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InnuInformation about the Innu
The Innu people are sometimes sub-divided into two communities, the Montagnais ["mountain people" in French] who live along the shore of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, and the less numerous Naskapi ["inland people" in Innu-aimun] who live farther north. However, the Innu themselves dislike these terms, and according to most sources the distinction is anyway largely an artificial one invented by the French colonists. Neither group has any common heritage with the Inuit, a completely separate people whose lands lie much further north. (Confusion may arise due to the similarity of their names.)
The Innu have never officially surrendered their territory to Canada. From the 1950s on, the Canadian government and the Catholic church attempted to "civilise" the Innu, inducing them to settle in fixed encampments and to abandon their nomadic lifestyle. Before long, life in these artificially constructed settlements became marred by extremely high levels of alcoholism, volatile substance abuse by children, domestic violence, and suicide. Between 1975 and 1995 the Innu settlements averaged 178 suicides per 100,000 persons per year. This is more than twelve times the Canadian average.
Survival International have alleged that the Canadian government's policy of relocating the Innu away from their ancestral lands and preventing them from practising their ancient way of life is in contravention of international law, and they have drawn parallels with the treatment of the Tibetans in the People's Republic of China.
The best-known members of the Innu nation are the folk rock duo Kashtin.
The above includes excerpts from Wikipedia.org, the free encyclopedia:
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