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The Agreement

For Service Members of the Canadian Armed Forces and of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
as Founding Members of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation

 

Context

The Service Members Agreement (the “Agreement”) was developed by the Government of Canada, Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation (“Qalipu”) and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (“FNI”) to establish the criteria for accepting Service members and former Service members of the Canadian Armed Forces (“CAF”) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (“RCMP”) as Qalipu Founding Members based on the special place of honour they hold in the Mi’kmaw culture due to their service as protectors of Canada and their communities. It applies to include individuals who were part of the Enrolment Process between 2008 and 2012 but were denied founding membership based on the group acceptance criterion.

 

Opportunity

The Agreement applies to applicants who had applied for founding membership under the 2008 Agreement, and who, on September 22, 2011, were or had been:

  • Serving or honorably released officers or non-commissioned members of the CAF in the Regular Force or the Primary Reserve who completed basic training; or
  • Serving in the Canadian Rangers; or
  • Police officers of the RCMP, including special constables and reservists appointed pursuant to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act, who had not been dismissed for cause.

 

Those applicants will be eligible to submit documentation proving their service in order to meet the group acceptance criterion. It is important to understand that applicants will still be required to meet Self-Identification, connection to a pre-confederation Mi’kmaq Community and Canadian Indian Ancestry under the terms of the 2008 Agreement and the Supplemental Agreement.

 

Ratification

Ratification of the Agreement is required to implement it. This includes a vote of the Qalipu membership whether to accept it.  If the agreement is ratified, individuals will be sent a letter that will provide information on what they will be required to provide to prove their service in the CAF or the RCMP.

 

Process

Individuals will have 45 days from the date of the letter to submit the required documentation. The only documents accepted will be those proving service in one of the above groups. Applicants may wish to reach out to the CAF or RCMP to obtain supporting documents. The documents sent by the applicants will be shared with the Enrolment Committee for assessment and decision. The decisions will be communicated in Summer 2023 and will provide additional information on the next steps.

 

Please note that if an applicant’s Ancestry was not assessed previously, it will be reviewed from their original application package.

Questions & answers about the Service Members Agreement

The Service Members Agreement is an agreement that was developed between the Government of Canada, the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians. It provides individuals who were serving or honourably released members of the Canadian Armed Forces (“CAF”) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (“RCMP”) on or before September 22, 2011 with an opportunity to be considered for founding membership in the Band.

  • In November 2018, the Government of Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (“FNI”) announced their commitment to enter into exploratory discussions regarding members of the CAF, the RCMP and honourably released members of each (referred to as “Service Members”) Who applied for founding membership but were denied on the basis that they did not meet the group acceptance criterion in sub-paragraph 4.1(d)(ii) of the 2008 Agreement for the Recognition for the Qalipu Mi’kmaq Band.
  • Subsequently, the Qalipu Band Council, pursuant to a resolution dated July 2, 2019, supported having applicants under the 2008 Agreement, who were either serving or honourably released members of the CAF or the RCMP on September 22, 2011, the date of creation of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation, assessed to meet the Group Acceptance Criterion based on the place of honour which they hold in Mi’kmaq society due to their service as protectors of Canada and their communities.  The FNI Board of Directors, pursuant to a resolution dated July 2, 2019, supported the Band Council Resolution.
  • Individuals who validly applied for founding membership in the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation between December 1st, 2008 and November 30, 2012;
  • They were alive on September 22, 2011;
  • They were a Service Member or honourably released Member of the RCMP or CAF, as defined in the Service Members Agreement, on or before September 22, 2011;
  • No minimum years of service required but in the case of the CAF, must have completed Basic Training;
  • Applicants who were minors in the province in which they resided on the date of application or on September 22, 2011, can fulfill the Group Acceptance Criterion if at least one of their parents has or would have done so.

‘Service Member’ means an Applicant who:

  • on September 22, 2011, was a Member of the Canadian Armed Forces;
  • on September 22, 2011, was a Member of the RCMP;
  • was a Member of the Canadian Armed Forces and received an honorable release from their service in the Canadian Armed Forces prior to September 22, 2011; or
  • was a Member of the RCMP and was released from their service in the RCMP prior to September 22, 2011 for a reason other than with cause.

A Member of the Canadian Armed Forces is an officer or non-commissioned member of the Canadian Armed Forces serving in the Regular Force or the Primary Reserve after completing basic training or serving in the Canadian Rangers, pursuant to the National Defence Act and regulations as they read on the date that the Service Members’ Agreement comes into effect.

A Member of the RCMP is a police officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, including a special constable and a reservist appointed pursuant to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act as it read on the date that the Service Members’ Agreement comes into effect.

  • Civilian employees in the CAF and RCMP;
  • CAF Cadets;
  • Spouses of serving and honourably released CAF and RCMP members;
  • Individuals who did not apply for founding membership during the Enrolment Process; and
  • Individuals who applied for founding membership during the Enrolment Process but did not or do not meet the founding membership criteria for self-identification, connection to a
    Pre-Confederation Mi’kmaq community or ancestry.
  • A call out letter is expected to be mailed in January 2023.
  • A 45-day response period will be provided to submit documents required to prove service in the CAF or the RCMP.
  • The files of those who chose to respond will be sent to the Enrolment Committee to be assessed.
  • The Service Members’ Agreement will be put forward for ratification by the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band membership in Fall 2022.
  • Should the vote for ratification pass, the agreement must then be signed by the Parties.
  • A call out letter will then be mailed to all those who were denied under the group acceptance criterion during the Enrolment Process.
  • The mail out is expected to take place in January 2023.
  • The timeframe for review is dependent on the number of responses received.
  • The goal will be to have decisions on all submissions communicated in Spring 2023.
  • If the Service Members Agreement is ratified and fully executed, applicants who are members of the class in the class proceeding certified before the Federal Court entitled Collins v. The Attorney General of Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians and bearing Court File No. T-2044-19 (the “Class Action”) can continue participating in the Class Action, subject to the terms of the Acknowledgment and Released referenced in Chapter 6 of the Service Members’ Agreement.
  • Specifically, the Acknowledgement and Release will require applicants who are members of the Class Action to acknowledge that any damages, expenses, and/or losses, incurred or being incurred, that they can claim as members in the Class Action, cease to accrue as of the date they become Founding Member of the Band.
  • The Acknowledgement and Release will only come into effect as of the date the federal Cabinet passes an Order-in-Council to add the names of applicants who were successful under the Service Members’ Agreement, to the Founding Member list of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation.
  • If the Service Members Agreement is ratified and fully executed, the Acknowledgement and Release shall require applicants who are not members of the Class Action to release all causes of action, claims, and demands relating to the Applicant seeking recognition as an Indian under the Indian Act. This includes Indian Act recognition through and/or in relation to the enrollment process for Founding Membership in Qalipu as outlined in the 2008 Agreement and the Supplemental Agreement.
  • The Acknowledgement and Release will only come into effect as of the date the federal Cabinet passes an Order-in-Council to add the names of applicants who were successful under the Service Members’ Agreement, to the Founding Member list of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation.