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This article is about the unrecognized territory. For the people who claim it, see NunatuKavut people.
Proposed Autonomous area
The village of Red Bay, Labrador, in NunatuKavut
The village of Red Bay, Labrador, in NunatuKavut
Country Canada
Province Newfoundland and Labrador
Capital Vâli, Labrador
 • Type Proposed parliamentary democracy within the parliamentary system of Canada
 • President Todd Russell (since 2012)
Population (2007)
 • Total 6,000
Time zone AST (UTC-04)
Postal code prefix A0P
ISO 3166 code NL
Federal riding Labrador (electoral district)
Provincial riding Cartwright-L'Anse au Clair and Lake Melville

NunatuKavut is an unrecognized Inuit territory in Labrador. The NunatuKavut people (also called Inuit-Metis or Labrador Metis) are the direct descendents of the Inuit that have lived south of the Churchill or Grand River since time immemorial, with European influence from Basque and French whalers.[1]

Nunatuĸavut or NunatuKavut [ˈnuːnətuːhəvuːt] means "Our ancient land" in the ancestral Inuttut dialect of the NunatuKavummuit people. The Nunatuĸavut region encompasses Southern Labrador, from the Grand River (Newfoundland-imposed 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][2]

Land claim[edit]

In the late 1970s, the Labrador Metis Association was created by the inhabitants of Labrador's southern coast to gain recognition as a distinct ethnocultural group,[3] as at the time despite a pre-existing treaty protected under the constitution, the "Inuit-Metis" were considered to be merely the descendants of Inuit who had joined Western society.[1] Little was known about the history of the "Inuit-Metis" of the time. In 2006, the Labrador Metis Association initiated a project with Memorial University to better understand their past through the Community-University Research Association (CURA).[3] Following research by CURA, the "Labrador Metis" were understood to be a continuation of the Inuit people of southern Labrador.[1]

The Labrador Metis Association promptly changed its name to reflect their newly discovered heritage, and became the NunatuKavut Community Council. In an effort to enforce the treaty of 1765, NunatuKavut launched a land claim with the federal government that is currently being negotiated. As a part of this land claim, the NunatuKavut Community Council asserts that the Muskrat Falls and Lower Churchill hydroelectric project fall on their territory.[4]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d STOPP Marianne, 2002 Reconsidering Inuit presence in southern Labrador, La revue Études Inuit 26(2):1-106
  2. ^ The forgotten Labrador (Cleophas Belvin; ISBN 0-7735-3151-3; (bound))
  3. ^ a b 2010 "Unveiling NunatuKavut", NunatuKavut Community Council
  4. ^ NunatuKavut says it’s not backing away from the Lower Churchill development - Local - The Telegram