About Us

Qalipu

(Pronounced: ha-lee-boo, Meaning: Caribou)

Qalipu First Nation is a vibrant Mi’kmaq First Nation Band established in 2011 under the Indian Act. With membership of 24,000 spread throughout 67 traditional Newfoundland Mi’kmaq communities and abroad, we are among the largest First Nation Bands in Canada.

Newfoundland is part of the traditional Mi’kmaq Nation whose territory extends from Quebec through the Maritime Provinces and into Newfoundland.

Please visit our Band website www.qalipu.ca to learn more about who we are.

WASPU is the Mi’kmaq word for Seal.

In Indigenous culture, the seal represents imagination, creativity, trust, and integrity. For hundreds of years Indigenous cultures of Newfoundland and Labrador have relied upon seals. A large percentage of the seal was eaten, and the rest of the animal was used for clothing, tools, and crafts. Within the spirit of this Seal, we see the ancient Mi’kmaq Eight-Pointed Star with the four direction colours symbolizing diversity and inclusiveness of all nations on Earth. Mi’kmaq double curve designs are painted on each side of the Mi’kmaq Star representing balance of nature, environmental conservation, and stewardship.

For hundreds of years the harvesting of seals has been relied upon by Indigenous peoples of Newfoundland and Labrador, and longer still by Indigenous across Canada’s North.  In all regions and by all peoples, one thing was common. The hunting was conducted to provide food and clothing as part of a traditional way of life, and in later years to also provide income to support themselves and their communities. The 1980’s saw pressure from extremist animal rights groups that succeeded in closing the United States and European Union markets to seal products. This essentially shut down the commercial seal harvest in Canada.

The ensuing thirty years has seen an explosion of the seal herds with current estimates of up to eleven million Harp, Grey, Hooded, Harbour and Ringed seals off the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador. The impact of these numbers on the rebuilding of cod, wild salmon, and other commercial and non-commercial fish stocks has been severe. Science is now predicting that Gulf cod will be extinct within thirty years due primarily to seal predation.

Mi’Kmaq Commercial Fisheries (MCF) is an independent, indigenous company owned by the Qalipu First Nation (QFN). 

It manages all commercial fishery activities on behalf of the QFN.

Qalipu members possess inherent rights to engage in fishing activities in areas adjacent to their traditional, ancestral lands and waters. 

We are honoured to present WASPU as a natural health product. Like our ancestors before us, we embrace what mother earth provides, take only what we need and willingly share with others the pure goodness of our bounty!

Stewards of the environment

One of the guiding principles of Qalipu First Nation and all Indigenous people is environmental stewardship and the promotion of a balanced ecosystem. As an indigenous group whose members and communities are directly affected, we take the position of having a moral responsibly to protect, promote, and celebrate our oceans and the life they sustain. The hunting, consumption and diversified usage of seals is interwoven into the fabric of Indigenous people’s heritage, traditions and culture. Qalipu seeks to engage locally, nationally, and internationally to advocate for the humane harvesting, processing, marketing, and 
consumptive-use of seal products.