Do Mi'kmaw in Newfoundland have their Federal Status?
Yes members of the Conne River Mi'kmaq and the Qalipu Mi'kmaq 1st Nation Band
Do you have a copy of our language (the words, phrases, and their pronounciations) that can be posted on our website for all our members to read and learn?
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Thanks for this very important question. Yes I do and I will be posting them soon. There are a number of very good websites out there that not only show the Míkmawísimk alphabeth but also have the pronounciations and are very interactive. I have picked a few of the best ones and added it to our language and culture webpage. Please check them out. They are the next best thing to being in a classroon learning the language. I use these sites all the time.
We hope to have actually local Mi;kmaq language classes in our area one day soon. Other than that, why not sign up for Mi'kmaq language classes at the University of Cape Breton or elsewhere.
Has Benoit First Nation joined the Federation of Newfoundland Indians?
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No. we are not a band under the FNI, but many of us were registered with the FNI under their general membership list. The FNI had never found it necessary to include all Mi'kmaq communities outside Conne River. But we agreed with and supported the deal being brokered by the FNI and we became status indians under the Indian Act in the Qalipu Mi'kmaq 1st Nation Band. We saw this as our only option.
Will Benoit 1st Nation continue to accept non-status members even after registration with Indian and Northern Affairs?
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After registration we will accept transfers in and out of the band of full status Mi'kmaq.
But we will welcome those Mi'kmaq who did not get registered but are connected to our Mi'kmaq Community.
What about non-status Mi'kmaq who do not particiapte in this process for full status under a landless band? Will they be ever able to get their status?
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First of all, let me say that the process to register the Mi'kmaq is open to everyone with the historical connection to a Newfoundland community and with the proper documentation. This includes all participating Newfoundland bands outside of Conne River and who do not have court/legal action against the Federal government. Registration will be ongoing for some (Nov 2012) period of time.
After this period of time when the founding list are finalized, if these people who voluntarily did not participate in this process have a parent, uncle, aunt, brother and/or sister who did gain their status (and is still living), they will be able to apply directly with Indian Affairs in Ottawa at any time through the standard INAC process that could take up to two years.
General Indian Act registration rules apply - as is the case for the rest of the country.
Are there any fees associated with registration as an indian under the Indian Act?
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No, none whatsoever associoated with the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs. There is an application process but NO fees. This is a fact. Why would anyone find this fact hard to understand?
It can be said that getting your long form provincial birth certificates and other documentation may cost you money, but that is an indirect cost.
Fees charged by any non-status bands have nothing to do with federal registration. Being first nation is a birthright and cannot be bought or renewed. It may also cost you money to prepare your documentation for registration. So there can be indirect costs.
Are there any rights associated with band membership cards? Can I get any tax breaks?
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The answer is NO if you are refering to band cards from non-status bands as are ALL the bands in Newfoundland outside Conne River and outside the Qalipu Mi'kmaq 1st Nation Band.
There are no tax breaks associated with such non-status band cards and the use of your card for these purpopses is fraud and tax evasion in the eyes of the Provincial and Federal governments. Anyone who tells you otherwise is misleading you.
Only status Indians who hold status cards (only issued from Ottawa) have any rights in this regard. Rights may vary from province to province. These rights are usually on reserve.
Can NL Mi'kmaq be registered as status Indians?
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Only if they were registered with the Conne River Mi'kmaq in the 1980s or now under the registration process with the Qalipu Mi'kmaq 1st Nation Band. There is no other way.
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