Innu inquiry runs through timeline of history, impacts of colonialism

An inquiry looking into the treatment of Innu children in the child welfare system was taken down a timeline of history Tuesday in Goose Bay, Labrador.

According to Annie Picard who constructed that timeline, elders spoke at length about a Catholic priest.

“There was one child they talked about when she missed school the priest came to the house,” she said. “Not only did he beat her, he also beat the parents in the home,” she said.

Six years ago, Innu leaders and parents started calling for this inquiry to find out what happened to their children.

Many were taken from their homes and place not only out of the community – but outside of Labrador.

Their language and culture were lost after the children returned from care. A number died by suicide.

Tuesday’s testimony at the inquiry sets the groundwork, on the record, for the historical impacts that colonialism has had on the Innu.

The inquiry is expected to last 18 months.

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