Update on Veterans and Service Members Agreement
By now most of you have heard that I am saying my goodbyes at Qalipu First Nation as I prepare to begin a new journey as Regional Chief for Newfoundland with the Assembly of First Nations. While I will no longer be serving you as Chief of Qalipu, I will not be going far. I will continue to work on behalf of Qalipu as it is one of the four AFN affiliates in this province.
It has been my privilege and my honour to serve you as Chief and I thank you for affording me that opportunity.
Before I go, I am pleased to provide an update on the Service Members Agreement, an initiative that has been very near and dear to my heart and an accomplishment of which I am very proud.
This is an update to members following the positive support for the Agreement that the Government of Canada, Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians reached last year on December 22, 2022. The Agreement establishes criteria for accepting former and current members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as Qalipu Founding Members. Acceptance is based on the special place of honour these new members hold in the Mi’kmaq culture due to their service as protectors of Canada and their communities.
- The Enrollment Committee has completed its initial review of all applications for Founding Membership with Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation.
- An appeals process will follow for those who wish to exercise this option.
Founding Membership List
- The review of applications under this exercise will result in over 580 additions to the Founding Membership list.
- Decision letters to all applicants and requests for additional information in some instances will follow.
- It is anticipated that this phase of enrolment will be completed in 2024 following the regulatory process by Canada to officially add new members to the Founding Members list of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation. For more information on the Order in Council process, please visit Orders in Council – Canada.ca.
- Individuals who are recognized as Founding Members will immediately be registered as Status Indians under the Indian Act, thus becoming eligible to receive benefits such as those from the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program.
If you have any questions, please call the Government of Canada’s Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation toll-free line (1-800-561-2266; TTY: 1-800-465-7735).
Wela’lioq, thank you all.
Chief Brendan Mitchell