|Labrador Inuit are one of the founding peoples of Canada who descended from the prehistoric Thule. They were hunters who were attracted to Labrador by its abundance of wildlife and whales. Labrador Inuit traditionally resided around the bays and inlets of the Northern Labrador coast although they travelled extensively in order to harvest the natural resources of both land and sea. Prior to European settlement, they roamed from Cape Chidley to the island of Newfoundland. |
The traditional lifestyle of the Labrador Inuit was disrupted by European colonialism. Resettlement and dislocation from traditions followed. There are presently two Innu First Nations in Labrador, the Mashua Innu First Nation (located in Natuashish) and the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation (located in Sheshatshi). The traditional language spoken is Innueimun. Since 1973, with the establishment of the Labrador Inuit Association (LIA), the Labrador Inuit have worked to protect their human and constitutional rights, improve Inuit health, and advance claims to land and self-government. In 2003, the LIA, along with federal and provincial government representatives, initialled the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. It is to be presented to the Labrador Inuit for ratification, before being voted upon by the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly and the federal House of Commons.