Former Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band chief Brendan Sheppard says he and others in Flat Bay do not support the idea of the community separating from the band.
The idea was initially made public by Flat Bay Chief Liz Lasaga, who recently posted about it on social media to quell rumours that separation from Qalipu was in the works. Lasaga would not do an interview, but in her post said separation was an option that might be explored in the future if needed.
'Flat Bay band only exploring separation from Qalipu as last resort'
Elder Calvin White of Flat Bay did do an interview and reiterated separation would be a last resort if Flat Bay could find no other way to access funding to operate the community, as it cannot receive funding like that which municipalities or local service districts can access.
The ideal options, as described by White, would be to either have the federal government allocate a pot of money to be administered directly to Flat Bay for the services it provides to its residents or to have that funding source administered via the Qalipu band to the Flat Bay band council.
Sheppard said the idea of separation is new to him and many other residents living in Flat Bay.
Further, he doesn’t support the idea because he felt giving one community within the Qalipu structure special status may lead to others asking for special treatment as well.
“While I am not against Flat Bay or any other ward of Qalipu advancing the development of their communities, I am certain that the two options to either have the federal government administer a special core funding allocation to Flat Bay via Qalipu or to find a way to provide that money to Flat Bay would be options that all other wards would like to have as well,” said Sheppard.