(Frequently Asked Questions)
Why did the Qalipu Watchdogs decide to Incorporate?
The Qalipu Watchdogs sought legal advice as to the best way to move forward in its mission to represent the interests of its members. Based on the legal advice obtained, we incorporated to provide legitimacy to our organization.
Will the mandate of the newly incorporated organization be different than the Qalipu Watchdogs?
No our mandate remains the same, however we will now be able to move forward as a recognized organization in the best interests of our members.
Why are you using the word Assembly in your title?
We are an assembly of people seeking admittance to the Qalipu First Nations Band. We are not a non-status band as it would have no significance to refer to ourselves with this title.
What will be done with the membership fees?
A membership fee provides us with legitimate enrolment of our members. There will be legitimate costs associated with pursuing the mission of the MFNAN members. Building a legal fund is crucial to our cause.
Will MFNAN represent the applicants of people not living in Newfoundland and Labrador?
The MFNAN mandate is to fight for all applicants regardless of their place of residence. The present changes seem to be targeting those applicants that don’t live in the listed Mi’Kmaq communities, however our court challenge will include all our members.
Who can become a member of MFNAN?
All persons interested in the Mi’kmaq of Newfoundland shall be eligible to apply. Members must be willing to abide by the Constitution and By-Laws of the Mi’Kmaq First Nations Assembly of Newfoundland and must maintain an interest in the activities of this organization. Membership is granted after completion and receipt of a membership application and annual dues.
If I am not a member of the MFNAN, will I still be represented?
Our objective is to represent all applicants to the Qalipu Band. We do not know however if and when we go to court whether non-members of the MFNAN will be included in any action. This will be a matter for the lawyers and the court.
As witnessed recently, had most applicants been a member of the FNI, then the self-identification would not be an issue. Hence, we cannot predict what will happen in the future to those who are not members of the MFNAN.
If a court challenge is not deemed necessary will the donated monies be distributed to recognized charitable organizations?
All monies that are collected and not used by the committee will be donated to support recognized First Nations’ initiatives.
Will a financial audit be done on an annual basis?
As stipulated by our constitution, an annual audit will completed and made available to the membership.
If necessary will the MFNAN group challenge the ruling of Government, Qalipu and FNI in court if the new negotiations are not favorable to the applicants whose applications are in limbo?
MFNAN is committed to taking any steps necessary to achieve the goal of ensuring that all outstanding applications are assessed fairly and equally. Legal action is one of the many options that we will continue to consider should it become necessary. It is important to remember that no legal action can be taken until the Qalipu band and the Government announce what steps they have taken.
Does the leadership of the MFNAN have any idea of the costs associated with a court challenge?
This is very difficult to determine. The retainer fee is $10,000.00 and the court case could be $100,000.00 or higher depending on the length of time it takes.
Is the group documenting who is donating and the amounts donated?
Yes, we keep active records of all donations made.
Once the court proceedings are finished does that end the membership?
Once the court proceedings are finished, it will be up to the members of the MFNAN to decide if they wish to continue. The plan of the MFNAN is to continue and help promote the Mi'Kmaq Culture
How does the yearly membership have to be paid?
The yearly membership can be paid through online banking, PayPal, Email money Transfer, or by Mailing a Cheque depending or their preference.
If you are not a member or paying member will you still benefit from the court proceedings?
We are not entirely sure if the people that aren't members of MFNAN will benefit from the court challenge brought on by MFNAN. This may be a decision for the courts.
I would be more willing if I knew I would get my Indian status card but because I live in Ontario what are my chances. Why should I pay a lot of money if my chance of getting my Indian status card is slim.
MFNAN is representing everyone regardless of their place of residence. Our annual fee per member is going to be 20.00 for adults and 5.00 for anyone under the age of 18. This is a very modest fee but necessary to help fight our cause. No one can guarantee your status. At present, with the changes announced, many applicants will be denied. Your best option is to join MFNAN so that as a group we can fight for justice. There is strength in numbers.
How many people are in the group and will members be updated on a regular basis regarding the legal action. Will individuals who don’t pay be notified and be asked to pay up or be removed from the membership
The membership will be notified on a regular basis of the membership totals and the status of the legal challenge as the information is made known to us. All members will be required to pay their dues on a yearly basis. Members whose dues are in arrears will be notified and further action may be required if payments are not made. This may result in the member being released as stated in our constitution.
I am willing to pay a yearly membership, but I can not truly answer this question until I am aware what my money will be used for, exactly who the money would be going to (lawyers name) and a detailed plan of what exactly the lawyer would be doing for us as a group.
The money will be used to pay the legal team. Information will be released as we are advised by our lawyers. Members of MFNAN will be kept up to date on a regular basis. The MFNAN site will allow for questions from the membership and all questions and answers will be posted. As per our constitution, a yearly audit will be completed and financial information will be made available to our membership.
I have been a supporter from the beginning but I have felt uncertain about the decisions being made or even the issues under consideration. I guess the bottom line is that paid membership must bring "MEMBERSHIP RIGHTS" with it, e.g.; voting on issues of importance.
We are in agreement that members will have rights. There will be annual general meetings where members can vote on major issues. It is our intent to keep the membership engaged on activities relating to our court case.
I made a donation to Qalipu Watchdogs in February 2013 of $100.00 This donation represented myself and 4 of my family members, in other words $20 per person. I feel that our membership should be covered for 2013.
Anyone who donated money will be considered paid up for their first year. Annual payments will begin once our year end is determined. You just have to notify us of the details of your donation and who it covers. This can be done at firstname.lastname@example.org
Concerned about exclusion as some might not join because they can‘t afford to. Also difficult to know who to follow or where to turn. I think we need to perhaps have satellite meetings in various areas including those of us in St. John’s.
MFNAN is here to represent all the applicants and the present members of Qalipu that may lose their status because of the changes made to the agreement by FNI and the Federal Government. We are planning to do public meetings however please feel free to post any questions you may have.