OTTAWA, March 18, 2016 /CNW/ - The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, and Brendan Mitchell, Chief of the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation, today provided an update on the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation enrolment process.
In September 2015, the Federal Court set aside two Enrolment Committee decisions as a result of judicial reviews that were launched by two applicants who had been notified by the Enrolment Committee that their applications were invalid (on the basis of a missing signature and long-form birth certificate). The Court ordered the Enrolment Committee to continue assessment of both applicants for membership.
Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians decided not to appeal and will apply the same reasoning to all 6,500 invalid applications. As such, all 6,500 applicants will be given an opportunity to correct their applications, and provide additional documentation relating to self-identification and/or group acceptance in support of their applications, for review by the Enrolment Committee pursuant to the June 2013 Supplemental Agreement. This reflects the same opportunity provided to applicants who had been determined to have submitted a valid application.
Over the coming months, the Enrolment Committee will communicate directly by mail with individuals impacted by this decision. At this time, no action is required by individuals whose applications were deemed invalid.
The Government of Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians are currently assessing the impact of this additional step on the overall timelines of the enrolment process and remain committed to the fairness and integrity of the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation enrolment process; this decision reaffirms that commitment.
"Canada and the Federation of Newfoundland Indians want to make sure this enrolment process is done right and that all eligible applicants have the best possible opportunity to state their case as to why they should be a member in the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation."
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs
"I am pleased that both the Federation of Newfoundland Indians and Canada now support the fair evaluation of approximately 6,500 applications initially deemed invalid, as in the cases of Mr. Sterling Clyde Foster and Mr. Alex Howse. I am pleased with the court decision. The Enrolment Committee representatives will work in earnest to address the additional applications. I look forward to the conclusion of the enrolment process and will continue to advocate for the fair and equitable treatment of our Nation, and its applicants."
Chief of the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation
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SOURCE Government of Canada
For further information: Contacts : Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160