Members it has been a sincere pleasure to represent the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation this past three years, so much so that I ask for your support again for the next term. The past three years has been very busy and successful for the band and its members. I’m often told that when a person does become familiar with the internal endeavours of Qalipu they are extremely surprised about the amount of work that has to take place to accomplish the goals and objectives of the organization. I extend gratitude and appreciation to the entire staff of Qalipu for creating a team that holds attributes such as accountability, respect and honesty at the forefront when dealing with members and each other.
Some of the accomplishments in the last three years are:
- Direct employment with the Band for more than 50 individuals and four office locations across the province
- $24 + million dollars paid out in education funding to thousands of members for post-secondary diploma, degree and masters programs.
- $40 + million dollars in health benefits have been paid out to membership. We continue to pursue continued growth in this area with the recent hiring of a Manager of Health Services and the development of an Integrated Health Strategy.
- Assistance for more than 600 members with wage subsidies, self-employment assistance and youth employment programs.
- Opening of the Qalipu Strategic Partnership Office to foster meaningful relationships with communities, government and industry stakeholders. Many partnerships have been founded through this office, most notably with Emera NL and the signing of a socio-economic agreement that continues to benefit members and member owned businesses.
- Establishment of the Service Qalipu Department to deliver member services such as Community Economic Development, Culture & Heritage, and Natural Resources. This department has recently seen the development of a Tourism Strategy & Implementation Plan and an Arts and Crafts Sector Plan.
- Development of the Qalipu Cultural Foundation to support cultural documentation, and promote the involvement of youth and elders in cultural activities within the Band including educational outreach, celebration of special days and powwow support.
- Establishment of the Qalipu Development Corporation that has seen such successes as the Mi’kmaq Commercial Fishery which provides for 11 inshore fishing licenses and one 65 foot enterprise, Corner Brook based rental properties valued at $1.8 million, and a number of companies developed under the Emera NL partnership and the Maritime Link Project.
- Development of the ginu membership database which is used to communicate with members, and connect them with employment, and targeted training opportunities.
Founding of the Qalipu Business Network to help facilitate access of member owned business to local procurement opportunities. There are currently more than 200 member owned businesses active in the Qalipu Business Network and our annual Aboriginal Business Forum, Mawio’mi.
- Continual historical research to build a case for Aboriginal Rights for the Mi’kmaq of Newfoundland.
- Aggressively pursuing the provincial government and Nalcor to achieve benefits with Labrador Island Transmission Link.
- Communication Officer on staff has raised the profile of the Band to the general public as well as providing a direct link to the members who have provided their email address.
- Currently at a minimum we are sending out more than 9000 members a monthly newsletter called Maw-pemita’jik Qali’pu’k .
- Providing human resources to assist Qalipu members with the registration of newborn children and the assistance of renewing secured cards for children.
- Qalipu staff and myself sit on numerous committee, task force, boards, etc to have Qalipu’s voice heard.