The return to Nutak

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Published on August 20, 2012

A map in the Happy Valley-Goose Bay offices of the Government of Nunatsiavut shows the Okak Islands area, where the community of Nutak was located. It was forcibly resettled in 1956. Also highlighted on the map is the community of Hebron, resettled in 1959. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

At “the dock” in Lake Melville on Aug. 15, guests of the Nunatsiavut Government are helped onto a government Twin Otter float plane, destined for Nutak. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Stopping over in Nain to pick up passengers, people gathered on the waterfront waved as Inuit elders looked out the plane door in search of family and friends rarely seen. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

The flight to Nutak passing through draws dozens from the community of Nain out to the waterfront for a look. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Additional guests join the flight at Nain. Included among them is the president of the Nunatsiavut Government, Sarah Leo. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Sarah Leo joins the rare flight to Nutak at Nain.  — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

After landing on the run from Nain to Nutak, guests were taken to shore from the float plane by boat. The long, shallow shoreline at Nutak meant the plane could not come too close to the land. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Elders on the first flight were greeted by family and friends as they arrived. Tents erected by younger members of the community, who had made their way to Nutak over land, or by boat, dotted the site of the former community. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

The arrival was emotional for many of the elders, some not having seen the area in over 50 years. Nutak was cut off from all services 56 years ago, forcing families to move to communities further South. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Watching the arrival of the second of two scheduled flights to Nutak. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

An emotional arrival. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

MP Peter Penashue and MHA Randy Edmunds both attended the ceremony. Edmunds traveled in over land while Penashue, a guest of the Nunatsiavut Government, arrived by float plane. Edmunds shed his ballcap, donning traditional dress for the ceremony held later in the day.  — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

The last building still standing in Nutak. In fact, few clearly visible signs remain to suggest a community was once centred in the area —a few wooden foundations, two graveyards and a scattered chair, rusted tool or etched rock. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Making dough boys for a mid-day meal. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Fixing a rifle scope. The meal served to Inuit elders at Nutak included fresh ptarmigan, shot earlier in the day. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Watching the arrival of flight No. 2. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

On the way to the shores of Nutak. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Some were overcome with powerful memories, crying, wailing, as they arrived in Nutak, while other had broad smiles and laughter, as they greeted friends and family. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Flowers destined for the grave at Nutak. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

A relocatee of Nutak, Jessica Ford, returned for the ceremony of reconciliation, the unveiling of a memorial to the Nutak resettlement and a meal with long-lost friends. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Following a brief meal, visitors gathered at the site of a new monument to the Nutak relocation. Monuments in Nutak and Hebron, valued at $20,000 and paid by the province, were included as part of the Inuit Land Claims Agreement. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

hree bronze plaques on the monument display an apology to the people of Nutak and Hebron (also resettled) from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, an acceptance from the Nunatsiavut Government and the names of Nutak relocates. Here, the Lyall family names are shown, including former Nunatsiavut president Jim Lyall. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Johannes Lampe acted as master of ceremonies. Lampe is a relocate of Nutak, having been just nine months old when his parents left. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Nick McGrath (left) spoke on behalf of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, re-reading the apology for the forced relocation of Nutak first offered by the province in 2005. The apology was then read aloud in Inuktitut  by Wilson Jararuse. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

The Nain choir performs as part of the Nutak ceremony. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Published on August 20, 2012

Leaving Nutak. For many of the Inuit elders, it would be the last time they would see the land where they grew up.  — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

On Wed. Aug. 15, the Nunatsiavut government held a special ceremony in the remote community of Nutak. While little stands in the area now, it was once an outpost around which a vital Inuit community flourished. When services were cut off to the area in 1956, taking away supplies and jobs many had become reliant on since the arrival of the Hudson’s Bay Company, the Inuit residents were forced to relocate to communities South. It was considered a devastating blow to a people struggling to maintain their traditional culture and way of life. The swift move also separated families and led to social and economic hardships. In 2005, the province apologized for its lack of consultation with the Inuit people at the time. The recent event saw former residents of Nutak gather to hear the apology read aloud, in the place they once called home.

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