Press Release (2)

Clarification Regarding Rebrand of the Cultural Foundation

Qalipu’s Cultural Foundation was launched in February 2014 to support Band members in connecting with and discovering their Mi’kmaw culture. To ensure success, the Band assigned staff to support the day-to-day operations of the Foundation, committed funds and other resources, and appointed a member of the Council to serve on the Board of Directors. Partnership and collaboration were essential for the operation of this arms-length Cultural Foundation.

In 2021, after years of working together on fundraising, hosting events, and supporting Mi’kmaw culture together, the Foundation dismissed Qalipu staff from their team. Although actively recruiting individuals to fill vacancies on their board, they failed to accept Qalipu Council’s proposed representative to their Board table. Council became further concerned when the Cultural Foundation changed their bylaws on three occasions to remove any governance or oversight by Qalipu First Nation related to the operation of the Cultural Foundation.

It became clear that the Foundation intended to move forward without the Qalipu Band when they sent a letter to Chief and Council outlining their desire to separate from the First Nation, and for the freedom to move forward with a pan-Indigenous approach not tied solely to supporting Band members.

The Chairperson of the Foundation wrote:

“As a result, we have decided to proceed with the original intent to follow through with QCF as the proponent organization and build our proposal in pursuit of the cross-cultural project. We will seek partnerships with QFN, and other potential funding sources including other Indigenous groups in the province.


We respect and are extremely thankful for all of the support that has been given to us from QFN over the past several years. However, I have been given clear direction that the current board wishes to remain a separate entity, and that in doing so, we need to take the actions stated above in order to grow a level whereby we can achieve the independence that QCF was intended for.”

Qalipu First Nation was saddened to see this once positive relationship change significantly but has supported the Cultural Foundation in moving forward in the direction it envisioned. However, in consideration of the fact that using the name “Qalipu” implied some affiliation or relationship, confusing Band members, funders, government, and other stakeholders, it became necessary that the Band direct the Cultural Foundation to cease using “Qalipu” in its name.

To that end, a motion from Qalipu First Nation Council was passed, and a letter sent directing the Foundation to remove the “Qalipu” from its name. The Foundation announced its rebrand on March 10th, 2023. It will now be known as the Mi’kmaq Cultural Foundation.

During this transition time, we would like Qalipu First Nation members to know that we maintain our commitment to the preservation and promotion of our Mi’kmaq history, language, culture, and heritage. We will continue to host cultural workshops, and find ways to move forward in support of groups and organizations who also share this vision.

Qalipu First Nation wishes the Mi’kmaq Cultural Foundation well with their endeavours and remain open to opportunities for collaboration.

TUS prize pack 2023
Complete the survey to be entered to win a set of camping and fishing equipment! The Prize pack (valued at $500) includes: 1x Woods 8-man tent, 1x Woods Queen-size air mattress with 2-in-1 pump, 2x Shakespeare fishing rods with tackle boxes

Traditional Knowledge Study – big prize pack to be won by someone who completes the survey!

Qalipu First Nation is conducting a Traditional Knowledge study. Focused primarily on Newfoundland’s coastal and marine areas, we want to understand how Qalipu First Nation members use the local waters and abundant resources. This data will be used internally at Qalipu Environment and Natural Resources to help make informed decisions for Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) in our local waters. Individuals’ private and sensitive information will not be published or shared without consent.

To take the survey click here or copy and paste the URL into your browser:

The survey is estimated to take 15-30 minutes to complete.

Ann Strowbridge-1

Qalipu First Nation Announces Enhancement to Member Services, Jordan’s Principle Service Coordinator Ann Strowbridge

Qalipu is pleased to announce the addition of a new team member, Ann Strowbridge, who will be working to support members in navigating and accessing resources available through Jordan’s Principle.

Jordan’s Principle is made up of a variety of services, products and supports for First Nations children in Canada.  Funding can help with a range of health, social and educational needs.   For example, speech therapy, educational supports, medical equipment and mental health services.

As the Jordan’s Principle Service Coordinator, Ann can help with anything from explaining what kind of services are covered for individuals and families, exploring options based on needs and completing application forms.  Please feel free to reach out to Ann to discuss your access to Jordan’s Principle.


