Qalipu chief issues message to applicants

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Gary Kean
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Brendan Sheppard

CORNER BROOK  The controversy and confusion that has developed in the past two weeks as applicants begin receiving letters regarding their enrolment in the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band has prompted a message from Chief Brendan Sheppard.

Sheppard said he felt the need to provide some further clarification by outlining four scenarios applicants may find themselves in. None of the scenarios describe the situations of those people who have been denied enrolment with no chance of appeal because of unsigned release forms or failure to provide a long-form birth certificate.

The message, posted on the Qalipu website earlier today, has been re-posted in its entirety here:

 

Chief’s Message

 

It is now evident that the letters, which members and applicants were advised through the Qalipu website in July 2013 would be coming, are now being received. As anticipated, these letters are causing concern among many individuals. We have posted as much helpful information that we could anticipate would respond to various questions under the Enrolment tab of Qalipu’s website site under the Latest News section.

I sympathize with the difficulties and frustrations that you are experiencing; this process is complicated, as legal processes tend to be. In an effort to provide a level of comfort to members and applicants, I will  provide a few scenarios that I hope will help explain the process and your next steps. It is important to note that these scenarios are of a general nature; differing circumstances may significantly change the approach required.

In these scenarios, ‘Mi’kmaq community’ refers to one of the geographic locations of the Mi’kmaq Group of Indians of Newfoundland listed in Annex ‘B’ to the 2008 Agreement for the Recognition of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq Band.

 

Scenario # 1 (approximately 13,000 people in this category)

 

Ted applied for membership before the band was created on September 22, 2011, and he lived in a Mi’kmaq community at that time. When Ted applied, steps in the application led him to provide two pieces of identification as proof that he was living in a Mi’kmaq community.

If Ted provided this proof of residency at that time, and if he was still living at the same address on the day the band was formed (September 22, 2011) or did not provide evidence that he is no longer living in a Mi’kmaq community, then he does not need to do anything further to maintain his membership.

In other words, Ted would not need to submit any additional documents in support of his application.

 

Scenario # 2

 

Tony applied for membership before the band was created on September 22, 2011, and he lived outside a Mi’kmaq community at that time. When Tony applied, steps in the application led him to provide proof of acceptance by one of the Mi’kmaq Groups of Indians of Newfoundland. However, like the majority of applicants that lived outside a Mi’kmaq community, Tony provided very brief affidavits for proof of acceptance.

These affidavits do not provide adequate evidence. While Tony has met the self- identification criterion by signing the application prior to the band creation date, he still has to provide evidence to fulfill the criterion of group acceptance by one of the Mi’kmaq Groups of Indians of Newfoundland.  

 

Scenario # 3

 

Rose applied for membership after the band was created on September 22, 2011 and she lived outside a Mi’kmaq community at that time. When Rose applied, she assumed that signing the application would fulfill the requirement of self-identification, but as 4.1 (d) (i) of the Agreement indicates, Rose had to self-identify as a member of one of the Mi’kmaq Groups of Indians of Newfoundland on the date of the Recognition Order (September 22, 2011).

Because Rose applied after the band was created, she must provide proof of self-identification. Also, when Rose applied, steps in the application led her to provide proof of acceptance by one of the Mi’kmaq Groups of Indians of Newfoundland.  However, like the majority of applicants that lived outside of a Mi’kmaq community, Rose provided very brief affidavits for proof of the acceptance.

These affidavits do not provide adequate evidence. Therefore, Rose must now also provide evidence of acceptance by one of the Mi’kmaq Groups of Indians of Newfoundland.

 

Scenario # 4

 

Janet applied for membership after the band was created on September 22, 2011, and she lived in a Mi’kmaq community at that time. When Janet applied, she thought that signing the application would fulfill the requirement for self-identification, but as 4.1 (d) (i) of the Agreement indicates, Janet must have self-identified as a member of one of the Mi’kmaq Groups of Indians of Newfoundland on the date of the Recognition Order (September 22, 2011).

Because Janet applied after the band was created, she must now provide proof of self-identification. When Janet applied, steps in the application led her to provide two pieces of identification as proof of residency that she was living in a Mi’kmaq community.   

If Janet provided this proof of residency, and was still living at the same address on the day the band was formed (September 22, 2011) or did not provide evidence that she is no longer living in a Mi’kmaq community, then she does not need to provide any further information to fulfill the criterion of acceptance by one of the Mi’kmaq Groups of Indians of Newfoundland.   

 

 

I feel it is necessary to state again that the review process will be in line with the original agreement and that all current members will retain their status cards (and eligibility for benefits that are conferred to registered Indians) until a decision is reached at the end of the review process, which is expected to be March 2016. At the end of the process, if children are denied membership and their parents maintain or gain status, applications for Indian registration under the Indian Act may be made on behalf of the children directly to the Office of the Indian Registrar at Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

 

Chief Brendan Sheppard

Organizations: Latest News, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Geographic location: Newfoundland, CORNER BROOK

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Recent comments

  • Brian Greene
    January 22, 2014 - 22:45

    WHAT A PERFECT SCAM. IF YOU APPLIED BEFORE 2008 YOUR SAFE. IF YOU ARE MIKMAQ AND MOVE OFF THE ISLAND AFTER 2015 AND NEVER SEE A POW WOW TENT AGAIN YOUR SAFE. IF YOU ARE MIKMAQ LIVING IN TORONTO BECAUSE THERE IS NO WORK IN NEWFOUNDLAND AND VISIT EVERY YEAR BUT CAN''T PROVE YOU ATTENDED A POWWOW, YOUR OUT. IF YOU ARE MIKMAQ FROM NEWFOUNDLAND FIGHTING IN THE MIDDLE EAST BUT DON'T HAVE TIME TO GO TO A POW WOW YOUR OUT. BRENDAN SHEPARD THE GOVERMENT OF CANADA THANKS YOU, YOU DID GOOD.....

