Message from the Chief – July 14, 2022

Chief Brendan Mitchell_edited

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