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Protestors vow to keep fighting Qalipu enrolment process together

Participants in the rally against the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation Band enrolment process hold hands and sing in a circle to close out the event in Corner Brook Saturday.
Participants in the rally against the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation Band enrolment process hold hands and sing in a circle to close out the event in Corner Brook Saturday. - Gary Kean

Around 70 people or so attended a rally against the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band enrolment process in Corner Brook Saturday morning.

The rally coincided with another protest in Ottawa Saturday morning against the controversial supplementary agreement that has prevented tens of thousands of people claiming Mi’kmaq heritage from being founding members of the band.

Following some aboriginal customs, including a smudging ceremony and a welcoming drumming song, those gathered heard from a number of speakers, including rally organizer Keith Cormier.

Cormier, who is a Qalipu member, said he organized the event to draw attention to cases such as his son and granddaughter, who will be denied membership because they do not live on the island of Newfoundland.

Several others spoke about their own situations and the need for all applicants, both the accepted and the denied, to stick together and fight the injustices they feel have been done.

The founding membership for the band is expected to be made official by the federal government this spring, unless ongoing court proceedings can somehow find a way to halt the process.

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