Qalipu enrolment process update

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

Help for emotional distress

The Government of Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians recognize that the Qalipu enrolment process has important implications for persons 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 use their new online chat counseling service, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Reassessment based on disability

The Government of Canada and Federation of Newfoundland Indians are implementing an initiative to accommodate people:

The people affected by this situation received a letter on July 31, 2021 explaining steps to follow to request a reassessment as well as how the enrolment committee will reassess files.

Instructions

The reassessment is based on the following scenarios:

  • Scenario A: Your disability significantly restricted or prohibited from travel for much of the period from 2006 to September 22, 2011.
  • Scenario B: Your disability required you to move from in or around one of the 67 geographic locations of the Mi'kmaq Group of Indians on the island of Newfoundland to accommodate your disability within the period from 2006 to September 22, 2011.
  • Scenario C: Your disability required you to move from elsewhere on the island of Newfoundland to accommodate your disability within the period from 2006 to September 22, 2011.

If one of the above scenarios applies to you and you would like a reassessment, please send us the Disability Declaration form completed by a medical provider and all documentation supporting your request. For details on what documents are required as well as the list of acceptable communities, please visit the instructions page of the Disability Declaration form.

In order for your application to be reassessed, your application must be sent and postmarked no later than September 14, 2021. Any request for reassessment received after the deadline will not be considered by the enrolment committee.

If you have any questions, please call the Government of Canada's Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation toll-free line (1-800-561-2266; TTY: 1-800-465-7735).

Update on exploratory discussions and reconsideration initiative

As announced in November 2018, the Government of Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians have been holding exploratory discussions regarding people who were denied founding membership based on the group acceptance criterion and who were involved in the enrolment process.

These people denied founding membership include:

The results of the discussions between the Government of Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (the "Parties") have led to a reconsideration initiative specifically with the group of veterans and active service members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police mentioned above.

Veterans and active Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police members

This proposed reconsideration of founding membership for veterans and active service members will be done through a new agreement to be co-developed with the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians. Through this new agreement, applicants who applied for founding membership will be able to provide documentary evidence of service on or before September 22, 2011 in order to have the opportunity to have their file reassessed. The Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation intends to consult with its membership in order to seek their concurrence prior to moving forward with this initiative.

More information on the implementation of this reconsideration will be shared with individuals once it becomes available this autumn.

Members of the Federation of Newfoundland Indians and their affiliates

Due to the active litigation on enrolment, the decision to pause further discussions on a potential reconsideration for founding membership for individuals who held a membership in the Federation of Newfoundland Indians and their affiliates is maintained.

Residency

Following administration reviews regarding residency, Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians have concluded that 239 applicants who were assessed on the point system (group acceptance) will have the opportunity to provide additional documentation in order to have their file reconsidered. Only those who receive a letter will be impacted by this initiative. The mail-out took place on May 31, 2021.

Are you part of the class action Gregory Charles Collins v. Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians?

What the Collins class action is

The Federal Court of Appeal certified this proceeding as a class action and appointed Mr. Gregory Charles Collins as the representative of "all individuals whose application for Qalipu Band membership were rejected in accordance with the 2013 Supplemental Agreement."

The class action alleges that the establishment and implementation of the 2013 Supplemental Agreement was unlawful. In addition, it is alleged that Canada breached it's fiduciary duties to the class and class members rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by establishing and implementing the 2013 Agreement for unlawful or improper purposes. The Class Action seeks the following relief:

  • Setting aside the rejection of applications pursuant to the 2013 Supplemental Agreement;
  • The consideration or reconsideration of applications pursuant to the 2008 Agreement;
  • Damages for breach of fiduciary duties and violations of class members' Charter rights, among other monetary remedies.

To consult the notice approved by the Federal Court:

Who is eligible

All individuals whose application for Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation band membership were rejected in accordance with the 2013 supplement agreement unless they opted out of the proceeding by January 14, 2021.

