The Qalipu Cultural Foundation Needs Volunteers!

The Qalipu Cultural Foundation is a charitable organization that supports Mi’kmaq culture in our province.  Through the Foundation, and the contributions of their partners and sponsors, QCF helps provide cultural experiences, and provides funding to grassroots community groups to host their own cultural workshops, teachings and events.

Are you or someone you know culturally engaged in the community and committed to learning about Mi’kmaq culture from Elders and knowledge keepers?

The Foundation is currently seeking nominations for its Board of Directors.  Please, click here to learn more and find the application form.

2018 Ke’tipnemk (Harvest) Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction

The 4th annual Ke’tipnemk (Harvest) Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction took place on Saturday, October 13th, at Jennifer’s Restaurant. There were 115 people in attendance to experience an evening of cultural celebration. The event included a three-course meal, cultural experiences, and a silent auction featuring a beautiful display of over 40 pieces of art and handmade crafts donated by local community members.

The evening started with a prayer from special guest, Stephen Augustine, and a room smudge by Nicole Travers. Stephen was visiting Newfoundland from his home in Cape Breton where he is Hereditary Chief on the Mi’kmaq Grand Council and Associate Vice President of Indigenous Affairs of Unama’ki College at Cape Breton University.

The first cultural experience of the evening was an interactive language lesson lead by Marcella Williams and Shane Snook. As everyone was enjoying their moose stew appetizer, Marcella and Shane explained the Mi’kmaq words for the food and other items on the table.

Guests were then treated to a lesson and demonstration of the traditional Jingle Dance by Arlene Blanchard-White and youth dancer, Madison Bedo. Audience members were invited to learn the steps of the Jingle Dance and enjoy a group dance.

Paul Pike and Brian McHugh sang a collection of traditional and original songs to cap the evening. Paul also played the traditional flute and hand drum.

This year’s event raised over $6000 for the Qalipu Cultural Foundation. This money is used to support programs that enhance Mi’kmaq culture in Newfoundland. QCF provides funding for local cultural events, the RNC Police Academy, Outdoor Education at Killdevil Camp, and National Indigenous Peoples Day.


Art and Craft Donated by: 

Allan Todd Neil                                  Odelle Pike                                      Dominic and Jack Blanchard

Bunchberry Beadwork                     Marilyn Matthews                          Scott Butt

Lisa Hann                                           Trudy Veitch                                   Cora Butt

Dawn Sampson                                 Shirl Lake                                        Marie Eastman

Dawn Baker                                       Georgette Pike                                Lynda Langdon

Jackie Alcock                                    Duncan Chisolm                            Diane Dabinett

Natural Boutique                             Brian Lasaga                                   Herb Hopkins

Susan Engram                                 Symone Howell                               Glen Pardy Art

Pauline Gilley                                  Edith Miller                                     Florence Pinhorn



Mountain Level:                                                   Brook Level:

Tract Consulting Inc                                           Pirates Haven

Barry Group                                                          Holiday Inn Express

Tree Level:                                                             WaterWerks Communications

Corner Brook Pulp and Paper                          Brendan Mitchell

River Level:                                                           Mervyn & Sherry Dean

Poole Althouse                                                     Keith Goulding

Parks Canada                                                        Colemans


Allan Todd Neil

Antler Carving by Allan Todd Neil


Moccasins by Pauline Gilley


Beaded Earrings by Bunchberry Beadwork


Jingle Dancers, Arlene Blanchard-White and Madison Bedo


Planning Committee Member, Sherry Dean with Stephen Augustine



The Annual Ke’tipnemk Dinner and Silent Auction 2017

The Foundation recently hosted its third annual Ke’tipnemk Fundraising Gala and Silent Auction on October 14, 2017 at Jennifer’s Restaurant in Corner Brook. The event featured donated artwork from indigenous artists, musical performances by Souli’an and Angela Brown, and sharing of the dance with Fancy Shawl Dancer Julia Blanchard. A three-course meal, consisting of expertly prepared traditional foods, was served. Labrador tea, harvested and prepared by the planning committee, was also served. Money raised at the gala is used to promote and support grass roots initiatives, involve communities in learning opportunities and preserve our heritage for future generations.

“This year the Gala made a total of $14,040.00 in tickets sales, sponsorship, arts and crafts. After this year’s expenses were paid we have cleared $9,150.52” – Mitch Blanchard, Resource Coordinator

Message from the Chair:

Well another successful Ke’tipnemk Harvest Gala. The food was delicious, the company exceptional, the ambiance exquisite, and the entertainment beautiful, thought provoking and sublime.

The artwork, crafts and items for auction met the high standards of previous years ensuring competitive bidding. I wish to acknowledge the contributors of these auction items. Whether it was a donation, or a 50/50 consignment, your donation is so gratefully appreciated. I, and the Qalipu Cultural Foundation Board, thank you for being a very large part of the evening. We could not have proceed without you.

The Qalipu Cultural Foundation relies heavily on the monies raised at our Annual Gala to support Mi’kmaq/Aboriginal culturally based programming in our communities. With the help of our many volunteers, we continue to work towards fulfilling our mandate.

