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

Learn more about the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation enrolment process.

Update on the appeal process

The appeal process is currently underway and appeals are being reviewed by an independent body of Appeal Masters.

Individuals who appealed their decision will begin receiving appeal decision letters beginning in the fall of 2017 through winter 2018. The updated Founding Members List will be finalized by spring 2018.

The Government of Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians recognize that the Qalipu enrolment process will have important implications for individuals involved. 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.

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 and to resolve issues that emerged in the implementation of the enrolment process.

The Enrolment Committee, equally represented by the FNI and the Government of Canada, completed the review of all applications in January 2017, leading to the appeal process that began on February 1, 2017. Appeals are being reviewed by the independent Chief Appeal Master, Mr. Geoffrey Brown, who was jointly selected by Canada and the FNI. A legal firm has also been contracted by the FNI to provide additional Appeal Masters who will work under the oversight of the Chief Appeal Master.

Choose a topic

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

Decision letters

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

April 13, 2017

Appeal submission deadline

  • 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 April 13, 2017.

Fall 2017/winter 2018

  • All appeals will be reviewed by an independent third party Appeal Master selected in accordance with the 2008 Agreement and the 2013 Supplemental Agreement.
  • Appeal decision letters will begin to be mailed out beginning in fall 2017 and continuing through winter 2018.

February 28, 2017

Submission of new Founding Members List

  • 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

Order-in-council (new Founding Members List in effect)

  • 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

Amendments to the Indian Register (additions and removals)

  • 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.

When can I expect a decision on my appeal?

The deadline to appeal the decision was extended from March 31, 2017, to April 13, 2017. Any appeal notices submitted after the deadline were not considered.

Individuals who appealed their decision on time will receive a response from the Appeal Master beginning fall 2017 and through winter 2018. Because these letters are being mailed out as decisions are made, some applicants may receive their letter before or after others. Once you receive a letter on your appeal, read it carefully as it may contain instructions for further action.

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:

Will I be eligible for registration under the Indian Act?

Eligibility for Registration
Text description of the Eligibility for Registration

The chart describes scenarios for entitlement for registration under the Indian Act in spring 2018 based on a person and/or their parents' eligibility for Founding Membership.

Scenario 1

  • You are presently on the existing Founding Members List.
  • You still meet the eligibility criteria.
  • In the spring of 2018:
    • your name will remain on the Founding Members List
    • you will remain registered under the Indian Act
    • no further action is required

Scenario 2

  • You are presently on the existing Founding Members List.
  • You no longer meet the eligibility criteria.
  • At least one of your parents meets the eligibility criteria.
  • In the spring of 2018:
    • your name will be removed from the Founding Members List
    • you will remain registered under the Indian Act
    • you will be contacted by the Indian Registrar once the registration category amendment has occurred in spring 2018

Scenario 3

  • You are presently on the existing Founding Members List.
  • You no longer meet the eligibility criteria and neither of your parents meets the eligibility criteria.
  • In the spring of 2018:
    • your name will be removed from the Founding Members List
    • you will be contacted by the Indian Registrar regarding your removal from the Indian Register in spring 2018

Scenario 4

  • You are not presently on the existing Founding Members List.
  • You meet the eligibility criteria.
  • In the spring of 2018:
    • your name will be added to the Founding Members list
    • you will be registered under the Indian Act
    • you will be contacted by the Indian Registrar once your name is added to the Indian Register in spring 2018.

Scenario 5

  • You are not presently on the existing Founding Members List.
  • You do not meet the eligibility criteria.
  • At least one of your parents meets the eligibility criteria.
  • In the spring of 2018:
    • your name will not be added to the Founding Members list
    • you are entitled to be registered under the Indian Act
    • you will need to submit a separate application for registration to INAC

Scenario 6

  • You are not presently on the existing Founding Members List.
  • You do not meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Neither of your parents meets the eligibility criteria.
  • In the spring of 2018:
    • your name will not be added to the Founding Members list
    • you may not be entitled to be registered under the Indian Act

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 the 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.

What is the status of my administrative review request?

Some applicants whose files were found to be or ineligible on the grounds of self-identification did not have a right to appeal the Enrolment Committee's decision. An administrative review was available to signal that an administrative error may have been made.

If the administrative review found an error had been made in the decision, the Enrolment Committee then assessed the applicant on the remaining eligibility criteria for Founding Membership.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome as decisions are made. If you receive a letter on an administrative review, read it carefully as it may contain instructions for further action.

Results of the enrolment review process

As a result of the Enrolment Committee's review, letters were sent on January 31, 2017 notifying 18,044 applicants of their eligibility for founding membership in the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation. 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 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 Groups 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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