The Second Annual Ke’tipnemk Dinner and Silent Auction

On October 22th, 2016 Qalipu Cultural Foundation (QCF) hosted its second annual fundraising gala, the Ke’tipnemk Dinner and Silent Auction. Jennifer’s Restaurant was radiating with the soft light of the candles, as the tables were dressed with the traditional Mi’kmaq colours of the medicine wheel; red, white, black and yellow. In addition to an elegant three course dinner, guests enjoyed a warm atmosphere that included story telling, songs, and over 40 pieces of art and craft donated by local indigenous peoples for auction at the event.

Sherry Dean, Chairperson of the Foundation, was pleased to report that again this year, the Foundation surpassed its fundraising goal.  She said, “Through individual and business sponsorship, sale of the beautiful works of art and craft donated by local indigenous artists and craft people, and ticket sales, we raised over $17,000!”

The event attracted more than 100 guests from throughout Qalipu territory, including Frank Skeard, Ward Councilor for Glenwood.  He said he was more than happy to travel in for the event which he and his wife Deneka had been looking forward to for some time.

“We are all on our own journey,” he said. “While I was pleased to attend to represent the people of the Glenwood Ward, I also attended for the cultural discovery that is part of my own personal journey.  This event was a great balance of social get together, and cultural sharing.  I’m so glad I got to be a part of it.”

With the funds raised at this event the Cultural Foundation will able to advance their mandate and continue to support the following:

  • Outdoor Education Program, and other cultural events
  • Provide workshops and cultural teachings on: tobacco ties, medicine bundles and pouches, talking sticks, rattles, moccasins, medicine walks and drum making.
  • Provide cultural teachings and sharing within the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District.
  • Host Mini Powwows
  • Provide cultural teachings and sharing for seniors.

On behalf of the Qalipu Cultural Foundation Board of Directors, and the Qalipu Chief and Council, Thank You to all the artists/craft persons and sponsors who supported the event, and to the hard-working volunteers who Chairperson Sherry Dean said “brought the event to life.”

Artists & Craft Persons Sponsorship
Audrey Wells Mountain Level
Brian Gillam Cox & Palmer
Brian LaSaga Tract Consulting Inc
Dru Kennedy Tree Level
Georgina Payne Bonnell Cole Janes Chartered Accountants
Golden Gifts Plus Dr. Pamela Elliott
Harry Skinner Fougere Menchenton Architecture Inc
Jenna Osmond H.J. O’Connell LTD
Joanne Brake Bennett The Hebron Project
June Farnsworth River Level
Kelly Anne Butler Areco limited
Mala Barnes Sporting Goods
Marcus Gosse Dr. Mervyn & Sherry Dean
Marie Eastman Humber Motors Ford
Marilyn Bruce Marblewood Village Resort
Marilyn Matthews Western Lock Industries
Marlene Farrell Yield Communications
Melinda Hiller
Melissa Tremblett Joint Sponsorship: Broad Reach Strategies Ltd & Conach Consulting Ltd.
Mildred & Mac Lavers Brook Level
Nicole Travers Accurate Construction Ltd
Pauline Gilley Doris Hicks
Ralph and Blain Ford Michelle Patrick
Ralph Eldridge Mike & Jennifer Broadbent
Reg Barry State of the Arts
Ruth Travers
Trudy Campbell


Did you miss the Gala? Search #QCFgala on social media, and experience the amazing event through the eyes of dinner guest!

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Artist Paul Pike sharing the “Gathering Song”

 Matching Butterfly earrings and necklace by Marilyn Matthews.

One of the beautiful items up for auction

Foundation Director Kevin Barnes sharing a story at the Gala


Seniors Mentoring and Leadership Project – A Cultural Approach

On October 20-23 at Killdevil Camp eighteen Qalipu First Nation members the retreat allowed senior Band members to become engaged in cultural sharing activities such as medicine identification, smudging, ceremonies (sunrise; water), talking circles, oral history and storytelling, crafts and games, and other cultural Mi’kmaq teachings. This project provided seniors with the opportunity to be more actively involved in their communities, build cultural capacity, and support their communities through sharing their traditional knowledge expertise with others.

The retreat will begin with a traditional meal, followed by an evening of networking and cultural sharing. The next two days will be followed with cultural leaders sharing their knowledge and engaging seniors in cultural teachings. The final day will begin with breakfast, followed by a debriefing (in the form of a talking circle) before seniors return to their respective wards.

In addition to allow the participants sharing the treat provided an opportunity for the seniors to meet and experience cultural knowledge from cultural leaders. Everyone had the chance to experience cultural teaching sessions and ceremonies, as well as other invited guests who will engage in activities like medicine walk, teachings on sacred practices, the sweat lodge, working on a wampum belt, medicine wheel, sunrise ceremony, traditional game – waltes, Mi’kmaq language and information on the Qalipu Cultural Foundation

Objectives which are anticipated to be covered during the retreat through various teaching sessions and activities include:

  • Creating leadership amongst Band members,
  • Engaging seniors in culture and heritage,
  • Inspire more seniors to become engaged and build capacity within their community,
  • Promote inclusion for seniors who are geographically isolated, and
  • Promote sharing of seniors’ knowledge to other generations.