Initially the Dinner/Art Auction format combination was chosen not fully knowing what kind of response it would receive. This past Gala being our third annual event, I can only say I think it was, and is, a solid choice. In three short years the Harvest Gala has gained recognition as being a premier event. It has grown, not only in terms of money raised but in becoming a Cultural event of its own. Each year, I see Aboriginal Artists and Crafters become more confident in the works they produce and chose to contribute to the Foundation. I see Aboriginal performing artists embrace their cultural roots. In the faces of the people attending I see a pride in being part of this Cultural heritage, reawakening and evolution. I also see people who are eager to share all these aspects.

I would also like to thank the Qalipu Band for its support and the staff who work so tirelessly each year to ensure that the Gala is a success.


Marie Eastman
QCF Chair

Your passion makes our communities stronger

Artists and Crafters

Briar Bennett Dawn Samson
Duncan Chisolm Janice Cooper-Hardy
Jenna Osmond Lisa Dicesare
Marcus Gosse Marilyn Matthews
Nicole Travers Nona-Matthews Gosse
Pauline Gilley Ralph Eldridge
Robin Gosse RONiN Photo
Sherry and Marvyn Dean Yes B’y Beading
Scott Butt



Mountain Level

Allen’s Fisheries Limited Pal Airlines
Steele Communications Tract Consulting Inc
Valard Construction LP  


Tree Level

Fougere Menchenton Architecture Inc Pirates Haven
State of the Arts Western Steel
River Level Comfort Inn
Four Season Boat Tours Dr. Mervyn & Sherry Dean
Humber Motors Ford Inventors Group



Brook Level

Barnes Sporting Goods Blanchard’s Heating & Cooling LTD
Colemans Dicks and Company Basics
Marble Mountain Resort Marble RV
North Atlantic Petroleum  


Friends of the Foundation

George Alteen Ltd Newfound Sushi
Mike Broadbent Jennifer Broadbent
Chase Broadbent Oberyn Broadbent


Julia Blanchard, Fancy Shawl Dancer
Antler Carving by Scott Butt


Antler Carving (Flying Eagle) by Brad Gilliam

Ke’tipnemk (Harvest) Fundraising Dinner & Silent Auction 2017

On October 14th, 2017 Qalipu Cultural Foundation (QCF) hosted its third annual fundraising gala, the Ke’tipnemk Dinner and Silent Auction. Jennifer’s Restaurant will be radiating with the soft light of the candles, as the tables will be dressed with the traditional Mi’kmaq colours of the medicine wheel. Join us for an elegant three course dinner, and a warm atmosphere that includes story telling, songs, and over 40 pieces of art and craft donated by local indigenous peoples for auction at the event.

For more information on Qalipu Cultural Foundation dinner and silent auction,  or to donate or to become a sponsor please contact Mitch Blanchard at (709) 634-8046 or email

The Qalipu Cultural Foundation regrettably wishes to inform its members of the recent resignation of its Chair, Sherry Dean.

Since being elected to the position of Chair in 2015, Sherry has worked diligently to see that the Foundation’s mandate was met, often above and beyond the necessary.  The Board shall miss her enthusiasm and dedication.  We thank you Sherry and wish you nothing but the best  for the future.

As Vice Chair of the Qalipu Cultural Foundation, I have stepped into the position of Acting Chair.  I know I have big shoes to fill and I only hope to live up to Sherry’s legacy.

I look forward to working with the Board and Staff.  I too, offer my dedication in endeavoring to fulfill the QCF’s mission.

Thank You

Marie Eastman,
Qalipu Cultural Foundation, Acting Chair

Update: Gros Morne Indigenous Cultural Festival

The Qalipu Cultural Foundation regrets to advise members and the public that the Gros Morne Indigenous Cultural Festival, originally scheduled to take place August 4-6 in Cow Head, has been cancelled.

Event organizers planned this event to bring indigenous peoples from across the province together to share elements of their culture with each other, the people of our province, and park visitors. It was intended to be an opportunity for our people; artisans, story-tellers, knowledge keepers, musicians and crafts people, to share their talents and gifts, as well as acquire new skills through training opportunities associated with this event. Despite the cancellation of this event, the Qalipu First Nation and Parks Canada will continue to work together to provide opportunities for cultural sharing and skills development.

Please visit for upcoming events and opportunities

Gros Morne Indigenous Cultural Festival

The Gros Morne Indigenous Cultural Festival is being planned to bring indigenous peoples from across the province together to share elements of their culture with each other, the people of our province, and park visitors.  It will also be a significant opportunity for our people; artisans, story-tellers, knowledge keepers, musicians and crafts people, to share their talents and gifts, as well as acquire new skills through training opportunities associated with this event.

I am thankful to the people who contributed input to our discussion session held Wednesday, May 31st regarding the planning of the Festival.  I have also been following discussions on social media and out in the community.  It is through hearing the point of view of a broad range of community people that we plan how to best move forward.  Likewise, our initial meeting in Cow Head, with representatives from the municipality and members of the Mi’kmaq community, was very positive.

We will continue with consultations as we plan the agenda.  Our next step is further engagement with the communities of the Northern Peninsula.  A town hall meeting involving Cow Head and adjacent communities is being planned.  We recognize the importance of support and leadership from those communities.

We have heard your voices.  Our focus for the event going forward will be to create an opportunity for indigenous artisans and crafts people, singers, drummers, story tellers and knowledge keepers to celebrate our unique and diverse cultures.  We will continue to seek and follow the advice of Elders and knowledge keepers to ensure a respectful, culturally sensitive and family-based event.

Sherry Dean,
Chair, Qalipu Cultural Foundation

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