Stephenville woman helping others with Qalipu applications

Diane
Diane Crocker
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Odelle Pike is shown in this undated photo.

CORNER BROOK  Odelle Pike won’t be sending in any more information to support her application to the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band.

“According to (Qalipu criteria), I’m fine because my application was in before September 2011 and I live in a Mi’kmaq community,” said Pike.

“So, I really don’t have to do anything.”

That doesn’t mean the Stephenville woman, who is active in the native community, isn’t interested in what’s going on. Pike has been spending a lot of her time helping others with their applications.

“We got a lot of people in this area who need help,” said Pike, adding she’s been getting calls from all over.

On Friday, a day after it was announced that the deadline to submit additional information to the review committee had been extended from Jan. 31 to Feb. 10, Pike said at least that will give people some more time.

“There’s a lot of heartache out there because a lot of people don’t know what to be doing,” she said. “Because of the new supplemental agreement people have no choice but to do what they’re requesting or they’ll just get pushed aside.”

Pike said there is a lot of confusion about the letter applicants received in November advising them that they could submit more information.

“It’s mostly done in legal terms and the normal person would not be able to cipher through it anyway.”

And she doesn’t agree with what’s being requested.

“Half the stuff people got to do is utter craziness,” she said.

Pike said those who applied before Sept. 22, 2011, like her, have already met the self identification criteria. “Because you signed that form.”

But, she said, if they live off the island or outside of a Mi’kmaq community then they have to prove that they make frequent visits and participate in cultural things.

“Which is hard for a lot of people because a lot of people didn’t realize that they were aboriginal until 2008 or 2009,” she said. “And even the Federation of Newfoundland Indians didn’t have a lot of cultural activities prior to 2010 anyway.”

Pike said there are a lot of people still waiting on and trying to find the necessary information, from census data to travel documents and proof of band membership.

Pike doesn’t know how the process will unfold once the actual review of applications starts, but said she doesn’t think it will be good.

She said the control rests with government and people don’t have any say.

“I really think that more people should be up in arms about it.”

Organizations: Federation of Newfoundland

Geographic location: Stephenville

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Recent comments

  • Marie Gaudon
    January 19, 2014 - 11:41

    I live in Toronto and filed my application in 2012. I have never participated in any cultural events as I did not know there we any being held when I visited my family in Kippens. I am also having trouble with documentation as I never kept any airline tickets or receipts, how did I know I would ever need them. Therefore I am not going to send in additional proof.

  • Raymond Bennett
    January 19, 2014 - 05:05

    I applied before 2011 , I am Mi'kmaq ! I live in NS for 2 years to work ! What right does the federal goverment to say I MIGHT not be native becauce I am not home ! I [planned to be married at St Georges pow wow in 2012 , my mom passed away and was home 2 months then had to pospone my wedding due to work...can the goverment say I dont participate in cultural events because I was unable to attend a cultural event ! In NS I am not allowed to participate in their events because I do not belong to their 'Band ....what the heck the goverment can make you feel that you do not belong anywhere . WE are the only race in Cnada that has to have a piece of paper to say who we are ,,,what right do they have to try and take my status card away .This is cultural genocide ..they have always tried to take our rights ...back to thr first Indian Agent the goverment put in power !

  • alex
    January 18, 2014 - 16:03

    hi i live in halifax have the paperwork i need already applied have to reapply where do i start thank you

  • Thelma Dominey
    January 18, 2014 - 09:50

    I agree with everything Ms. Pike is saying and I would like to know how to get hold of her. Is there a number or email address?

  • Thelma Dominey
    January 18, 2014 - 09:49

    I agree with everything Ms. Pike is saying and I would like to know how to get hold of her. Is there a number or email address?

  • Jerome Walsh
    January 18, 2014 - 06:29

    I feel for the people who have a right to this status , but are being excluded due to techinical issues. The thing that catches my attention in all this . Where is the Chief. He has had little if nothing to say about it all , then again he got his status and a job from it all. I trust that the members will remember ALL THAT HE HASN T DONT when it's election time again

  • Rory
    January 18, 2014 - 06:28

    What a farce! You could extend the timeline for 5, 10, 20 years and the vast majority of applicants still would not be able to meet the criteria. The so called $90K+ Chief should be ashamed of what has transpired. Chiefs and bands should not be self serving as to go this route you can never be true. How many are prepared to be true and tell the Chief and Federal government where to put their status card they have been given? Materials and possessions come and go like a changing tide. Come judgement day how many would be able to say they have never been self-serving and in it for themselves? Today could be that one chance where we change that tide, holding together as one and true. Let's make our ancestors and ourselves proud and find a unified direction, one free of imposed criteria that is all but impossible to meet. Today is that day. Without making an excuse, are you going to do your part in turning this around for all or fall in line with the self serving mentality?

  • Rory
    January 18, 2014 - 06:27

    What a farce! You could extend the timeline for 5, 10, 20 years and the vast majority of applicants still would not be able to meet the criteria. The so called $90K+ Chief should be ashamed of what has transpired. Chiefs and bands should not be self serving as to go this route you can never be true. How many are prepared to be true and tell the Chief and Federal government where to put their status card they have been given? Materials and possessions come and go like a changing tide. Come judgement day how many would be able to say they have never been self-serving and in it for themselves? Today could be that one chance where we change that tide, holding together as one and true. Let's make our ancestors and ourselves proud and find a unified direction, one free of imposed criteria that is all but impossible to meet. Today is that day. Without making an excuse, are you going to do your part in turning this around for all or fall in line with the self serving mentality?