The retreat was a great success and we hope to be able to continue to offer such great experiences.

“It was the experience that I will carry in my heart. The education, teachings, I love all of the program. Great to feel being part of my heritage.”       -Retreat Participant

Qalipu Cultural Foundation’s Inaugural Fundraising Gala

The evening of October 24th, 2015 marked the Qalipu Cultural Foundation’s inaugural fundraising gala, the Ke’tipnemk Dinner and Silent Auction. Jennifer’s Restaurant was aglow with candlelight and traditional Mi’kmaq colours, adorned with artwork donated for silent auction by aboriginal artists of the province, and bubbling with the chatter and good spirits of the 120 attendees.

Sherry Dean, Vice-Chair of the Qalipu Cultural Foundation was emcee for the evening. She spoke to the importance of the Foundation’s mandate, and gave personal reflections on growing up as a ‘jackatar’ in western Newfoundland, a term that was often used in reference to French-Mi’kmaw in the region.

She said, “I want to give my children, all our children, back the culture that our generation never got to know. When being called jackatar was shameful. Today I can proudly say we are Mi’kmaq. The funds raised here tonight will help us share this pride.” Dean’s comments were met with applause and nods of acknowledgement from the room.

Mitch Blanchard, Resource Coordinator for the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band, works closely with the Foundation announced today that the final fundraising amount totals $15, 867.00, which surpassed their $10,000 goal. Blanchard said, “I’m humbled by the support and generosity of the community, the businesses and the families and individuals who donated and attended our event.” Proceeds from the gala will be put toward programs including cultural teachings for youth, elder symposiums and outdoor education.

A special thanks to all the artists/craft persons and sponsors who supported the event.

Artists & Craft Persons Sponsorship
Brent Joey Bennett Mountain Level
Dawn Samson Conach Consulting
Debbie Mallard Cox & Palmer
Exploits Native Women’s Association Fougere Menchenton Architecture Inc
Jenna Osmond Valard Construction
Jerry Evans Tree Level
Jim Samms ATCO Structures & Logistics
Joanne Rose BCJ
Kayla Stride Dr. Pamela Elliott
Keith Cormier The Hebron Project
Keith Piercey Nalcor Energy Lower Churchill Project
Mala Tract Consulting Inc
Marcus Gosse River Level
Marilyn Bruce Allen’s Fisheries
Maureen Blanchard Jef Comdon
Melinda Hiller Brad & Jasmine Elliott
Nelson White City Pharmacy
Patsy Cameron Fairway Honda
Pauline Gilley Humber Motors Ford
Scott Butt Michelle Patrick
Wendy Brake Spirit of Newfoundland Productions
Western Lock
Brook Level
Dennis Chevrolet Buick GMC LTD
Deanne Solo
Doris Hicks
Gorveatte Consulting Inc
Joan Green
Joy Howard
Reg Barry
Sherry Dean
West Coast Office Pro
Tiffany Johnson – Butt in loving memory of Kevin Aloyisious Butt


Symposium Feedback

An Elders Symposium (Stephenville) and a Cultural Symposium (Grand Falls) were hosted by the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation and Cultural Foundation this past year, a first for the newly established Foundation.  Each of these events were well attended and received positive reviews from participants.

Tyrone Mulrooney, participant in the Cultural Symposium, commented on the positive feeling of the event “a big thank you to everyone for the day that we shared together. I left Grand Falls-Windsor feeling very positive, encouraged and feeling a sense of belonging and pride. It was good to see old friends, make new ones, and feel the energy of the talking circle.”

Colleen Paul, who works with Qalipu First Nation shared in a similar experience.  “It was a truly amazing day. It was very informative and at times very emotional. We are all born to make a difference and in order to do this we needed to be informed and this is just the beginning. My ancestors were very active in our modern day communities and my only heartache is that they did not live long enough to celebrate recognition. BUT, throughout the day I was reminded of my ancestors and could feel their presence in the room. Here we are, beginning a process to celebrate, learn, teach and revive our Mi’kmaq culture.”

Traditional Use Study

During winter and spring 2014 volunteers were interviewed and gave generously of their time and knowledge as Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation updated the Traditional Use Study (TUS).  This study contains valuable data on land use for hunting, fishing and gathering, sacred ceremonies, and edible plants and berries.  The compilation of this data is an invaluable resource and we thank all volunteers who participated.  In the near future we will see an additional update and expansion to the TUS with interviews planned for the Stephenville and Flat Bay areas.  We value your contributions.

Culture and Heritage School Outreach Program Continues

Over this past year we’ve hosted, supported and partnered with various organizations and groups to offer Culture and Heritage School Outreach Programs that include: curriculum delivery, cultural teachings, drum making and mini powwow. Our planning committee met recently to begin planning for the current school year.  Interest in the program has grown since its inaugural delivery at Humber and Sacred Heart Elementary schools last year and, this year two new schools have been added to the delivery schedule.  Kevin Barnes, Vice-Chief of the Qalipu First Nation, and volunteer with the education outreach program reports, “We did our first session at C.C. Loughlin and St. Gerard’s Elementary this past Thursday, January 29.  This was the first of a six week series with those schools so the focus was on introductions, getting to know one another, and what will come in the weeks ahead.”