Have you applied to join the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation?

On January 31, 2017, letters were sent to all those who applied to be founding members of the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation notifying them of the Enrolment Committee's decision and outlining next steps. The deadline to appeal the decision has been extended from March 17, 2017 to March 31, 2017.

The creation of the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation is an important step forward for the Mi'kmaq people of Newfoundland.

In 2008, the Government of Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI), the group representing the Mi'kmaq people in that province, signed the Agreement for the Recognition of the Qalipu Mi'kmaq Band (PDF) to establish a landless band for the Mi'kmaq of Newfoundland. In 2013, a Supplemental Agreement was signed by Canada and the FNI as the way forward to assess the overwhelming number of applications for founding membership in the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation.

The Enrolment Committee, equally represented by the FNI and the Government of Canada, completed the review of all applications in January 2017.

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What should I do if I did not receive a letter?

Letters notifying applicants of the Enrolment Committee's decision were mailed on January 31, 2017 and should be received within seven to ten business days. If you have not received a letter by February 13, 2017, please call the INAC Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation line at 1-800-561-2266.

What should I do if my address has changed?

If your address has changed since you submitted your original application, please call the INAC Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation line at 1-800-561-2266 or send a signed letter by fax to 1-204-984-3032. Make sure to include:

What are the next steps in the enrolment process?

Before the new Founding Members List comes into effect in 2018, a number of steps must be completed:
Text description of the steps to be completed before the new Founding Members List comes into effect

January 31, 2017

  • Letters sent to all applicants notifying them of the Enrolment Committee's decision and outlining next steps regarding membership and impacts on Indian registration.

March 31, 2017

  • If you received an Appeal Notice with your decision letter, you have the right to appeal the decision to the Appeal Master.
  • All Appeal Notices must be received or postmarked on or before March 31, 2017.

Fall 2017

  • All appeals will be reviewed by an independent third party Appeal Master selected in accordance with the 2008 Agreement and the 2013 Supplemental Agreement.
  • All appeals will be determined by September 30, 2017.

February 28, 2017

  • Based on the decisions of the Enrolment Committee and the Appeal Master, a new Founding Members List will be prepared and submitted to the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.

Spring 2018

  • The Minister will recommend this list to the Governor-in-Council.
  • Once approved by Order-in-Council, the new Founding Members List will take effect and replace the Founding Members List of September 22, 2011.

Post Order in Council

  • This new Founding Members List will be provided to the Indian Registrar, who will amend the Indian Register.
  • If your name is added or removed, you will be contacted with more information.

What should I do if I meet the enrolment criteria?

If you are currently registered under the Indian Act, no further action is required. Your name will remain on the Founding Members List. If you have not already done so, you can apply for your Secure Certificate of Indian Status (status card).

If you are not currently registered under the Indian Act, you will be contacted by the Indian Registrar when your name is added to the Indian Register. The process for registration is expected to begin in the spring of 2018. Consult: What are the next steps in the enrolment process? After you receive the letter from the Indian Registrar confirming your registration as a status Indian, you will able to access the programs and services available to registered Indians, apply for the Secure Certificate of Indian Status (status card), and apply for registration of your children under the Indian Act.

Registration of children as Status Indian under the Indian Act: Once Founding Members are registered under the Indian Act, their children are entitled to registration. If the child is not a Founding Member, application for registration (PDF) as an Indian must be made under the Indian Act to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.

What should I do if I do not meet the enrolment criteria?

If you are currently registered under the Indian Act, you will remain registered and will not lose your Indian status and benefits until after the Indian Register is amended based on the updated Founding Members List. The process for registration is expected to begin in the spring of 2018. Consult: What are the next steps in the enrolment process?

Following the removal of your name from the Indian Register, you will be contacted by the Indian Registrar. It is only at that time that you will no longer be entitled to program benefits and services, including Non-Insured Health Benefits, designated for registered Indians. The Government of Canada will not seek reimbursement for benefits that you have received while registered as an Indian under the Indian Act.

You may still be eligible to maintain registration under the Indian Act if you are the child (even if you are an adult child) of a Founding Member. If you are eligible to maintain registration, access to program benefits and services will not be affected. You will however receive a letter from the Indian Registrar regarding modifications to your registration category in the spring of 2018, as this entitlement can only come into force once the new Founding Members List is in effect.

