On October 23, the Qalipu Development Corporation held an event to launch its new product, Waspu. This product is a heart-healthy, Omega-3 rich, Indigenous branded seal oil capsule developed through Mi’kmaq Commercial Fisheries. The seal oil in Waspu is derived from the traditional seal harvest off the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador and will soon be available for sale at Coleman’s across the province and can now be purchased online at mikmaqcf.com.
The launch event featured music by local Mi’kmaw musician Paul Pike, a thoughtful opening prayer and well wishes from Miawpukek Chief Mi’sel Joe, and greetings were brought by Chief Mitchell of the Qalipu First Nation, Tara Sheppard on behalf of MP Gudie Hutchings and Corner Brook City Mayor Jim Parsons.
Minister Gerry Byrne was also on hand to announce provincial support for the product. Minister Byrne spoke on behalf of Honourable Elvis Loveless Minister of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture announcing $25,200 in funding to help with the launch of WASPU brand seal oil capsules into the domestic market by supporting the development of social media, a website and marketing materials.
John Davis, Chief Executive Officer of the Qalipu Development Corporation, unveiled the product and shared his excitement over the launch of the corporation entering the health foods market:
“Mi’kmaq Commercial Fisheries is extremely happy to launch its new ‘WASPU’ brand seal oil capsule into the marketplace. We believe this First Nation branded health product will find a consumer niche not only here in the province, but in national and export markets as well. We are excited to be selling a locally sourced, indigenous branded-product here in the province through the Coleman’s grocery chain. We are also very encouraged by the number of individuals who have already visited our new web site to order online”
The Qalipu Development Corporation supports the First Nation in earning its own-source revenue. All proceeds derived from Waspu Oil are directed back to support our communities and culture.
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