Image via @CFCBRadio.
Almost 100 people gathered at the steps of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq offices on Church Street yesterday, protesting the Qalipu application process and the large number of applications for the band yet to be processed, with the March deadline for status quickly approaching.
At issue is possible changes to membership qualifications for the Qalipu. The application process ended in November, and after the receipt of 100,000 submissions, some 70,000 have yet to be processed. Concern is mounting as to whether or not those remaining applicants will be subject to the same guidelines.
An agreement with the federal government which recognizes their status is set to expire at the end of March. Some of the demonstrators at Monday’s event said they haven’t been able to get a straight answer from Sheppard on what will happen after that.
MP Gerry Byrne was in attendance as well (VOCM even reports the protest as being organized by the MP), but after being invited inside the office and asking for a meeting with Qalipu Band Chief Brendan Sheppard (who was not in attendance at the time), was promptly asked to leave.
What do you think of the Qalipu band application process? Let us know in the comments!