - Press Release

COVID-19 Precautionary Safety Measures at Qalipu First Nation

Qalipu First Nation wishes to inform its membership and other stakeholders that we will be postponing several scheduled events and restricting out of province travel for our staff until further notice to avoid unnecessary contact or possible spread of COVID-19.

Band Manager Keith Goulding noted that the Band is taking measures to raise awareness and maintain a high quality of service. He said, “We are taking this seriously and we want people to feel safe. To minimize any potential impact on member services, we are reviewing our emergency preparedness plan, as well as increasing awareness among staff about safe practices.”

Qalipu First Nation calls on community members to support our efforts by ensuring they take the safety protocols and COVID-19 recommendations seriously as well. More information, including updates, travel advice, preparedness and prevention, can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html (https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html)

Please be advised, the following events will be postponed until a later date:

  • Community Engagement: Post Secondary Education Funding, St. John’s Memorial University, Monday March 16
  • Community Engagement: Post Secondary Education Funding, St. John’s Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland, Monday March 16
  • Community Engagement: Post-Secondary Education Funding, St. John’s College of the North Atlantic, Wednesday March 18
  • CCP Community Engagement, Bishop’s Falls Lion’s Club, Thursday March 19
  • CCP Community Engagement, Meadows Town Hall, Tuesday March 24
  • CCP Community Engagement, Lark Harbour Town Hall, Wednesday March 25


man having presentation at seminar

That’s a Wrap! Qalipu Business Forum: Building Success Together

February 21, 2020 Corner Brook—The Qalipu Business Network hosted its annual business forum on February 18-19 at the Greenwood Inn in Corner Brook.  This was the eighth annual forum which is designed to facilitate connections between Indigenous entrepreneurs, member-owned businesses, industry partners and service providers.  More than 80 business owners and other delegates turned out for the event.

The forum opened with an evening networking social featuring a musical performance by the talented Lorna Lovell who is set to launch her new album, Whenever I Sing, later this month.  Day two of the forum opened with a welcome from Qalipu Chief Brendan Mitchell and cultural sharing by the Corner Brook Aboriginal Women’s Association and included a full day of networking, engaging presentations and panel discussions.

Tara Saunders, Acting Director of the Community Development Department at Qalipu noted, “Our theme this year, ‘Building Success Together’, was really portrayed by the mix of business owners, service providers and government representatives in the room.  It was great to explore how all these groups can continue to work together to build strong and prosperous communities and it was inspiring to hear from some of our many entrepreneurs whose passion, dedication and great community partners have helped them achieve success in their business.  A big thank you goes out to the staff at Qalipu First Nation who helped put this event together, and to our partners and allies for their unwavering support.  Wela’lioq”

Business owners who would like to connect with the Qalipu Business Network are invited to contact Economic Development Officer Kellie Kerpan at kkerpan@qalipu.ca


Qalipu First Nation to Begin Engagement on Development of Comprehensive Community Plan

January 23, 2020 Corner Brook—The Qalipu First Nation is pleased to announce the first of many engagement sessions that will take place across the nine Wards. The purpose of the engagement is to seek community input on the development of a Comprehensive Community Plan (CCP)

The CCP is a process that will allow communities to build a roadmap towards sustainability, self- sufficiency, and improved government capacity. It will allow the community to establish a vision for its future and implement projects to achieve this vision. This process is intended to be inclusive, representing the perspective of all members, from youths to Elders, within or outside the community.

The key planning areas are governance, land and resources, health, infrastructure development, culture, social issues, and the economy. The CCP will be sustainable, meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to thrive.

Sessions are scheduled in the following locations:

Swift Current
February 3, 2020
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Kilmory Lodge
February 5, 2020
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Glenwood Town Hall

Please, come on out to have your say, and for a chance to win some beautiful swag featuring the CCP logo artwork created by local Mi’kmaq artist Marcus Gosse. For more information please contact CCP Coordinator Samantha Gardiner at sgardiner@qalipu.ca.

To take the CCP Survey, please click here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/K8DCNWV