  • gerald jesso
    January 10, 2014 - 12:31

    when this was found out about the indian status the first time everyone that was native should have been notified but no the chief and the members kept it between themselves so only their familes and relations could apply for their status i had realations that were members they didnt even let us know the only way we found out my sister went to a doctor and he ask her about it thats the only way we knew so its pretty bad when a stranger knows before you i attend cermoines and pow wows in prince edward island shouldnt matter where you live your still native an should be entilited to your status card the chief is coming up with all kind of exceuses to cover up his dirty work

  • gerald jesso
    January 10, 2014 - 12:28

    when this was found out about the indian status the first time everyone that was native should have been notified but no the chief and the members kept it between themselves so only their familes and relations could apply for their status i had realations that were members they didnt even let us know the only way we found out my sister went to a doctor and he ask her about it thats the only way we knew so its pretty bad when a stranger knows before you i attend cermoines and pow wows in prince edward island shouldnt matter where you live your still native an should be entilited to your status card the chief is coming up with all kind of exceuses to cover up his dirty work

  • Malcolm
    January 09, 2014 - 16:57

    It is my take that this is just an exercise to eliminate 70,000-80,000 card carrying members who live outside the province and designated Mi'Kmaq communities. I have done the math and provided all the possible information required in this supplemental agreement. There is no possible way without being a member of a band, prior to 2008, that anyone in my family living outside of the province have a hope in hell of reaching the the present point system of 13 points to meet the requirements. In my opinion too much emphasis is placed on being a member of a band prior to 2008 just because of numbers. It is unfair to those of us who have previously met the requirements as designated by the FNI and Aboriginal and Indian Affairs of Canada. Good luck to all of you on your efforts to prove again that we are Qalipu Mi'Kmaq Natives of the province of NL. There may have been more appropriate ways to justify that we didn't qualify for benefits under our status then to ask for information that is impossible for us to provide. Shame of those responsible for this unwarranted segregation.

  • Angela Fewer Mezzetta
    November 28, 2013 - 11:52

    It still sounds greek to me,I can not understand how out of nine children,two of us(my sister and I)may not become part of our Native Heretage,because we live outside Nfld.while our seven brothers are,or will be excepted.I should not have to prove that I go to Nfld every summer or that I have a cottage there,or how much money I spend there each year,every thing that was needed when I applied was supplied.Again,the native people are getting the shaft as they have gotten sence my other quarter or half ,White,came to North America,I don't need a card to prove I have native blood running through my veins,but WHO has the right to tell me I cant have it when there is docoments saying otherwise.

  • Julia
    November 28, 2013 - 00:33

    The self identification clause is a ploy to eliminate legitimate claims!! The letter is asking for proof prior to 2008!! No band would accept us without proof of status and now we can,t get status without band membership! Does that make sense to intelligent people? And 4 sets of rules depending on where you live and when you applied? I smell a skunk!!

  • Peaceful Waters
    November 21, 2013 - 15:35

    Unfortunately, the damage is done. The Chief and Council opened the door and now the government is in full control. The Chief might even want to go back and correct that mistake, but it is too late because that train has already left the station. It looks like the only recourse is court, if the money can be found to mount a good case. I urge everyone who is going to submit new evidence to read the Directive to the enrollment committee, line by line. There is lots of conflicting information in the document and some cleverly hidden requirements that are easy to miss. Don't give up on the process, fight no matter who tells you it is hopeless. It is only hopeless when you are dead.

    • talkingsmoke
      November 21, 2013 - 18:17

      Peaceful Waters you are correct...There are many hidden statements containing government jargon designed to devide and confuse applicants. This is the government way. I will get my status however it is a disgrace to the Mi'kmaq Nation that so many will be left out. The entire process and negotiations from the onset were designed to allow only those associated with Newfoundland bands to attain status and in all likelyhood that will be the final result. It does not exclude those who are documented to attain their status. It just makes the process much longer and more difficult for those who were not members of a band. I believe that anyone who has a direct bloodline to the Mi'kmaq or any other first nations band in Canada has an entitlement to status and benefits. It may take time but I also believe that once this mess has settled, there will be a loud voice from many of us with status to bring all Mi'kmaq into a recognized band. For those who may feel disheartened and feel like the battle is over, don't quit on your journey to attain status. We have been faced with many challenges in the past and will be again in the future but we are not programmed to quit. Good luck to all... And remember that the present chief is exactly that....THE PRESENT CHIEF......

  • observing it all
    November 21, 2013 - 10:16

    Who wants to bet Mr. B.S. was promised a Senate seat if he can keep the numbers down???

    • christina barnes
      November 29, 2013 - 21:35

      mr. bs was promised something. he got what he wanted.

