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Qalipu First Nation continues a lengthy waiting game.

The Federation of Newfoundland Indians remains tight-lipped about the lengthy legal proceedings All actions that are authorized or sanctioned by law and instituted in a court or a tribunal for the acquisition of rights or the enforcement of remedies.  that surrounds the three-year battle for the creation of the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation.

"This matter is now into a legal process and I am not permitted to speak until this matter is resolved," said president of the Federation Brendan Sheppard.

The establishment of the Qalipu band was originally scheduled for sometime this spring, however, the decision of Mi'kmaq elder Calvin White to seek a legal remedy A legal remedy is the means by which a court of law, usually in the exercise of civil law jurisdiction, enforces a right, imposes a penalty, or makes some other court order to impose its will. In Commonwealth common law jurisdictions and related jurisdictions (e.g.  to his concerns about the creation of the band is what has delayed the process indefinitely.

White has said he believes all of the applications for enrolment into the band must be processed before the Qalipu band is formed. He filed for an injunction several weeks ago.

As of Nov. 30, 2009, the enrolment committee of the First Nation had received nearly 26,000 applications, 11,000 of which had been approved for the initial membership.

The delay in the formation of the band means that approved applicants are stalled from receiving the benefits that come from being recognized under the Indian Act. Post-secondary funding, health benefits and funding for additional programs are only some of the entitlements that approved band members are forced to wait for.

"Everything is on hold until the band is formed because we don't have access to funding to move forward with anything," said Sheppard.

On Nov. 30, 2007, the Federation of Newfoundland Indians entered into an agreement with the federal government, outlining the provisions of the official recognition of the Newfoundland Mi'kmaq as status Indians.

Prior to the recent legal turmoil, the government of Canada The Government of Canada is the federal government of Canada. The powers and structure of the federal government are set out in the Constitution of Canada.

In modern Canadian use, the term "government" (or "federal government") refers broadly to the cabinet of the day and
 had announced an accelerated process to address the overwhelming membership applications for the band.

On Feb. 1, Chuck Strahl Charles Strahl, PC, MP (born February 25, 1957 in New Westminster, British Columbia) is a politician in British Columbia, Canada. He is a Member of Parliament in the governing Conservative Party of Canada, and is the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. ., minister of Indian Affairs (INAC), expressed his optimism about how the accelerated process would eliminate a delay in the Mi'kmaq receiving status.

"This arrangement should provide comfort to those who filed completed applications by Nov. 30, 2009 in that they will not have to wait long to be added to the band list once they are approved for membership," said Strahl in a press release.

However, waiting is all there is to do until the courts have reached a decision.

While arguments ate heard in court, INAC has no choice but to put the band's creation on hold, said INAC spokeswoman Margot Geduld.

According to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 Sheppard, affidavits will be presented to the courts from each side, followed by a decision from the judge based on the information presented.

White, former chief of the Flat Bay Indian Council, became a founding member of the Qalipu First Nation Watch Group formed in January. White opened membership to his organization to anyone who had submitted a membership application to the Qalipu band.

The Elder has been critical of the fairness and equality shown by the Foundation's board of directors in regards to determining Mi'kmaq status.

Windspeaker attempted to call White to comment on the case, but our calls were not returned

The push to get the federal government to recognize the Mi'kmaq people of Newfoundland began in 1972.

Applicants for membership must be able to prove their Mi'kmaq ancestry.

Though Qalipu First Nation will officially be recognized by Canada as an Indian Act band, members will not receive a land base.

Qalipu is the Mi'kmaq word for caribou Caribou, town, United States
Caribou (kâr`ĭb), town (1990 pop. 9,415), Aroostook co., NE Maine, on the Aroostook River; inc. 1859.
; an animal that has always played a role in the survival of the Mi'kmaq people throughout history.

Windspeaker Staff Writer

CORNER BROOK Corner Brook, city (1991 pop. 22,410), W Newfoundland, N.L., Canada, on the Humber River. It is Newfoundland's second largest city and has a large pulp and paper mill. Other industries include lumbering, salmon fishing, and quarrying. Nearby is Gros Morne National Park. , NL
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Author:Thompson, Isha
Publication:Windspeaker
Date:May 1, 2010
Words:577
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