Wednesday, February 6, 2013


A few weeks ago the CBC released an exclusive Nanos Research poll which indicated that more than half of Canadians feel there's an urgent need to change federal government policy toward aboriginal Canadians.

Here in Newfoundland and Labrador, nearly 100,000 people have declared themselves as Mi’kmaq. 

The Newfoundland Mi’kmaq claim a special historical bond built by generations of men and women who traveled the island’s interior, lived along it’s shorelines and harvested the wild foods of the land, rivers and bays.

The Qalipu First Nation grew out of the Federation of Newfoundland Indians.  When the federal government announced in 2007 that Mi'kmaq in Newfoundland and Labrador would be eligible to receive status under the Indian Act, the Federation had about 7,800 members.

The latest request for memberships saw a tsunami of applications overwhelming the fledgling bands infrastructure to vet the membership.

The Qalipu First Nation has expressed fair concern that many of these new requests from people who have declared themselves as Mi’kmaq are embellished. They believe the opportunity for status has created a strong desire among many to tap into the bands resources and benefits.

Suddenly, being a Mi’kmaq is a good thing and people want to cash-in. This is a sentiment shared by many non- Mi’kmaq. They see folks who could care less about their aboriginal ancestry receiving “benefits” that are paid for by the taxpayer. It irritates many.

I certainly understand that irritation. First Nation’s in this province, and country, have a reputation for mishandling resources. This reputation has grown into a stereotype. The result is that many Canadians feel First Nations are not responsible with the resources that are provided to them. 

Is that fair?

Of course not, every level of government in this province has it’s share of corrupt, greedy administrators and political leaders. Look at the conflict of interest allegations in Toronto, Montreal, London and Vancouver or the volumes of town clerks charged with fraud in this province. Look at our own House of Assembly, where at least four MHA’s went to jail for robbing the system.

Corruption and greed are universal human attributes. They lurk in the hearts of many, white and First Nation.

It is not racist to question how First Nations, Metis or the Inuit spend funds provided by the Canadian taxpayer. It is racist to single them out as corrupt abusers of public funds. 

The Qalipu First Nation and the Government of Canada will decide who legitimately deserves status. 

Every man women and child in this province that can demonstrate that they are of Mi’kmaq ancestry and meets the criteria established by The Qalipu First Nation deserves the benefits and rights of their heritage.


Anonymous said...

look at all the money some of this indian band crowd has wasted in St. george's and the crossing. It is a click that has always looked after each otter. Pete you was out here. Be honest.

Anonymous said...

How come the Qalipu are recognised, but Labrador Metis aren't?

Peter L. Whittle said...

That would be better addressed to that group. The Qalipu are a recognized First Nation. The Metis across Canada have been working towards recognition for decades. All one has to prove to be Qalipu is that they are descended from Mi'kmaq (pre-confederation). There is no % of bloodline considered.

That said there was a significant development and discussion of what Metis rights under 3.35 are sui generis. The federal court ruled recently that 200,000 M├ętis and 400,000 non-status Indians in Canada are indeed "Indians" under the Constitution Act, and fall under federal jurisdiction.

Anonymous said...

It is a bull shit! There is more indian in my irish toe nail than in most of these Qalipu fraudsters.

Peter L. Whittle said...

Look, no matter how you feel about an individual, if they meet the criteria they have an inherent right that predates your ancestors arrival in North America.

It is shame that the English and the Vikings did not sign a similar arrangement with the Irish.

WJM said...

The Irish?

Peter L. Whittle said...


in response to a previous post and very racist email about being irish and not getting any money from UK for the being a conquered people.

Anonymous said...

people of Irish descent in Canada, and NL might want to consider a retroactive class action suit against the government for the racism they were subject to in our early history...however, having said that, was it official government policy or just 'English society'...

maybe Paddy Daley can look into it since he so upset to not be able to apply for Qalipu status.

Anonymous said...

People have to remember that it wasnt to long ago, 6-7 years ago, most people wouldnt have qualified, not because of not being Mi'kmaq, but because, the people in charge wanted it that way. It has been refered to by the chief as the "origional" 7500. No one under 18 was allowed to join. well that ruled me out and 20 thousand other kids. No one who lived out of Provence was allowed. Geez, thats 2 for 2, i moved away for work when i was 17, like most people do, i just didnt go back for 6 months to draw my pogy or work the system like so many of you seem to forget. So even when i did know i was Mi'kmaq, i was 17, living in a Mi'kmaq community and couldnt submit an application. Fair? No, I could have had this done a long time ago. Now, after some rules were changed about age and where you live, (agreement between Qalipu and Feds) I along with many, many more people now had the chance to go back and find all the information and this time instead of keeping it secret, we told our aunts, uncles grandmothers, grandfathers and cousins and shared documents, information and resources to meet all the requirements set out by Qalipu and the Federal Government. Now everyone's shocked there are so many natives. And, ill leave you with one last thought. How many men had babies with other men that were on the ships that sailed here from europe? Answer, less than 1 percent, the rest had native wives.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree that if you meet the criteria (legitimately) then you deserve the benefits and rights to be apart of the Qalipu First Nation Band. Saying that I’m sure that there are some who have their status/waiting to get status that have no legitimate claim. If you seen Snook’s commentary on NTV there is some truth to what he had to say. The criteria to become a member of this band are flawed and can easily be manipulated. As you stated there is corruption everywhere and getting into this band is no different.

The only true way to find out if you are of native ancestry is to have your DNA tested. With the advancements in DNA research this can easily be obtained. Not sure about the cost but it will give definitive proof of your genetic makeup. If they can trace a King of England buried over 500 years ago to a family here in Canada using DNA then I’m sure they can check to see if people have native DNA in them.

Another point I would like to bring up is why does everyone think they are of Mi’kmaq ancestry? Has anyone ever given it a thought that they could be descendants of the true native people of this island? The Beothuk!!! It doesn’t appear to be. Everyone is longing to be Mi’kmaq. The Beothuk would have been the first natives on this island the Europeans would have had contact with and not the Mi’kmaq as they were not here. (There have not been any archeological discoveries of Mi’kmaq on the island of Newfoundland prior to first contact). Mi’kmaq oral history may say otherwise (apparently it was stated in the 20th century) but how difficult is it to make up a story. No doubt that there are people of Mi’kmaq (possibly a mix of Mi’kmaq and Beothuk) ancestry on the island and they have been here for awhile but to claim as a Beothuk descendant would open up a whole new can of worms in which the federal/provincial governments wouldn’t want to come to light. To have people on the island descendants of the Beothuk would cause havoc for them. As mentioned above with the advancements in DNA research this may be a possibility to figure out whether it be now or later in the future. This is probably why the government gave the go ahead to form this landless band. Get everyone who is of native ancestry signed onto this band thus giving up their rights to land claims etc; If I were the people trying to claim status a DNA test would be a way to go for definitive proof of native ancestry. I would get tested for both Mi’kmaq and Beothuk DNA. If it came back and tested for Beothuk DNA then I would go and see my lawyer and not worry with trying to join this band. A band that doesn’t want them anyway.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is convinced that DNA will show ancestry of natives. I wonder how many on reserve families on the east coast have the so called native markers.