  • Hayward Young
    November 21, 2013 - 09:23

    Brothers and Sisters When this agreement was negotiated I sat at the table as an observer along with the late Tony John, Tony was the central V.P. and I the western V.P. Although it was suggested by both Calvin White and myself to have Chiefs on the negotiating team, Mr.Sheppard and Annie Randell with the help of their yes men and yes women on the board manipulated otherwise. This method of persuasion continues today. If Mr. Sheppard had any intestinal fortitude , he would have said a deal is a deal and the Federal government would have had to live with it and if the Government changed it on their own, he should have went back to court . I sat at the table when the Federal Government said "upon announcement of this agreement there will be an influx of applicants, so the Government and Mr. Sheppard should have been aware of the possibility of great numbers. Anyone who knew the history of Bay St. George knew there would be great numbers . The fact that this wise Government negotiated non - blood quantum tells us all something. Dahhhhh We need leaders not followers and I apologize to the two serving on the board now, that being the ward reps from CB AND BC.

  • sean
    November 20, 2013 - 18:48

    Definition of LANDLESS- Owning no land! Nomadic wanderers! Hmm interesting. So this deal for recognition was for a LANDLESS band. How can it be then that I have to show receipts and photos of practising my culture. I guess I was suppose to go to Brendan Sheppard's ivory tower in Corner Brook or the town council office and apply for a permit to do smudging in the parking lots!! If this is indeed LANDLESS then shouldn't I be able to smudge ANYWHERE. Who decides my group acceptance? Brendan Sheppard? I guess that now we now there is not going to be an oil boom on the West Coast, the government may give the qalipu a tract of bog in the back woods somewhere! Who are they trying to kid. Mr. Sheppard and Mr.Harper, not all of us are uneducated and voiceless. You have messed with the wrong group of NATIVES!! oh and by the way, if you are university educated, then you are crap out of luck for acceptance if you went to Memorial or any other University in Canada because you have to leave the West Coast of Newfoundland unless you went to Grenfell. Absolute Crap!!!

  • Paul
    November 20, 2013 - 11:59

    My application was complete in terms of proofing ancestry. I received letter asking for attach to community and proof for sell identification. I can show attachment to community however the self Identification requirement I cannot meet according to what I am reading. The sell identification refers to a time period when I cannot sell Identify. Most applicants will fail to achieve self identifying because of this. The Federal government and Chief Sheppard already know this.... This is how they will reject thousands of applicants. We are dealing with scoundrels. The ansestry is not being given any consideration. As far as I am concerned I self identified when I signed my application. Am I less Indian because I did not self identify back in 2011? My ansestry has not and will .not ever change. Shameful piece of work co authored by Brendan Sheppard and the government.

    • Renee
      November 20, 2013 - 18:28

      amen ! Absolute crock---they take us all for fools.

    • Renee
      November 20, 2013 - 21:02

      amen ! Absolute crock---they take us all for fools.

  • Susan Lee Targett
    November 20, 2013 - 07:32

    I have submitted everything that was needed at the time my application was accepted in St. George's Band Office....now they want pictures and proof of being a Native Indian??? I wouldn't know where to start....I have been a Native Indian ever since I was a child; I just didn't know it. I was always fascinated with the land, animals and the people. I have done Programs with the people of Flat Bay who are near and dear to my heart...if the government or Brendan Sheppard wants pictures of my being a native, then by the Creator, I'll give him pictures......still does not mean a thing. I could be an ordinary person off the street with no bloodlines affiliating myself to the Native Indians.....but a bunch of pictures prove I'm a Native.....your initials suit you MR. B.S. !!!

  • Stephen in Toronto
    November 19, 2013 - 21:22

    Mr. Sheppard: On behalf of the many thousands of Mi'kmaq applicants (past and present) who have spent many hours and scarce dollars proving their heritage, please do the honorable thing. Make a declaraton on behalf of the entire group, that their proven family history as well as their efforts and desire to belong to, promote and build future Mi'kmaq culture and maintain traditional values of love and respect for the land the animals and their fellow people, is adequate proof for them to gain "acceptance by your band". Grant them all full and equal members of the band. That is the fair thing to do, which will ensure the thriving and growth of our people, our heritage, and culture for the benefit for all our families including future generations. That is the right thing to do - don't make us fight each other in the courts till hell freezes over. Nobody wins that way. We will become enemies of each other - even for brothers and sisters. Our cuture that was once almost buried and forgotten, then found, will be lost. That should not be our, or your legacy.

    • Not from here
      November 20, 2013 - 07:46

      Very wise words and certainly ones that should be acted upon by Chief Sheppard. In addition the people can vote with their feet during the next political election. The people will be heard!

    • MD B
      November 20, 2013 - 15:32

      I agree, Mr. Sheppard was elected to represent the voice of the people; he should be just as outraged with the ludicrous requests as everyone else.

  • Gary
    November 19, 2013 - 21:06

    This situation is ridiculous and Sheppard is a joke. Lets the 80,000 of us being left out form a real Band. The landless route was a serious mistake. Neither the United Nations nor other countries will recognize a landless band. Native linkage to historical lands is a necessity. In the rest of the world tribes are Nation states and must have defined territory. These people were simply trying to come up with a scheme to obtain benefits for themselves and the people they knew. There is nothing in the laws regarding Canadian Citizenship that requires one to prove they live a "Canadian" way of life, so applying a Mi"kmaq way of life standard is baseless. The lawsuit is fairly simple. A section15 case for violation of equal protection. The band can do what the heck they want but the government is a party to the supplemental agreement and they have a duty to treat all Canadians equally. Also every one who didn't sign a waiver has a cause of action under the Indian Act.

