OTTAWA, July 4, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister
of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, and Brendan Sheppard,
President of the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI), today
announced a Supplemental Agreement that will address shared concerns about the integrity of the enrolment
process for membership in the Qalipu Mi`kmaq First Nation.
"The Mi'kmaq people of Newfoundland hold a unique place in Canadian
history and our Government is committed to implementing the 2008 Agreement for Recognition of the Qalipu Mi'kmaq Band in a manner that reflects the original intent of the Agreement," said
Minister Valcourt. "I am pleased that we have reached a supplemental
agreement that will address our shared concerns about the enrolment
process. This agreement will protect the integrity and credibility of
the Qalipu Mi`kmaq First Nation by ensuring that only those with a
legitimate claim to membership and registration are enrolled."
"The 2008 Agreement was intended to recognize the Mi'kmaq Groups of
Indians of Newfoundland as a band for the purposes of the Indian Act," said FNI President Brendan Sheppard. "The Supplemental Agreement will
ensure that all valid applications submitted since the enrolment
process began in December 2008 will be reviewed in accordance with the
criteria for membership that was originally negotiated."
The Supplemental Agreement reached between Canada and the FNI includes
clarification of the requirements for enrolment, additional
documentation requirements for applications, and an extension of the
2008 Agreement timelines. By extending the timelines and by agreeing to
review all applications, Canada and the FNI will ensure that those
people whose applications would not have been processed under the time
limits contained in the 2008 Agreement will be processed. This ensures
that all applicants, no matter when they applied in the process, will
be treated fairly and equitably.
During the four year enrolment process for membership in the Qalipu
Mi'kmaq First Nation, over 101,000 applications were received, most of
which followed the announcement of band creation in September 2011. In
the final 14 months of the enrolment process, more than 70,000
applications were received, including approximately 46,000 between
September and the end of November 2012. Both Canada and the FNI
recognize that these numbers are not credible and undermine the
integrity of the First Nation.
The Government of Canada and the FNI will continue to work to ensure all
applicants are treated fairly and equitably during this review process.
Information on what will be required to support applications will be
available at www.aandc.ca/qalipu and www.qalipu.ca in the coming weeks. Furthermore, all applicants will be sent a letter
in November 2013 that outlines the next steps for the consideration of
applications and whether further documentation is required. The
Supplemental Agreement and Directive can be viewed online at www.aandc.gc.ca/qalipu and www.qalipu.ca.
SOURCE: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
For further information:
This release is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca
Office of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern
Federation of Newfoundland Indians
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