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

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

Update

The deadline to submit a request for reassessment of the self-identification criterion because of the Wells et al. vs. Canada decision was May 13, 2019. We are no longer accepting requests for reassessment.

However , if you requested documents from Statistics Canada on or before May 13, 2019 an extension has been granted to August 15, 2019 to submit your census returns or National Household Surveys.

The extension has been granted due to the time needed to process document requests.

To qualify for the extension you must also submit proof that you asked for your census returns or National Household Surveys on or before May 13, 2019.

The Government of Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians recognize that the Qalipu enrolment process has important implications for individuals involved. If you are experiencing emotional distress and want to talk to someone, please call the Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or through their new online chat, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

On this page

How we are implementing the Wells decision

The Federal Court case, Wells et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) 2018 FC 483, challenged the denial of applications for founding membership in the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation based on the self-identification criterion of the enrolment process.

On May 8, 2018, the Federal Court determined that:

What this decision may mean for you

As a result of this decision, we sent letters dated January 31, 2019 to people who were denied founding membership with the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation in 2017 based on the original self-identification criterion.

If you received one of these letters, it provided you with the chance to:

  • submit additional self-identification documents dated on or before September 22, 2011, the date of the Recognition Order

or

  • indicate that you have previously submitted such documents as part of your application

You could only submit a request for reassessment for yourself and your child or children under the age of 18 or 19, depending on the age of majority in your province or territory. If you submitted a request for reassessment on behalf of someone else, their founding membership application will not be reassessed. If they wished to have their application reassessed, they needed to submit their own request before May 13, 2019.

If you submitted additional documents pertaining to the group acceptance and ancestry criteria, they will not be considered.

Only those who were denied founding membership based on the self-identification criterion in 2017 were eligible to submit additional self-identification documents.

You had until May 13, 2019 to:

  • complete the form sent with the letter
  • gather self-identification documents if needed
  • mail the form and documents to have your file reassessed to:

    Enrolment Committee
    Box 9100
    Winnipeg MB  R3C 0M9

If you did not respond to the request by May 13, 2019, your application for founding membership will not be reassessed and the previous decision on your file will stand.

Documents Requested from Statistics Canada

If you requested census returns or National Household Surveys from Statistics Canada on or before the deadline of May 13, 2019, due to the time needed to process such requests, an extension has been granted to August 15, 2019. You have until this date to postmark and submit your census returns or National Household Surveys along with supporting documentation demonstrating that you requested it on or before May 13, 2019.

If you do not provide proof that you requested documents from Statistics Canada on or before May 13, 2019, we will not accept your reassessment request and the decision on your file stands.

Examples of supporting documentation demonstrating requests submitted on or before May 13, 2019:

  • acknowledgement letter from Statistics Canada
  • response letter from Statistics Canada referencing the date of your request in their response

Any documentation or information submitted after the extended deadline of August 15, 2019 will not be accepted or considered for reassessment by the Enrolment Committee.

This is a separate initiative from the exploratory discussions.

What is a self-identification document?

If you submitted self-identification documents, you were encouraged to send as many documents as possible.

You must have submitted at least one of the following:

  • a 2011 or earlier census return or National Household Survey response filed by a resident on the Island of Newfoundland, indicating that you identified as an Aboriginal person, a North American Indian or a member of an Indian band or First Nation
  • a copy of a Newfoundland newspaper article dated on or before the September 22, 2011 Recognition Order reporting your participation as a member of the Mi'kmaq Group of Indians of Newfoundland in ceremonial, traditional or cultural activities of the Mi'kmaq of Newfoundland
  • a certified true copy of an application form filled out by a resident on the island of Newfoundland dated on or before the September 22, 2011, Recognition Order indicating that you self-identified as Mi'kmaq, Indian or Aboriginal for the purpose of being selected for a job with:
    • a government
    • a public institution
    • the Federation of Newfoundland Indians
    • Ktaqamkuk Mi'kmaq Alliance
    • Benoit First Nation
    • Sip'kop Mi'kmaq Band