  • Barbara Viscount-Badohu
    November 19, 2013 - 20:38

    I was born in Newfoundland in the 60's by both parents of Indian descent. I don't want any money from the government. I just want the right to state that I am of Indian descent. We grow up in a world where prejudice is everywhere. Even when people say they are not prejudice it is shown somehow. African, Asian and Jamaican people don't have to prove who they are so why do we have to prove we are Indian? It's sad to see that we have to fight a government to show the rest of the world who we are truly.

  • fay
    November 19, 2013 - 19:41

    I FEEL THAT THE PEOPLE OF NL HAVE BEEN SHAFTED AS USUAL.IT IS JUST AS WELL THAT THE PEOPLE WERE TOLD NOT TO APPLY AFTER THE FIRST CARDS CAME OUT.LOTS OF PEOPLE ARE NOT APPLING FOR THE BENEFITS ONLY AS I FOR ONE ALREADY HAVE A HEALTH PLAN AND DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN TO ATTEND UNIVERSARY.MAYBE IT SHOULD BE LOOKED AT HOW SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST WASTING THE FUNDS THAT ARE AVIABLE.I FEEL EVEN THOUGH I MAY NOT RECEIVE MY STATUS I HAVE LEARNED A LOT ABOUT MY CULTURE.

  • Terry
    November 19, 2013 - 19:15

    Respect you elders! One very important criteria of aboriginal heritage. My Grand Mother said there was no Indian blood in our family when I questioned her. But I was taught these and many other ways of the qalipu by my grand mother and it was not until after the death of her last remaining brother was the family allowed to talk of it so for this reason I could not apply until the summer of 2012 so how can I now self identify....Sounds very clear very few will get it and a lot will be lucky to keep it. Guess the government still believes Joey.

  • i'll embrace my other bloodline
    November 19, 2013 - 14:53

    It brings me very close to being ashamed to call myself a NFLD Indian. I'm not going to get my card and even if I did, I don't think I'd ever go and celebrate my Indian heritage with the likes of Mr. Sheppard and the others who agreed to this elimination process. 2 of my four bloodlines are pre-confederate NFLD Indian. Maybe I should embrace the remainder of my bloodline's heritage and let the Indian culture die for my descendants. ****The 13,000 that are guaranteed COULD forfeit their status and let Mr. Sheppard Chief over 1 Indian to show support for the rest of us. ***** What was so important for Mr. Sheppard to gain to lose 90,000 of his people?

  • Steve
    November 19, 2013 - 13:56

    Where do you think Harper's government "found the money" to drop the "expected" deficit so much, so fast? The answer is simple, by changing the rules so the vast majority of 103,000 or so Nfld. applicants are denied acceptance, they saved to tons of cash. Like the Titanic, the rest can sink or swim on their own. Who's next?

  • arthur white
    November 19, 2013 - 12:25

    no comment. wait and see what happens.

  • Dorothy Spencer
    November 19, 2013 - 10:24

    Thank you President Sheppard your article in Western Star were very helpful, non confusing and very consumer friendly. Thanks again for all the hard work you have done on our behalve to enable us to be recognized for who we after all these years. Of course the benefits are important, but that little card that verifies that I am a Status Indian is priceless. I am so proud to be an Indian and it is great to be recognized for who I am . Keep up the good work and again Thank you. Dorothy From Burgeo

  • May I Speak
    November 19, 2013 - 07:29

    I vote that going forward we refer to this as "The Sheppard Mess"......all in favor.....Say I

  • Concerned NL Native
    November 19, 2013 - 07:18

    After reading the scenarios above, I would fall into the third scenario. I have provided all the required documentation, advised that I was approved, received my Federal Indian Status card and now I'm not clear whether I still require to provide proof of acceptance? According to the criteria indicated in my letter, advises me that I should have physical proof that I attended cultural events, meetings etc... Looking for feedback?

  • No Surprise Here
    November 19, 2013 - 07:10

    Mr S you hit it spot on, it is indeed an elimination process. If you back up many years ago when they though that there were only a couple thousand that would apply and be eligible it was no big deal, the gov’t could easily absorb that into the books, benefits and all. The bottom line is that NO ONE from the gov’t, Indian Affairs or First Nations did a single stitch of research to predetermine the affects if such a program was offered to those “eligible” for their criteria. Yes, when the word spread that so many people (and rightfully so) could meet it, it was an “OH CRAP” moment for them. It is now about damage control, pure and simple. So what do they do, keep tweaking it until they can finally get it to the original estimation they originally intended. No, most people don’t keep airline tickets and such non sense for years nor can a little ole lady with nothing more than bread to eat afford to track across the providence to maintain her so called eligibility. By NOT going would make her no less native than say, well, Brendan Shepard. This is an elimination process and it will be proved in court. The key is, live long enough to see it over turned, of course by the time it goes to court you’ll have a new chief by then.

