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Message from the Chief – June 21st 2024

Today marks the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, now recognized as National Indigenous Peoples Day. In 1996, Governor General of Canada, Roméo LeBlanc, proclaimed June 21 as National Aboriginal Day. This designation was the result of extensive consultations and support from various Indigenous groups. On June 21, 2017, the Prime Minister announced the intention to rename this day to National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Designated days like NIPD serve to remind us of our history and to celebrate our present. For many, this day will be observed differently. Some may participate in ceremonies or community events, while others may take a moment to reflect on its significance. The goal is to raise awareness and encourage education for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people; the more we know about our past, the brighter our futures can be. By learning from each other’s diverse backgrounds and experiences, we become better neighbors and more compassionate individuals.

This month, members of council and staff have been engaged with community groups and youth to share and participate in learning opportunities.  It is wonderful to see how excited and eager our young people are to learn, and we are so grateful to our educators and knowledge keepers for supporting them.

We are surrounded with writers, artists and entrepreneurs, folks that are telling our stories and creating economic growth.  We have so much to celebrate and be proud of.

To celebrate NIPD, numerous events will take place all around us, starting with sunrise ceremonies and continuing with food, local crafts, and family gatherings throughout the day. May you be inspired and curious; take time to have conversations with each other.  When we respectfully listen and share, we grow stronger for brighter tomorrow.

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Message from the Chief – June 14th 2024

The month of June brings a lot of excitement as our teachers and students are counting down to the last day of school.  Bikes and scooters are tuned up and campers are ready to go!  As classroom learning comes to an end, this month offers opportunities to learn of the dual significance of both Indigenous History Month and Pride Month.

June is a time to celebrate the beauty and diversity of 2SLGBTQIA+ identities, but it is also an opportunity to acknowledge the unique role that Two-Spirit (2S) individuals play in our community.

Long before the arrival of European settlers on Turtle Island, the concept of Two-Spirit individuals thrived within Indigenous communities. These individuals, often embracing both masculine and feminine spirits, were esteemed as gifted members of their communities.

The term “Two-Spirit” itself emerged more recently, in 1990 during the Third Annual Intertribal Native American, First Nations, Gay and Lesbian American Conference in Winnipeg. Coined by Elder Myra Laramee, it derives from the Anishnaabemowin term “niizh manidoowag,” meaning “two spirits.”

While the concept of 2 Spirit holds significance within many Indigenous philosophies, it is not universal across all cultures. It is also very important to acknowledge that Two-Spirit identity cannot be appropriated by non-Indigenous individuals.

Let us set an example of respect and celebrate our diversity, not only during Pride and Indigenous History Month but every day of the year.

Classroom doors may be closing, but our hearts and minds should remain open to ensure every member of our community feels safe and valued. We should always be respectful of where we are on our journeys and allow each other the space to safely find our way.

Afterall, there’s nothing more extraordinary than the colours of the rainbow.

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Message from the Chief – June 7th 2024

June is National Indigenous History Month. It is a time for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to reflect on the significance of our history and celebrate the many contributions of Indigenous people to our communities.

We all have our own stories and levels of understanding of indigenous history. This month is a time to educate ourselves and offer a safe space to everyone to gain a deeper understanding of who we are and where we come from.

Our culture has so many valuable teachings that guide us to take care of one another and our lands. Our communities are rich with artists and storytellers. Our greatest gift is our knowledge and it’s meant to be shared. Take the time this month to get to know your neighbours, read a book by one of our many local Indigenous authors, support local Indigenous artists and connect with Mother Earth.

Indigenous Peoples Month is an opportunity to acknowledge our shared history and honour the resilience of our ancestors.  By embracing our identity and sharing our stories, we strengthen our community and inspire future generations.

We invite everyone to join us in celebrating this month, to learn more about our culture, and to support one another in our collective efforts to preserve and promote our heritage. Together, we can build a stronger, more inclusive future for all.

Summer Camp Poster

Registration is now OPEN for Land-Based Learning Summer Camps!

 

Parents and Guardians, are you looking for something fun for your children to do this summer?

Qalipu First Nation in partnership with Parks Canada is holding land-based learning camps in Central and Western Newfoundland. We’d love to have your kids join us. Camps are open to status, non-status and youth allies! Please note that priority is given to QFN band members.

Children will be outside connecting with nature while also learning life skills, interacting with elders and knowledge keepers, traditional crafting, and much more!

Staff are trained in wilderness first aid, have all clearance checks and are super fun and friendly.

Youth between the ages of 6 and 11 are invited to register. Everything is FREE! Camp dates are as follows:

Western:
Corner Brook – July 8-11
Benoit’s Cove – July 15-18
Stephenville – July 22-25
Port Au Port – July 30-August 1
St. Georges – August 6-8

Central:
Grand-Falls Windsor – July 16-18
Gander- July 22-25
Botwood – July 8
Wings Point – July 9
Springdale – July 11
Lewisporte – July 30
Point Leamington – August 1
Badger – August 5
Glenwood – August 7-8
Norris Arm – August 19
Gambo – August 22
Robert’s Arm – August 26

To register, please fill out the following form:

Qalipu Summer Camp – 2024

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Monica Companion at mcompanion@qalipu.ca or Kimberly Butt at kbutt@qalipu.ca.