Ann Strowbridge
265 Airport Bldvd., Gander, NL, A1V 1Y9
Tel. 709-651-6952

Coin awards
(L-R) DFO Brent Watkins, DFO Area Chief; Paul Pike, Cultural Outreach Officer; Kellie Kerpan, Director of Culture Tourism and Community Development; Wayne Sullivan, DFO Conservation and Protection Supervisor and; Lloyd Slaney, DFO Director of Conservation and Protection

Members of the Qalipu Team Receive Awards, Recognition for their Work Advancing Reconciliation

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans held their annual meeting in Deer Lake this week and concluded the event with an awards ceremony that featured the presentation of the Indigenous Engagement Programs Reconciliation Challenge Coin.  Several members of the DFO team received the award along with Qalipu staff Paul Pike and Kellie Kerpan.

The Reconciliation Challenge Coin was designed as a gift to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions towards the department’s Reconciliation efforts: to be used as an achievement award and to express appreciation.

Kellie and Paul received their award for their work developing The Day of Discovery event which is held annually in partnership between the Qalipu First Nation and Department of Fisheries and Oceans.   The development of the event was led by Kellie Kerpan, Director of Culture Tourism and Community Development and supported by Paul Pike, Cultural Outreach Officer.  During the day-long event community members join DFO and Qalipu staff on the water for a day of learning and cultural sharing.

Congratulations to Kellie and Paul for receiving this award.


“Kiskajei wjit Espi-kina’muaqn” – I am Ready for Higher Studies

Through the Education and Training Department, Qalipu First Nation will be launching a new
project: “Kiskajei wjit Espi-kina’muaqn – I am Ready for Higher Studies”. This project is aimed to increase awareness of the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) and Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) to assist our members plan and financially prepare for Post-Secondary.

The Canadian Learning Bond (CLB) is available for children of low-income families up to and including their 15th birthday. Additionally, students transitioning to Post-Secondary between the ages of 18-20 can open an RESP and apply for the Canada Learning Project on their own.

There is no cost associated with opening an RESP, and regular contributions are not necessary to receive the Canada Learning Bond. However, financial limitations apply.

As part of the project, we are pleased to announce that we have a limited number of $500.00 participation bonuses.  The bonuses will be available to the first 1000 members of Qalipu First Nation who open an RESP within the program constraints and qualify for the CLB.  The participation bonus will be deposited directly into the RESP.

The Project Coordinator will be identifying opportunities for outreach within the 9 Electoral Wards of QFN and focus on supporting families through the process of opening an RESP.  Virtual outreach will be scheduled for members who live outside of the wards.

For more information regarding the eligibility requirements, visit:

Or reach out to our CLB Project Coordinator:

Miranda Targett


Press Release (2)

Qalipu First Nation Welcomes New Band Manager, Charles Pender

CornerBrookCityCouncil20215-Qalipu First Nation is pleased to announce the selection of its new Band Manager, Charles Pender, who will begin working with the Band on Monday, February 27th, 2023. Reporting to Chief and Council, Charles will be responsible for oversight and management of Band business and programs, including the management of Qalipu staff at six office locations.

Band Chief Brendan Mitchell was pleased to see the search for a Band Manager conclude with the selection of a strong candidate.

“We had an independent party complete the initial applicant screening process and preliminary interviews before making their recommendations to the Executive Council. Following this process, I’m pleased that Charles Pender was the chosen candidate. Charles is a lifelong resident of Corner Brook and a strong presence in the community. He has been a leader in the field of education, an active volunteer and twice served terms as the Mayor of the City of Corner Brook. I am confident in his ability to lead our Band in a positive direction.”

Charles graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education and from Laval University with a Master’s in Education. He taught at schools around the province before becoming a Director at Grenfell Campus, MUN. Charles has also been a public administrator since 1997. He was twice elected as Mayor of the City of Corner Brook and has served three additional terms on Council.

Charles’ education, work experience and volunteer service have led to strong skills in the areas of change management, project development, negotiation, budgeting, human resources, funding proposals, and social media. He is excited to share his skills working on behalf of band members.

“As a proud member of the Qalipu First Nation, I’m very pleased to accept the position of Band Manager. I am looking forward to working with the Chief, Council, and staff on behalf of all band members.”


Do you Need to Update your Address with Indigenous Services Canada?

Does Indigenous Services Canada have your correct mailing address? As a call-out to those impacted by the Service Members Agreement, some 18,000 letters will be mailed out to the address currently associated with your file. If you’ve moved or changed your address and did not receive your letter, contact Indigenous Services Canada at 1-800-561-2266 to provide your new address and request your letter be resent to the new address.

For more information about the Service Members Agreement please visit