  • MD B
    November 19, 2013 - 06:23

    Please do not take this as absolutely correct- and it yes, it is written in jest, making fun of the ludicrous, silly, and unfair new requests regarding enrolment in the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band - please do your own research- but, my understanding is that: This was done to 'get rid' of people as the Conservative Government realized they under estimated -the number of people applying for Permanent Status- based on being a member of the band. Good old fashioned greed kicked in, and these ridiculous rules followed: Suddenly DNA does not matter -it depends on if, you do or, do not, live in a Mi'kmaq community -AND- if you applied to join the band, before or, after Sept 22, 2011. 1. If you ARE a resident of a Mi'kmaq community in Nfld, and applied PRIOR to Sept 22, 2011, you've already met the requirement of 'self-identification.' you can now call your SELF Native, and you have 'Group acceptance' so, you can say you are part of the Native GROUP. Congratulations, your DNA suddenly makes you Native, and part of the Band. My understanding is that: you- should not have to submit additional documents. You do not have to prove you fish, took part in Native activities, because let's face it, whomever invented these ridiculous requests, isn't going to do this to themselves. 2. If you ARE a resident of a Mi'kmaq community in Nfld, and somehow -made the now deemed -awful mistake of applying AFTER, Sept 22, 2011. You've met the requirement of 'Group acceptance' --after all -you live near the GROUP, so they accept you 'However', you need to, submit proof of 'Self-identification' -things you've done- calling your SELF a Native, as outlined in the letter your received. For example; have a newspaper article from 2008 or, earlier where you called your SELF Native, and participated in the GROUP traditions. Provide a statement you are on a membership list. Sorry, applying late -when you live there- apparently takes away a part of your Native SELF, DNA. 3. If you are NOT a resident of a Mi'kmaq community in Nfld- live somewhere else - and applied to join the band PRIOR to Sept 22, 2011, you've already met the requirement of 'Self-identification' you can now call your SELF Native. BUT, sorry, you need to submit proof of 'Group Acceptance' in other words- you must prove you did something, to be part of the Native GROUP, like attend a Powwow, so the group accepts you. You must submit a copy of your airline ticket to Nfld, prove you had a Nfld moose hunting license, or prove any number of the outrageous requests, as outlined in the letter, you should have received. Without going to a Group activity or, traditions- your DNA evidentially, is only partially- Native enough- to be part of the Band. 4. If you are NOT a resident of a Mi'kmaq community in Nfld, and if you applied to join the Band, AFTER Sept 22, 2011 --your DNA, is now suddenly the- least Native- of all- you have to submit proof of 'Self-identification' something you did calling your SELF Native - such as prove your name is on a list, and you must also, have 'Group Acceptance' provide something you did, to prove you are part of the GROUP -and that they already accepted you=( even though they now wish to reject you via near impossible requests) as outlined in the letter you received- like submit a photo of yourself at a Powwow. Show your hunting license. Your 2006 airline ticket to Nfld. Unless you can provide, this, not living there, and applying late, really makes your DNA not Native enough to be a part of the Band. *You must also for ALL group acceptance, give: *at least 2 sworn affidavits -from residents- of the Mi'Kmaq group ( who's DNA is apparently better than yours) swearing before a Commissioner of Oaths -that you visit and take part in ceremonies or traditions. AND you must give a sworn statutory declaration -*from 'YOU yourself- taken before a Commissioner of Oaths- - swearing you took part in Native ceremonies and traditions. Yes you must provide documents the same for your baby, even if newborn back then. Without this, SORRY your DNA only partially makes you Native ( Much the way you suddenly do not have Native DNA is your birth certificate wasn't in the long form). A further obstacle, to get rid of people, and stop you from being part of the Band is: If you magically manage to do all this, and somehow forget your file number, on the upper right corner of documents- sorry you are just not Native enough to be part of the Band. Oh, and forget Xmas, or things like finding out, if your 87 year old Grandmother had a hunting license, if this isn't all done by Jan 31, 2014, it somehow changes your DNA, you are not Native, and can never be a part of the Band. Of course I am making fun of how ridiculous and morally wrong the requests, which should also be wrong legally.

  • venessa
    November 19, 2013 - 06:10

    What I can`t understand is that most of mu family including 2 of my children got their status buy my youngest son & I are asked to send more proof.I don`t have any thing else except what they have.If they look threw my records they will see that I have had funding threw them for school a few years ago. I think this is all a pile of crap as far as I am concerned.

  • Todd
    November 19, 2013 - 04:04

    I was accepted into the band, along with my brothers and sisters and my children. I have not yet filed my paperwork to receive my status card because of everything that is going on now. My daughter told some of her friends that she had her Indian status and she was picked on and made fun of because we lived on the east coast of Newfoundland. I will always be very interested in my heritage but I will not be taking any further action to acquire my status card. The government has turned this into a very complicated process. I've got my papers from the Qalipu first nation band saying that I'm a member and so are my kids, that is good enough for me. Being recognized by the rest of Canada is not really that important for me.

  • Emanuel Caines
    November 18, 2013 - 22:35

    What about people that was not aware of their native ancestry connection, But have found the connection through research and family history.

  • TJOE
    November 18, 2013 - 21:41

    Does the elected Chief realize that ALL the members who were acknowledged as being part of the band and on the 'list' who voted him in, makes his position as Chief very possibly null and void ( if most of the voters were not legitimate by the new ambiguous rules)? By rights, there should be another election immediately after this has had some resolution.

