Forced relocation of Inuit acknowledged

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Monument to be unveiled in memory of Nutak

A ceremony will be held today at the site of the once-vibrant community of Nutak, acknowledging the pain caused by the forced resettlement of its residents.

The Inuit community, located along the coast in Northern Labrador, was shut down and residents moved in 1956.

There was no consultation before the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador cut off services to the area.

Families were divided in the process of resettlement, despite promises of support.

In new homes, in areas further South, former Nutak community members were left uncertain of their rights on new hunting and fishing grounds.

Nutak was not the only forced relocation. The community of Hebron was similarly emptied, in 1959.

As part of the Inuit Land Claims Agreement, government recognized the pain caused by the forced resettlement of these Inuit communities and committed to monuments recognizing the movements.

In 2005, then-premier Danny Williams issued an apology to the residents of Nutak and Hebron.

“As a result of the closures, and the way they were carried out, the Inuit of Nutak and Hebron experienced a variety of personal hardships and social, family and economic problems,” Williams said, as part of that apology.

“What happened at Nutak and Hebron serves as an example of the need for governments to respect and carefully consider the needs and aspirations of the people affected by its decisions.”

The memorial to be unveiled at Nutak includes the text of the apology as well as the names of former residents.

The unveiling is expected to include former residents of the community, as well as representatives from the provincial, federal and Nunatsiavut governments.

 

 

Geographic location: Nutak, Hebron, Northern Labrador Newfoundland and Labrador Nunatsiavut

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Recent comments

  • KR
    August 15, 2012 - 09:33

    Do we really need all these monuments??? Resettlement made sense years ago. Many communities were isolated with no services and they should not expect govt to build a road to a community of 20 people. Now they are spending thousands for a monument and thousands for the ceremony in a place that nobody will see it. 20 years ago I fell on George St and cut my knee but I don't see a monument. When you have to boil water or the RNC don't have enough staff to catch the bad guys, I have to wonder how govt spends it money.

    • Labradorman
      August 18, 2012 - 07:14

      KR if you fell on George street 20 years ago then you must of had a good life while growing up and must be from Newfoundland, and probabaly wasnt forced to relocate out of your home in your lifetime, i been to quit a few places in newfoundland and there is paved roads to communities that has less people living there than some communities here in labrador, it always was and always will be about the island part of this province and labrador is used for its natural resources to keep the newfouldland afloat, labrador is the reason newfoundland has what it got

  • Fred Penner
    August 15, 2012 - 08:50

    Not to diminish the suffering of the Inuit....but what about the forced relocation (resettlement) of everyone else in the 50's? Resettlement was the order of the day.

  • Harold
    August 15, 2012 - 08:44

    the government was bent on resettlement during the 50's and 60's, not only the innu were forced to resettle,. communities, villages and small towns all along the coast of Newfoundland Labrador were forced to resettlement. many faced very hard and difficult times. wether resettlement was good or bad is a matter of openion and who you speak too. too bad the final chapter on Government resettlement of the 50's and 60's was never written

    • W McLean
      August 15, 2012 - 10:49

      The story's about the Inuit, not Innu, and there is no such thing as "Newfoundland Labrador".