Please note that space is limited and only those accepted for the camp will be contacted.

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Message from the Chief – May 31st, 2024

Attending National Seal Products Day in Ottawa on behalf of the Canadian Seals and Sealers Network.  (L-R) Doug Chaisson, Executive Director of the Fur Institute of Canada – FIC, Brian Dicks, Treasurer on the Executive for the Fur Institute of Canada, Darren Halleran, Always in Vogue, Chief Jenny Brake, Qalipu First Nation, Taalrumiq, Artist from Inuvik, NWT, Kendall Flood, CEO Ár n-oileán Resources Ltd and president of Caboto Seafoods Ltd.
Attending National Seal Products Day in Ottawa on behalf of the Canadian Seals and Sealers Network.
(L-R) Doug Chaisson, Executive Director of the Fur Institute of Canada – FIC, Brian Dicks, Treasurer on the Executive for the Fur Institute of Canada, Darren Halleran, Always in Vogue, Chief Jenny Brake, Qalipu First Nation, Taalrumiq, Artist from Inuvik, NWT, Kendall Flood, CEO Ár n-oileán Resources Ltd and president of Caboto Seafoods Ltd.

As we commemorate National Seal Products Day this month, we are reminded of the profound significance that seals hold within our communities and Indigenous populations. This occasion allows us to not only celebrate our cultural heritage but also to recognize the vital role that the seal fishery plays in sustaining our way of life.

Recently, as your Canadian Seal Ambassador, I had the privilege of representing our Nation in Ottawa for discussions surrounding the sealing industry. Participating in the National Seal Products Day festivities was an opportunity to showcase our commitment to the sustainable harvesting of seals and the promotion of Canadian seal products with the Seals and Sealing Network.

We are particularly proud to highlight the endeavors of Qalipu Holdings Limited, our business investment arm, and its subsidiary, Mi’kmaq Commercial Fisheries. Through their efforts, we have introduced our very own WASPU seal oil product to markets worldwide. WASPU Oil, derived from seals blubber through humane and sustainable practices, not only benefits human consumption but also serves the pet market. Please follow them on Instagram and Facebook @waspuoil and the website is www.waspu.ca for more information.

During our many discussions with Ministers, Senators, and MP’s we emphasized our commitment to environmental stewardship and our dedication to maintaining a balanced and healthy ecosystem, essential for the well-being of our communities, both environmentally and economically.

As many of you are aware, the overpopulation of seals has significantly impacted various sectors, including fish harvesting, processing, marketing, and support services. In response, Qalipu First Nation took proactive steps by conducting our inaugural seal harvesting training program in 2023 and more then doubled our attendance for 2024.With our members becoming certified in Humane Harvesting, this marks a milestone in our efforts towards sustainable resource management.

Looking ahead, I am pleased to announce that planning is underway for our 2025 training program, reaffirming our commitment to equipping our members with the necessary skills to engage in seal harvesting responsibly and ethically. We will continue to promote our Waspu brand of products in Canada and on the global stage.

As we celebrate National Seal Products Day, let us continue to champion the cultural and economic significance of seals within our communities. Together, we can ensure a prosperous future for generations to come, rooted in respect for our traditions and the environment.

(L-R) – Brian Dicks, Treasurer on the Executive for the Fur Institute of Canda, Doug Chaisson, Executive Director for the Fur Institute of Canada, Chief Brake, Qalipu First Nation, Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Kendall Flood, CEO Ár n-oileán Resources Ltd and President of Caboto Seafoods Ltd.
(L-R) – Brian Dicks, Treasurer on the Executive for the Fur Institute of Canda, Doug Chaisson, Executive Director for the Fur Institute of Canada, Chief Brake, Qalipu First Nation, Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Kendall Flood, CEO Ár n-oileán Resources Ltd and President of Caboto Seafoods Ltd.
Council Meeting Report

Council Meeting Report – May 25, 2024

Meeting of Chief and Council

The Qalipu Chief and Council met on Saturday, March 25 for their regular meeting in Corner Brook. All members of the Council were in attendance except for Bobby White, Ward Councillor for Flat Bay and Hayward Young, Ward Councillor for Stephenville. Charlene Combden, Ward Councillor for Exploits joined the meeting virtually. A large contingency of members attended the meeting. Thank you to those members for attending and we appreciate the concerns that they brought forward.

Jordan’s Principle Service Positions

Council discussed a briefing note from the Health & Wellness department regarding the two Jordan’s Principle Service positions. The request from the department was to make the Jordan’s Principle Service Coordinator and the Jordan’s Principle Service officer positions permanent in the organization chart. Comments were made in discussion that these positions are extremely important for the organization. These positions are currently filled and are in the Corner brook office, and it was discussed that due to the geographical location of members, it be considered that any additional positions be placed in QFN offices outside of Corner Brook. Increased communication to members regarding this service would raise awareness.