    • Larry
      November 18, 2013 - 22:29

      Completely agree! It is also worth noting that you can live in a area...do nothing re the band and you can still be a member. If you live outside the designated zone (of a so-called "landless band"...you have to prove involvement. What makes you Indian? It's in your blood. This is making us all look like fools.

    • marie melanson
      November 18, 2013 - 22:33

      everyone should ask for Chief Sheppards resignation. He has not coached his people well he has not looked after any of their interests . There was an agreement in 2008 application were filled out and submitted. I was accepted has had card for 4 years then contract is broken and requirements cannot be meet so cards must be returned. THIS is just and fare

    • obrienlw
      November 19, 2013 - 08:00

      I agree. If the membership is invalid...the vote must be considered invalid as well. The chief was elected my members. If many are determined not to be memebers, how can any of this be legit?

  • Thelma Dominey
    November 18, 2013 - 21:37

    I send in everything they asked for and why are they asking for more? The other people don't have to do this and only made out the same as I did. The government is changing rules just because to many people applied. I gave proof that my grandmother is an Indian. talking about going to a powwow, My family I was to one and no one ask who we were or gave us a paper saying we were there. What else can I do?

  • MR S
    November 18, 2013 - 21:19

    Mr. Sheppard does not explain why he misrepresented "our people's" best interests by agreeing to the "Supplemental Agreement". Why? Becahuse he has no defense for that. Next, he illustrates how this sham "added" agreement (predetermined eliminaton process) is being implemented. A poor actor with a bad coach. Unfortunately, for him, "his people" are smarter than that. Sly rules, applied unfairly, without recourse. Is this Canada? Do we applaud now? The "supplemental agreement" is an elimination process, nothing else. It adds new unfair rules for eligibility - retroactively! Indeed it precludes that the vast majority will be found ineligible. It eliminates those who left their home to find work, or serve our military, or for other other "honorable reasons", while brothers, sister or others staying behind are accepted. They left home so they need not hunt and trap to survive and now they and their children are denied and punished. This is leadership by the bands, and government? Call them - First Nation Disassembly of Nfld and Dept of Aboriginal Quotas and Northern Abuse. What a deal - if it looks like a rat, smells like a rat, maybe it is a ...... Maybe next, we won't be Newfoundlanders either?

    • James
      November 19, 2013 - 00:02

      M. S , amen brother, well said, couldn't be more on the mark

    • Mark Hynes
      November 19, 2013 - 06:05

      I fully agree with MR. S. Whats next for the government to disassemble.. This will be the beginning of the end of our heritage and may start a trend with other bands. This is a disgrace and more or less a Cultural genocide for the Mi' kmaq community

    • Doris
      November 19, 2013 - 09:12

      Well said................wela'lin!

    • harold whiteway
      November 19, 2013 - 14:26

      I served in the military and after retirement followed the work. I am Qalipu, I am a Newfoundlander, and I elected Mr Sheppard. did I make a mistake as he is now not representing me????

    • anomonous
      November 23, 2013 - 18:23

      Unfortunately, I have to agree with Mr.S as well. I was going to try to come to the defence of Mr. Sheppard by saying that why didn't people first apply when the first round went through rather than waiting what the first round was going to get in regards to benefits before they applied, but , after honestly looking at it, it shouldn't matter when we apply. Also, to penalize kids who had to move away with their parents who had to go away to work, I think its a total disgrace. Finally, to have a leader and council endorse something of extreme importance, the drilling and fracking on the west coast, without calling a meeting with the people to see what they think of it, well, that action speaks a lot for itself. Maybe Mr. Sheppard was a fraid that the Govt was going to reneg on its contract, but I would of had more respect for the man if he said screw u govt., no deal and fight for the original agreement. He would have a lot more support. I believe he actually thinks he is doing good, which is dilousional . It would of been better if we never agreed to that contract in the first place. He just gave everything to the govt, but I guess we should be used to that by now. I'm wondering just how much more Canada is going to screw NL over and over. When is somebody with the balls going to say ENOUGH.

  • Sherry Belanger
    November 18, 2013 - 20:14

    All of the time and hard work that people had to do in order to qualify and to be recognized as a member of the Qalipu First Nation is unbelievable but I think I can say for all of the members very beneficial and proud to be a member if such a wonderful culture. However , much to my surprise but I guess in the long run it shouldn't be , that this is the first time I have ever heard of being recognized as a First Nation Member and then the GOVERNMENT trying to rip this status away from us. As usual whatever seems to please or benefit others the one and only government seems to think that this is inappropriate when in the long run they should have done more investigating not to be asking the Qalipu members to be providing more proof. This is very disappointing and the government wonders why there is no support

