Mi’kmaw, born and raised in Flat Bay, Calvin White is one of the founders of the Aboriginal revival in Newfoundland and Labrador. In the 1960s, he helped organize Aboriginal families in the province, including those in Conne River and Labrador, to form the Native Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, which later became the Federation of Newfoundland Indians (FNI).
A former chief of the Flat Bay band and president of the FNI, has also served on many national boards, including the Native Council of Canada, the National Indian Brotherhood, the Aboriginal Liberal Commission, and the National Council of Welfare. He was one of the original petitioners in the 1989 legal action brought by the FNI against the federal government, which eventually resulted in the agreement to form the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation.
Elder White received the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada, a Lifetime Achievement Award from Ulnooweg Development Group for his long-time commitment to business and business development, and The Order of Newfoundland and Labrador. He was awarded a Human Rights Champion Award, an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Memorial University, the Canada 150 Sesquicentennial Pin, and was appointed to The Order of Canada for his pivotal role in achieving recognition for Newfoundland
Mi’kmaq and his longstanding commitment to the rights of his people.
An Elder and cultural mentor to his community and to Mi’kmaq across the province, he strives to preserve and celebrate their unique identity.