Qalipu applications continue to be reviewed

Diane Crocker
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CORNER BROOK  The completion of the registration process for the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band continues to be the main objective for Chief Brendan Sheppard moving into 2013.

While staff at the band have other projects and initiatives they are working on, Sheppard said many of these things can’t move forward until the registration process is completed. But the enrolment process is now under review by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. The review was prompted by the growing number of applications that had been filed seeking membership in Qalipu. More than 70,000 applications were received before the final enrolment phase ended in November, bringing the total for both stages to over 100,000.

 “It’s not something that I’m sure the department are jumping with joy about,” said Sheppard of the numbers.

However, while no decisions on the process and what it will involve have been made, Sheppard thinks it will become more stringent and there will be many who won’t qualify. But, he noted, the same thing occurred in the earlier enrolment phase. At this point in time, though, the agreement is being honoured and applications continue to be processed. Sheppard said two meetings on the issue are scheduled to take place this month.

“I’m sure the Government of Canada has no particular agenda to end without the applications being assessed and being reviewed,” said Sheppard.

He said the current talks are something on which the band has to move carefully, “To make sure the best interests of the people who have applied is looked at.”

To serve the Qalipu membership the way it should be served means nailing down the amount of people the band will be dealing with for years to come, Sheppard added.

“Until we reach that there’s many things somewhat left in limbo from a funding perspective.”

Meanwhile, with the enrolment phase completed, the band has closed its satellite enrolment offices in St. George’s and Glenwood and all applications have been moved to the Corner Brook office, where enrolment clerks have been offered other opportunities.

In terms of the other projects and initiatives the band is working on, Sheppard said it will continue to pursue all avenues where opportunities present themselves.

Twitter: WS_DianeCrocker

Geographic location: Canada, Corner Brook

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Recent comments

  • lou
    April 04, 2013 - 10:39

    My dad workered andresearched tirelessly for well over 25 years for overwhelmng amount of documented proof---had became one of the first founding members and was proud he could give our family the identity we had sough--George Cammie died tragically in Dec/2012 not assuming his children andgra dchildren would become members-----i hank god he isn't aware of this atrocity---we know who weare--my childre are a big part of the aboriginal community where we live and my eldest is working and living within the community with children... nl first aboriginal daycare centre--identity in tact-peace

  • Wendi
    January 21, 2013 - 16:50

    I have all of the documentation that I need. I know I am Mi'kmaq and that cannot be taken away. It bothers me that some family members have been approved and yet I might not be. As a family we should all be approved. I am checking every day to see if a decision has been made, but whether or not I am approved, I know who I am and no one can take that away.

  • Freda
    January 20, 2013 - 11:40

    What I cannot understand about this whole registration issue is that some family members have a already received their status but other members of the family are waiting in limbo!!!! Same blood line, same parents, same everything!!!! Should not take that long to review. How much can you review the same documents before approval?????

  • Teri H
    January 08, 2013 - 19:06

    Mr Sheppard, Please do not let the government change any of the rules and regulations in applying for status. You are elected by the native people and you have to stand up for all of us. We are native and we should be treated equal like the First Foundling Fathers that have status.

  • CBGirl
    January 03, 2013 - 21:15

    Whoever made the estimate to begin with should have perhaps polled the province to at least make and educated guess. This whole band formation was a huge mess from the start. Native rights without land? As someone with her application in, Im not that hard done by just for having a relative I never met with full status. Most people are in this simply for the benefit of school or eyeglasses and prescriptions. Im already in school, my eyes are perfect and Im in excellent health. I would rather see the government money flung at this band be put toward something useful, rather than inflated salaries of the highest employees. What is the rate of application approvals/ rejections per month?

  • Gerry
    January 03, 2013 - 09:53

    I being one of the 70,000 people in limbo waiting for an answer could the Qalipu at least give these people an honorary acceptance to give them the benefit of the doubt that they are of Mi'kmaq origin according to the information of proof that the application office has received from those people.

    • Sparkle
      January 03, 2013 - 20:19

      Gerry, even the people who first registered, had to wait three years before being able to claim status. Qalipu alone does not give acceptance, the government of Canada is right alongside them going over the documentation too. Unfortunately,(or fortunately, depending on how you look at this situation) many people that would not normally have had the opportunity to claim status, now had the ability to do so, hence the reason for the huge amount of applications at the tail end of the enrollment process. Good luck in your application process.

  • Todd
    January 03, 2013 - 07:55

    I guess Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada should have done some homework before Mr. Harper signing any deal. It does not take a rocket scientist to come to the conclusion that more of us live outside of NL as those who do, and to wonder why we had to leave is an insult to all Newfoundlanders'. I guess 70,000 of us should have stayed on the rock to collect welfare. This situation is a mess and Mr. Sheppard is not much help.

    • R. Young
      January 27, 2013 - 13:08

      I was accepted into the band in June of 2012, 2 years after my application went to them. As of today I still have NOT recieved my temporary status. Meanwhile, I have Aunts, Uncles, cousins (on both my mother's and my father's side) that have had their status for years. Shouldn't this combined with my acceptance letter from Tom Rideout be enough? Why this long wait to be added to the Registar"s list in Ottawa. Sorry but telling me that it is Gov't Red Tape is NOT a reasonible answer! I, for one am fed up waiting, something needs to be done to get some of the people running this whole process off their a***s!!! I live outside the Province and defenitely will not be a strain on the Band or their funding. I put myself through University fully on my own without their help. I want my Status Card...enough is enough! All I see in the News is a bunch of politicians talking in circles! Oh yes and to Mr. Sheppard, your comment regarding the increase in enrollment applicants to over 100,000 that, "IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT I'M SURE THE DEPARTMENT ARE JUMPING WITH JOY ABOUT,''...well...that Sir says it all!!!