    • Ardy Born With 3 Thumbs
      January 02, 2014 - 01:37

      Ms Belanger, while there is no doubt Mi'kmaq blood coursing through a lot of veins in Newfoundland, it does not mean that one qualifies for Band Membership under the Indian Act. Having to prove Indianess to gain status should not be that difficult. Knowing your roots, parents, grandparents etc should get you there in no time at all because NL has good census records and Native births/deaths (better than NS access by a long shot) to tie you to your Indian qualifier or in other words, your line of descent. I believe that is the proof Indian or Aboriginal Affairs is looking for, and of course your geographical location, which is quite specific and lists quite a number of Indian communities, unlike the scanty few in NS. Direct descendants is favorable over the more complicated grandparentage qualifier. Being Mi'kmaq is something inherited through descendancy of ones ancestors, from the former generations of Indians before the coming of Europeans. Non-natives with Status (and there are lots) does not make one a Mi'kmaq but Indian Affairs gave them status never-the-less. It happened a lot since the Indian Act first made the law. It existed in Newfounland just like in the rest of Canada prior to NL joining Canada. I have Aboriginal ties to NL, through government records and mtDNA connected to Demasduit, through my Mother and Grandmother and my children have a bigger connection to Beautiful Newfoundland that you call home. As for Qalipu being a landless band, Reservations are not owned by Indians and those that live in the houses are not owned by the occupiers either. It's a sad state of affairs if you ask me. If a person qualifies for Indian Status under the Indian Act, why apply to Qalipu? Why not just apply directly to Indian Affairs for status and be put on a General List, Atlantic Region and then see if a Band in Canada will accept you as a member if that is what one wants. You would still qualify for Medical, Education services. The same rules apply as to Indian Status General List, as opposed to Landless Band Qalipu. If you qualify, they can't deny you. Good luck.

    • Ardy Born With 3 Thumbs
      January 02, 2014 - 01:40

      Ms Belanger, while there is no doubt Mi'kmaq blood coursing through a lot of veins in Newfoundland, it does not mean that one qualifies for Band Membership under the Indian Act. Having to prove Indianess to gain status should not be that difficult. Knowing your roots, parents, grandparents etc should get you there in no time at all because NL has good census records and Native births/deaths (better than NS access by a long shot) to tie you to your Indian qualifier or in other words, your line of descent. I believe that is the proof Indian or Aboriginal Affairs is looking for, and of course your geographical location, which is quite specific and lists quite a number of Indian communities, unlike the scanty few in NS. Direct descendants is favorable over the more complicated grandparentage qualifier. Being Mi'kmaq is something inherited through descendancy of ones ancestors, from the former generations of Indians before the coming of Europeans. Non-natives with Status (and there are lots) does not make one a Mi'kmaq but Indian Affairs gave them status never-the-less. It happened a lot since the Indian Act first made the law. It existed in Newfounland just like in the rest of Canada prior to NL joining Canada. I have Aboriginal ties to NL, through government records and mtDNA connected to Demasduit, through my Mother and Grandmother and my children have a bigger connection to Beautiful Newfoundland that you call home. As for Qalipu being a landless band, Reservations are not owned by Indians and those that live in the houses are not owned by the occupiers either. It's a sad state of affairs if you ask me. If a person qualifies for Indian Status under the Indian Act, why apply to Qalipu? Why not just apply directly to Indian Affairs for status and be put on a General List, Atlantic Region and then see if a Band in Canada will accept you as a member if that is what one wants. You would still qualify for Medical, Education services. The same rules apply as to Indian Status General List, as opposed to Landless Band Qalipu. If you qualify, they can't deny you. Good luck.

  • john c park
    November 18, 2013 - 20:06

    if you went to the office with all your required paper work and it was all checked and sent off to the gov.what else do they need.

  • MD B
    November 18, 2013 - 19:06

    In response to Chief Brendan Sheppard's, article written in response to applicants, in the Western Star; with all due respect, if that is your idea of explaining and helping people, no wonder there is so much confusion. I feel this entire process was deliberately made unnecessarily complicated, to appease the Conservative Government who was 'alarmed' since realizing, it will cost more money than anticipated, due to the high number of applications for Permanent Status, based upon applicants being members of the band. I have an Aunt in her 90's who is a member of the band, you are suddenly indicating that;' If she didn't get a fishing or hunting license, attend the first Powwow gathering in 2006, when she was instead out of Province, and was in the hospital fighting cancer or, because she sold her land her to help pay for the cost of medicine- she is now less a part of the Mi’kmaq community, than her sister who resides there? You require her to give evidence, and prove she has an alliance to the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band, such as proof she got a fishing license, or hunting license, took a course to learn more, or a copy of an airline flight to Nfld from 2006?!? Really? Does anyone really keep those documents, even if they did have them years ago? For elderly people in their 80's and 90's, in nursing homes, for the disabled, this request seems especially unfair, and illogical? I feel inventing an entire new set of rules, with words like self identify or, group identify, is just nonsense, to further confuse people who were already given their Status, and good old fashioned greed and bullying. of people who are actually a part of the band based upon their DNA, not when they applied, nor where they live. It appears this new process, to 'get rid of people' is unethical, morally wrong, and should also be, legally wrong.

    • Kathy Woelk
      November 18, 2013 - 19:41

      EXÀCTLY!! I agree with this comment 100%! Bravo.

    • Patrick LePrieur
      November 18, 2013 - 21:17

      You hit the nail right on the head,i couldn't have said it better myself.thank you so much.

    • Colleen Payne
      November 18, 2013 - 22:29

      This is bull we know it and u know it Chief! I could care less about saving taxes but I wanted this piece of my history and for the grandchildren. Too many ppl applying. Lol. The government did not realize how many Indians lived in Newfoundland. Perhaps they should have done their homework before opening up such a can of worms. I am disgusted. History repeating itself!