      or

    • for a program benefit sponsored by a government or government agency
      • These types of documents will only be accepted subject to written approval from both the Government of Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians that the document represents acceptable evidence of self-identification
  • other relevant documents dated on or before the September 22, 2011 Recognition Order showing that you self-identified as a Member of the Mi'kmaq Group of Indians of Newfoundland that were submitted to or issued by:
    • a government
    • a public institution
    • the Federation of Newfoundland Indians
    • Ktaqamkuk Mi'kmaq Alliance
    • Benoit First Nation
    • Kitpu Band
    • Sip'kop Mi'kmaq Band
      • These documents will also only be accepted subject to written approval from both the Government of Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians
  • a membership card or confirmation of membership letter dated on or before September 22, 2011, if you are on a membership list of the Federation of Newfoundland Indians, Ktaqamkuk Mi'kmaq Alliance, Benoit First Nation, Kitpu Band or Sip'kop Mi'kmaq Band that was submitted to the Enrolment Committee during the previous assessment

Only documents pertaining to the self-identification criterion will be considered during this re-assessment period.

Self-identification re-assessment process
Description of the self-identification re-assessment process

The chart describes the outcomes of the self-identification re-assessment period for the implementation of the Wells federal court decision.

Scenario 1

  • You applied for re-assessment of your application for founding membership on or before May 13, 2019
  • You did not meet the updated self-identification criterion
  • After the self-identification re-assessment period, the Enrolment Committee will send you a denial letter with the right to appeal the Enrolment Committee's decision to the Appeal Master

Scenario 2

  • You applied for re-assessment of your application for founding membership on or before May 13, 2019
  • You met the updated self-identification criterion
  • You did not meet the criteria of group acceptance or ancestry
  • After the re-assessment period, the Enrolment Committee will send you a denial letter with the right to appeal the Enrolment Committee's decision to the Appeal Master

Scenario 3

  • You applied for re-assessment of your application for founding membership on or before May 13, 2019
  • You met the updated self-identification criterion
  • You met the criteria of group acceptance and ancestry
  • After the re-assessment period, the Enrolment Committee will send you an acceptance letter and your name will be put forward in an Order-in-Council for addition to the Founding Members List

The above scenarios could be affected by the results of the exploratory discussions described below.

Exploratory discussions

The Government of Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians have announced their commitment to enter into exploratory discussions regarding members of the Federation of Newfoundland Indians and other Mi'kmaq Organizations named in the 2008 Agreement, members of the Canadian Armed Forces, veterans and members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) who were denied founding membership based on the group acceptance criterion and who were involved in the enrolment process.

This is a separate initiative from the Wells self-identification reassessment process.

As the discussions are in the preliminary stages, individuals affected by this announcement will be contacted once further information becomes available.

Canada recognizes and deeply values the meaningful contributions of our veterans, Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP to the development of our nation, and honours the sacrifices made in the defence of freedom and the pursuit of world peace.

The Government of Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians will continue to work collaboratively to address concerns around founding membership in the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation, while upholding the integrity of the Qalipu enrolment process.

The criteria for founding membership

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

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 the date of the September 22, 2011 Recognition Order.

2018 updates to the Founding Members List

Were you added to the updated Founding Members List?

If you were newly eligible for founding membership, and were added to the updated Founding Members List, you were sent a letter from the Indian Registrar dated July 31, 2018 that:

Once you receive your letter and Temporary Confirmation of Registration Document, you may apply for a Secure Certificate of Indian Status card. The status card will replace the Temporary Confirmation of Registration Document. To learn more about the status card, visit Are you applying for a status card?

If you have not received the July 31, 2018 letter containing the Temporary Confirmation of Registration Document, please contact the Government of Canada's Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation toll-free telephone line at 1-800-561-2266.

Services and benefits

Now that your name has been added to the Indian Register, you are able to access services and benefits available to registered Indians such as the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program and the Post-Secondary Student Support Program. For more information, consult:

Were you removed from the updated Founding Members List?