How do I appeal a decision?

If you received an Appeal Notice with the decision letter, you have the right to appeal the decision regarding your eligibility for founding membership in the band. Instructions for submitting an appeal are enclosed with the Appeal Notice. Your submission must be received by or postmarked no later than March 31, 2017.

There is no right to appeal the decision of the Enrolment Committee under the following circumstances:

The Government of Canada and the FNI recognize that the Enrolment Committee's decision will have important implications for applicants. If you are experiencing emotional distress and want to talk to someone, please call the First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310. It's toll-free and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Results of the enrolment review process

As of February 6, 2017, 18,044 applicants have been sent letters notifying them of their eligibility for founding membership in the Qalipu First Nation Band. However, the final list of Founding Members will only be known at the conclusion of the appeal process and officially confirmed through an Order in Council, expected in the spring of 2018. The preliminary results of the Enrolment Committee's review are as follows.

Based on the revised numbers, Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation will continue to be the second largest First Nation by population in Canada. It is anticipated that the membership will be comprised of approximately 95% of people living in Newfoundland and Labrador and 5% living elsewhere in Canada, reflecting the intent of the 2008 Agreement to establish a band composed of individuals having a current and substantial connection to the Mi'kmaq Group of Indians of Newfoundland.

Basis of assessments

As set out in the 2008 Agreement, an individual is eligible to be enrolled as a Founding Member if he or she, in the assessment of the Enrolment Committee:

  • is of Canadian Indian ancestry
  • is a member of a Newfoundland Pre-Confederation Mi'kmaq Community (or is a descendent of such person)
  • was not registered on the Indian Register on the date of the Recognition Order (September 22, 2011)
  • self-identified as a Member of the Mi'kmaq Group of Indians of Newfoundland on the date of the Recognition Order, and
  • was accepted by the Mi'kmaq Group of Indians of Newfoundland as a member of the Mi'kmaq Group of Indians of Newfoundland on the date of the Recognition Order

Every applicant was required to provide objective evidence to establish that he or she had a current and substantial connection to the Mi'kmaq group of Indians of Newfoundland leading up to and on the date of the September 22, 2011 Recognition Order.

The Government of Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI) developed a "Point System" to ensure consistency in the evaluation of group acceptance and to assess applicants' connection to the Mi'kmaq group of Indians of Newfoundland. Additional information on the point system can be found in the 2013 Supplemental Agreement.

As per the 2013 Supplemental Agreement, applicants not residing in or around one of the locations of the Mi'kmaq Group of Indians of Newfoundland were required to provide objective evidence that they have a current and substantial connection to the Mi'kmaq Group of Indians of Newfoundland in order to meet the group acceptance. To fulfil this threshold, the applicant must have maintained a sustained and active involvement in the community despite living away from the location.

The connection had to go beyond close contacts with family members and include participation in the cultural and social life of the Newfoundland communities forming the Mi'kmaq Group of Indians of Newfoundland.

List of locations

List of geographic locations of Mi'kmaq Groups of Indians on the Island of Newfoundland:

Abraham's Cove Cox's Cove Lewisporte Red Island
Appleton Deer Lake Lourdes Sheaves Cove
Badger Flat Bay Lower Cove Ship Cove
Birchy Bay Fox Island River Mainland Sop's Arm
Bishop's Falls Gallants Massey Drive St. Albans
Black Duck Brook Gander Mattis Point St. Fintan's
Black Duck Siding Gander Bay South McIvers St. George's
Boswarlos Gander Bay North Meadows St. Teresa's
Botwood Gilliams Millertown Steady Brook
Brown's Arm Glenwood Mount Moriah Stephenville
Buchans Grand-Falls/Windsor Norris Arm Stephenville Crossing
Burgeo Hughes Brook Northern Arm Red Island
Campbells Creek Humber Arm South Pasadena Three Rock Cove
Campbellton Irishtown/Summerside Peterview West Bay
Cape St. George Kippens Piccadilly York Harbour
Comfort Cove Lark Harbour Point Leamington Swift Current 
Corner Brook Leading Tickles Port au Port East  

Contact us

Call us at the INAC Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation toll-free telephone line: 1-800-561-2266
TTY: 1-800-465-7735

Consult: www.qalipu.ca

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