NunatuKavut people

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People of NunatuKavut (NunatuKavummiut)
Labrador Metis, Inuit-metis
Regions with significant populations
Languages
Newfoundland English, Inuttut
Religion
Protestant, Evangelical Christianity, Animism.
Related ethnic groups
Inuit peoples

The NunatuKavummiut (also called the people of NunatuKavut, Labrador Metis or Inuit-metis) are an Aboriginal people of Canada. They live in central to southern Labrador, and are of mixed Inuit and European heritage. They are unrelated to the Red River Metis of Western Canada, but may still be considered "Metis" in the widest sense of that word, being of mixed heritage.

Nunatuĸavut or NunatuKavut means "Our ancient land" in the ancestral Inuttut dialect of the NunatuKavummuit. The Inuit region encompasses Southern Labrador, from the Grand River (Newfoundland name: Churchill River), South to Lodge Bay and West to the extent of the official border between Quebec and Labrador. However, the land use area is much more extensive.[1]

History[edit]

Arrival in southern Labrador[edit]

The people are the sole ancestors of the southern Inuit of Labrador who have, they claim, continuously occupied and used the region for almost a thousand years, long before the Government of Newfoundland made any real foray into the area in the early 20th century.[2]

According to one theory, the Inuit arrived in Labrador in the 15th century from Baffin Island. Archeological evidence shows they lived as far south as the Sandwich Bay (Newfoundland and Labrador) area.[3]

Contact with Europeans[edit]

The Inuit were in conflict with the Basque and French whalers beginning in the mid-1500s.

Treaty of 1765[edit]

Following the defeat of France in the Seven Years' War, Britain laid claim to Labrador. The British governvor of Newfoundland Sir Hugh Palliser signed a treaty with the southern Labrador Inuit in 1765.[4]

Metisage[edit]

During the 19th century, some European men, settled, took Inuit wives, and permanently assimilated into the local culture. Although influenced in many ways by prolonged contact with seasonal workers and merchants, the culture and way of life has remained distinctly Inuit.[5]

Organization[edit]

The organization claiming to speak for the Labrador Inuit-Metis, was originally called the Labrador Métis Nation, and was formed in the early 1980s. In 2010 that group changed its name to Nunatukavut (the same as the territory they claim).[6] They are members of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples along with other non-Status Aboriginal groups.[7]

Land claim[edit]

The Labrador Inuit-Metis claim NunatuKavut as their homeland, and are in process of launching an Aboriginal land claim with the Canadian courts. They are also active in the debates around the Lower Churchill hydroelectric project, and the damn at Muskrat Falls.[8]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The forgotten Labrador (Cleophas Belvin; ISBN 0-7735-3151-3; (bound))
  2. ^ The Story of Labrador by Bill Rompkey Publisher: Montreal : McGill-Queen's University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-7735-2574-2 DDC: 971.82 LCC: FC2149.4 Edition: (bound)
  3. ^ http://www.heritage.nf.ca/aboriginal/metis.html
  4. ^ http://www.nunatukavut.ca/home/files/pg/british-inuit_treaty_1765.pdf
  5. ^ Royal Commission White Paper on Renewing and Strengthening Our Place in CanadaNunatuKavut people
  6. ^ http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2010/04/13/nl-nunatukavut-413.html
  7. ^ http://www.abo-peoples.org/our-affiliates/
  8. ^ http://www.thetelegram.com/News/Local/2012-09-17/article-3076486/NunatuKavut-says-it%26rsquo%3Bs-not-backing-away-from-the-Lower-Churchill-development/1