    • Melanie
      November 19, 2013 - 02:28

      I agree. I don't see how attending a Powwow or not makes you Aboriginal. I'm white, but if I attend one does that make me part of the band too? It doesn't make any sense to apply this to everyone who already has status, especially since the genealogical qualifications must already be fulfilled if they are already a member.

  • Rita
    November 18, 2013 - 18:37

    In Flat bay our family has more native blood running through our veins then all others who live in that community but yet we're one of the families fighting to get our status cards . You tell me how thats fair ?

  • Nioma
    November 18, 2013 - 17:58

    I don't think it right. It's totally BS! And they know it. I don't have money to travel back and forth to a certain part of the province in order to prove my heritage. They are just making it hard for us first nations to have to prove this. We have given enough proof and that's how we got our status in the first place. The government just doesn't want us having them and having to worry about the taxes or money that they feel they're loosing out on..smh this is ridiculous! So now what...take back our status's?! lol

  • jackie
    November 18, 2013 - 16:13

    yes this is one big mess and we'll never be able to understand this mess i too got my letter but i gave up cause to me we are fighting a loosing battle ; the goverment always wins not the people

    • Talkingsmoke
      November 18, 2013 - 19:13

      Never ever quit....Even if you fail to get status through Qalipu you can apply directly ti Indian Affairs but it might take tiem to get approved......

  • Avril McIsaac
    November 18, 2013 - 15:58

    Thank you for this explanation, very helpful.

  • elaine hynes
    November 18, 2013 - 15:53

    I was wondering if you had your ktaqamkuk card from alliance newfoundland-canada is it good from 2003. Thank you

    • Talkingsmoke
      November 18, 2013 - 19:07

      Yes you card from KMA is good to connect you to a Mi'Kmaq band...

  • newf
    November 18, 2013 - 15:29

    disgusting to say the least...

  • Unfair
    November 18, 2013 - 15:24

    If what Chief Sheppard is saying is true & that if you got in before Sept 2011 & were in a band & live in a Mi'kmaq Community well why send out a letter saying you need more documents on the first page & then say no you don't. They are trying to confuse people. They are covering theirselves so that when March 2016 comes they can say they gave you the chance to send in more. What about those who were never in a band but can prove their ancestry? Isn't your ancestry what it's supposed to be about?? Everyone was not so fortunate as to know they were Mi'maq. The government lie and who can really trust them now after changing the rules so many times. First they changed the affadavits, then they changed that you had to be in a band before. What next.?? It's one complete mess. This is not done fairly at all.

  • theresa locke
    November 18, 2013 - 15:21

    I agree totally with Elaine. It is one big mess and a few seemingly "explanations" from the "chief" is just not enough.

  • Paul
    November 18, 2013 - 15:15

    I have no intention of going to Conn River. I have a major health problem and my status card would of helped with the medication and treatment for the rest of my shorter life. The whole situation SUCKS

  • elaine
    November 18, 2013 - 14:50

    This do not help . It will be hard to self indentify after Sept /2011 and he knows it . If not near impossible . WHy would they put that in there if it was easy to obtain. Tell the truth Chief . Call down to the office . you have a choice of approx 17 numbers to talk to ppl. Wow, all of them working for a band that is only 20,000 + strong. What are alot them getting paid to do . I do not know . This is a bad mess. Stop the abuse . Status wasn't meant for freq trips down to Conn RIver to buy skidoos and campers.

    • Nancy Park
      November 18, 2013 - 17:27

      How do we get to self identify that we are Indian??what do I need that I haven't already sent? I had proof of my address & im still in Coxs Cove where ive been all my life.

    • Theresa Fyvie
      November 19, 2013 - 18:46

      Thank you for making things clearer. I know where I stand. I am simply furious that because I don't sit home in Nfld, my native land, I might add. Without work, that I am penalized for having the momentum to get it together and get on with life. While home in Newfoundland I followed the customs of my forefathers. Every year I would obtain my moose license, .I fished in summer, ice fished in winter. I learned how to bottle all meat, fish and berries I acquired. I am one proud native. Even though I have all these skills I still needed to be able to put a roof over my kids heads. No good to know all these things and freeze. I was helped on several occasions by my fellow band members. When I was a young girl in 1984 I would sit on the steps of the courthouse every morning. Finally the FNI gave me a job working at Barachois Laboring. I was so proud. Then again in 2000 my fellow members gave me a grant to help me with two semester's of school. I was so grateful and proud that my fellow native community would help me. I felt I was a part of something so wonderful. Before I packed up and left with my children I approached my band members for help. I graduated as an LPN but couldn't be on call with two small boys. There was no way to manage this, my only option was to move away from the place me and my kids love so dearly. I do understand that jobs can't be given to every Tom, Dick or Harry so please you to have to understand that people have to move where the work is, but we take our culture with us. I kept my home in Nfld until this past year because I always wanted that permanent part of my roots. Sometimes its just not that cut and dried. I get home when I can. I visit all my native friends. I go to pow wows attend smudgings and sweat lodges. I don't take pictures of that stuff. All I have is my mortgage contract, a couple of plane itinerary, old moose license number. How can I do more? What else do I need? I was always apart of the band. I was even in the band before there was status. Back then there was such a wonderful feeling when you attended functions. Don't let the Federal Government divide our people! Please Mr. Sheppard make your people, my people proud!!