For more information you may contact the class counsel:

Koskie Minsky LLP
Telephone: 1-800-315-5570,
Email: qalipuclassaction@kmlaw.ca,
Web: Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation Band Class Action

Status of the Wells decision implementation

Individuals who were reconsidered under the self-identification criterion as part of the implementation of the Wells Federal Court decision and who subsequently received a denial letter from the Enrolment Committee were given the opportunity to appeal the decision.

All appeals were handled by Appeal Masters, a neutral and independent third party who was jointly selected by the Government of Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians.

Decisions rendered by the Appeal Masters to those who filed a valid appeal notice by the September 14, 2020 deadline were communicated on March 31, 2021.

In the case you did not receive the decision letter, please contact the Government of Canada's Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation toll-free telephone line (1-800-561-2266; TTY: 1-800-465-7735) to explain you did not receive your letter from the Appeal Master and the letter will be reprint and sent to you again.

2021 updates to the Founding Members List

As a result of the wells implementation, administrative review and settlement litigations, the names of 302 applicants were added to the Founding Members List which came into effect on May 1, 2021.

What does it mean for you if your name is added to the Founding Members List

You received a letter from the Indian Registrar on May 31, 2021 that:

When you receive your letter and Temporary Confirmation of Registration Document, you may apply for a Secure Certificate of Indian Status.

To find out more about Indian status and status cards, visit Indian status.

If you did not receive the May 31, 2021, letter containing the Temporary Confirmation of Registration Document, call the Service Canada call center at 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232), TTY: 1-800-926-9105, or the Public Enquires line at 1-800-567-9604.

Services and benefits

Once you are registered, you will then be able to access services and benefits available to Status Indians, such as the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program and the Post-Secondary Student Support Program.

To find out more, visit:

Newly eligible persons

If your parent is newly registered as a Status Indian, you also may be entitled to registration. You will have to submit an application seeking registration under the Indian Act.

To find out more, visit Are you applying for Indian status.

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.

As set out in the 2008 agreement, a person was eligible to be enrolled as a Founding Member if, in the assessment of the Enrolment Committee, that person:

Every applicant was required to provide objective evidence to establish their current and substantial connection to the Mi'kmaq Group of Indians of Newfoundland leading up to September 22, 2011, date of the Recognition Order.

In 2013, Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians signed a supplemental agreement 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 would have received a decision by mid-April 2018.

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

The Order in Council came into force on June 25, 2018. The Founding Members List replaced the list from 2011 and was given to the Indian Registrar for action throughout summer 2018.

Persons who were newly eligible for founding membership in the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation were registered as a Status Indian under the Indian Act and were sent a letter of confirmation dated July 31, 2018. On August 31, 2018, persons 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 registration category amendment.

The Federal Court case Wells 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 Court determined that:

Of the eligible of the reassessment, a total of 7,199 requests for reassessment were received. Following a review by the Enrolment Committee, 582 applications passed the self-identification criterion. Of those, 296 were successfully assessed on the remaining criteria of group acceptance and ancestry.

Results of the enrolment process to date

As a result of the 100,682 applications reviewed during the enrolment process, the Founding Members List was updated in 2018 to comprise 18,575 members with:

  • 13,479 remaining on the list
  • 5,096 added to the list

Of the 10,396 removed from the previous list, approximately 2,700 had their registration category amended but remained a band member and retain their Indian status.

Applicants numbering 71,711 were denied founding membership, not having met the enrolment criteria.

With the 2021 updates, the Founding Members List is now comprised of 18,877 individuals.

Based on those numbers, the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation, with a membership of approximately 24,681, will continue to be the second largest First Nation by population in Canada. It is anticipated that approximately 95% of the membership will be comprised of people who live in Newfoundland and Labrador and 5% of people who live elsewhere in Canada, reflecting the intent of the 2008 agreement to establish a band composed of persons having a current and substantial connection to the Mi'kmaq Group of Indians of Newfoundland.

Current Mi'kmaq communities

Locations of Mi'kmaq groups of Indians in Newfoundland:

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