Motion to make the Jordan’s Principle Service Coordinator and the Jordan’s Principle Service Officer permanent positions was moved by Calvin and seconded by Sherry.

All councillors were in favour of the motion.

Organizational Chart

Council reviewed an organizational chart that was updated to include the Jordan’s Principle Service Coordinator and the Jordan’s Principle Service Offer under the Health & Wellness department. Another new change to this chart was the Project manager in the Executive Office. The Project Manager would assist with grant and proposal wiring, would look for new opportunities and ensure that reporting is competed, and all actions were carried out. A councillor commented that they were happy to see this position on the chart as they believe it would be a huge benefit to the organization and would assist all staff in completing tasks to better serve the membership.

Another addition to the organization chart is the administrative assistant in the finance department.

The updates to the organization chart motion was moved by Calvin and seconded by Terri. Motion was carried.

Amendments to council by-laws

Section 9.2 of the QFN Council procedures reads that councillors may add items to the agenda of regular or special meetings by submitting a notice to the band manager at least 7 calendar days before a regular scheduled council meeting.

A briefing note from the executive office would like to amend section 9.2(a) to state that councillors may add items to the agenda of regular or special meetings. Adding items to regular schedule council meetings would need to be submitted by a notice to the band manager in 13 days before the regular schedule meeting. This change would allow for sufficient time for the band manager and administrative staff to prepare the council agenda packages. This will ensure that council members receive their package 10 calendar days prior to a regular schedule council meeting.

After some discussion, council stated they would like to change the 13 days notice to 15 days.

This motion was moved by Ivan and seconded by Terri. Motion was carried.

Culture, tourism, and community development AOP Amendment

Two items were added back into the annual operational plan (AOP) for the Culture, Tourism, and Community Development department under section 2.6.8

The first item is to work with interested parties in Indian Point (Millertown) to develop a plan for Wigwam Point and area. This plan will preserve and protect the area around Indian Point.

The second item is to proceed with the development of Wigwam Point (Peterview) by working with the community to provide site enhancement.

These amendments were moved by Frank and seconded by Sherry. Motion was carried.

Standing Committee Reports

Councillors reviewed the standing committee reports prior to the council meeting. Comments were made regarding the Culture, Tourism and Community Development standing committee that the work of this department touches members in positive ways as it helps them heal from trauma and stay connected to their indigenous roots. Activities and events are available to members and communities and programs such as the Moon Time Program is being well perceived.

Q4 financial statements were also discussed, and a motion was made for approval of the statements, moved by Calvin and seconded by Ivan. Motion was carried.

Band Managers Update:

Band manager, Charles Pender reported that the By-Law review and HR review are ongoing, and meetings were happening weekly with the internal working committee. Notice of staff engagement survey has been sent to staff and more information will be circulated to them once survey launch approaches.

Two new guardian positions were advertised recently. These positions would place guardians in the Port au Port / St. George’s area. The funding for these positions is coming from a partnership with QFN and Ocean’s Collaborative.

Members are encouraged to go into the Kinu profile to verify that the information on file is correct. Having an email on file would be extremely beneficial to members to ensure that members receive their voting packages for the upcoming Fall 2024 election. If anyone requires assistance with updating the information on their membership profile, staff are available by contacting one of our offices.

Next Meeting of Council

The next regularly scheduled meeting of Chief and Council will be on July 20th, 2024.

 

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Message from the Chief – May 24th, 2024

Congratulations to all the high school and post-secondary graduates of 2024. Your dedication and hard work have not only paved the way for your future, but it also inspires those who will be following in your footsteps.

Access to quality education goes beyond boosting our local economy, it’s about empowering our future leaders with confidence and skills.

All information that you have learned will be valuable as you move forward in your life. There is no such thing as useless knowledge. All educational pathways allow us to find our place and value in society. Remember that knowledge is power and how you use that knowledge will shape the future.

Through the support of the education and training programs at Qalipu First Nation, there are 110 post-secondary graduates who will be receiving their diplomas this spring and there are an estimated 96 students due to graduate following completion of the Spring/Summer semesters. During the 2023-2024 academic year there have been approximately 954 students funded for post secondary studies. These students have experienced the transformative impacts of education and have had the opportunity to pursue their dreams.

Your journey has not been without its challenges, but your perseverance and resilience have led you to this remarkable achievement. Do not be afraid to make mistakes, every mistake is a chance to learn something new and become a better version of ourselves. Our lived experiences are life’s greatest lessons.

To the graduates of 2024. We will wish you the best in your future endeavours, may it be filled with endless opportunities and the assurance that your community stands behind you as your move on to your next adventures.

We would like to offer special acknowledgement to Jerry Evans, who was honored with an Honorary degree at Memorial University’s spring convocation last week. Jerry’s incredible artwork and traditional knowledge continues to be an inspiration to us all. If you are not familiar with Jerry’s work, please visit: https://www.jerryevans.ca/

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Chief Brake with her son, Joni on his recent graduation. Joni graduated from Acadia University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
Chief Brake with her son, Joni on his recent graduation. Joni graduated from Acadia University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.