The government, Federation of Newfoundland Indians, and Qalipu Mi’kmaq Band have violated rights of applicants to Qalipu Mi’kmaq Band by creating enrolment criteria which evaluate applicants’ eligibility in an unfair manner and purposely limits the numbers accepted to the band;
Newfoundland Mi’kmaq Indians have faced a history of racism/discrimination highlighted when Joey Smallwood wrongly advised the government that there were “no indians on the island of Newfoundland” causing individuals to hide their Aboriginal ancestry;
Discrimination by Government of Canada continues today as evidenced by the enrollment committee decision letters sent out January 31, 2017, notifying applicants of acceptance/denial into the Qalipu Mi’kmaq Band;
These decisions were based upon unfair and discriminatory criteria causing concerns about family members accepted, while others denied, causing family breakdown, almost all “out of province” applicants (including military) denied despite being a “landless” band, most denial decisions were “final and not subject to appeal” prohibiting applicants to dispute, applicants were forced to “jump through hoops” by submitting vast amounts of evidence to prove themselves “Indian enough” only to still be denied; and
Rejected applicants feel renewed disenfranchisement, humiliation, devaluation and victimization with potential long-term mental health effects.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to acknowledge flaws of Qalipu enrollment process, rectify them by discarding criterion violating applicants rights, stop disenfranchising Qalipu applicants, and honor commitments to the recognition of Newfoundland Mi’kmaq people as First Nations under the Indian Act including the disenfranchised Qalipu applicants.
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