Since you were removed from the updated Founding Members List, a letter from the Indian Registrar dated August 31, 2018 was sent to you advising of the deletion of your name from the Indian Register, which means:

  • you have lost your Indian status
  • you are no longer eligible for services and benefits available to registered Indians
  • your Secure Certificate of Indian Status card is no longer valid

Services and benefits

Now that your name has been deleted from the Indian Register, you are no longer eligible for services and benefits available to registered Indians, including those provided under the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program and the Post-Secondary Student Support Program. This change took effect on August 31, 2018.

The Government of Canada will not seek repayment for any benefits you received while registered as a Status Indian.

Non-Insured Health Benefits Program

Since you have lost your registered Indian status, you are no longer entitled to receive benefits under the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program. You are strongly encouraged to seek other options for health benefit coverage.

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) staff will be available to provide documentation that may be required to support individuals transitioning to other benefit plans, such as provincial or territorial health benefit programs. If you would like to learn more about your options, call the Government of Canada's Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation line at 1-800-561-2266.

Post-Secondary Student Support Program

The Post-Secondary Student Support Program is for registered First Nation members.

In collaboration with ISC, the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation will be available to help identify possible post-secondary funding options and can assist you in determining an appropriate transition plan. If you would like to learn more about your options, call the Government of Canada's Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation line at 1-800-561-2266.

Secure Certificate of Indian Status

Now that your name has been deleted from the Indian Register, your Secure Certificate of Indian Status card is no longer valid and can no longer be used. This change took effect on August 31, 2018.

Attempting to use a cancelled Status Card or registration number could result in legal consequences. The Government of Canada takes allegations and complaints related to the misuse of Indian Status cards very seriously. Any information found or received that is indicative of fraud or other illegal activities will be turned over to policing authorities.

Category amendments

If you received a letter from the Indian Registrar dated August 31, 2018 saying your registration category has been amended:

  • you have retained your registered Indian status under a different provision of the Indian Act
  • you remain eligible for services and benefits available to registered Indians
  • your Secure Certificate of Indian Status card remains valid

If you are not yet registered as a Status Indian, you will have to make a separate application seeking registration under the Indian Act. To learn more, visit Are you applying for Indian status?

Did you remain on the updated Founding Members List?

If you are still on the updated Founding Members List and you are currently registered under the Indian Act:

  • you maintain registered Indian status
  • you maintain access to services and benefits available to registered Indians
  • your Secure Certificate of Indian Status (status card) remains valid

You will not receive a letter from the Indian Registrar confirming that you remained on the Updated Founding Members List.

If you need to renew or apply for a Secure Certificate of Indian Status card, visit Are you applying for a status card?

Results of the enrolment process

Of the 100,682 applications reviewed during the enrolment process, the results are as follows:

Based on these numbers, the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation will continue to be the second largest First Nation by population in Canada with a membership of approximately 21,000 individuals. It is anticipated that approximately 95% of the membership will be comprised of people who live in Newfoundland and Labrador and 5%  of the membership will be people who live 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.

About the creation of the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation

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, 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 Federation of Newfoundland Indians 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 Federation of Newfoundland Indians and the Government of Canada, completed the review of all applications in January 2017. Everyone who filed an appeal should have received a decision by mid-April 2018.

The enrolment and appeal processes concluded in April 2018 when the updated Founding Members List was provided to the Government of Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians by the Enrolment Committee.

The Order-in-Council was passed by the Governor-in-Council on June 25, 2018. The updated Founding Members List replaced the list from 2011 and was given to the Indian Registrar for implementation throughout summer 2018.

Individuals who were newly eligible for founding membership in the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation were registered as an Indian under the Indian Act and were sent a letter of confirmation dated July 31, 2018. On August 31, 2018, individuals who no longer met the criteria for founding membership in the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation either had their names deleted from the Indian Register, or, if they were a child of a Founding Member underwent a category amendment and kept their Indian status under a different provision of the Indian Act.

What to do if your address or other information has changed

If your address or other information has changed since you submitted your original application, please call the Government of Canada's 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:

List of current Mi'kmaq Communities

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

Contact us

The Government of Canada's Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation toll-free telephone line: 1-800-561-2266
TTY: 1-800-465-7735
Consult: Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation Website

Related links

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