NunatuKavut Community Council calls out unethical report and seeks apology
HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, LABRADOR, October 29, 2021 – The NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) issued the following statement in response to Nunatsiavut Government’s public release of the report they commissioned on NCC’s land claim:
“We are appalled that the Nunatsiavut Government would rely on unethical, patriarchal, sexist, Eurocentric and racist opinions to make false assertions about our land claim. The report compiled by Darryl Leroux misrepresents NunatuKavut Inuit and the ancestral lands, waters and ice that we come from. His interpretations reflect that of an outsider who knows absolutely nothing about us. Mr. Leroux has never been invited into our communities to learn our ways by engaging in our traditions. He has done research about us, without us, which has resulted in irresponsible and harmful conclusions that does not at all reflect what we know to be true about our history. Inuit self-determination in research demands that our own people identify what is important to us and actively lead that work. Mr. Leroux, and the Nunatsiavut Government that funded this report, have created a false story that relies on colonial narratives seeking to deny and erase our Inuit history and culture. We will never allow our history and culture to be determined by someone else.
Mr. Leroux compiled his report without our knowledge, involvement or consent. He did not have access to the source materials behind Unveiling NunatuKavut or our membership records and extensive genealogy. It is obvious that he also did not bother to review the scholarship that has been done since Unveiling. And, most importantly, he did not have the benefit of our Inuit knowledge and oral histories. If he had accessed that information and not rested on a number of racist assumptions, he would have learned a few important facts. For example, there is irrefutable evidence of year-round Inuit occupation on Labrador’s south coast prior to European contact. And NCC has a rigorous membership process that requires proof of Inuit ancestry, community and kinship ties and deep connection to our territory. He would also have learned that there is well-documented evidence that the British and Inuit entered into a Treaty in 1765 in our territory.
We are shocked and dismayed in the continued actions of the Nunatsiavut Government that seek to exclude NunatuKavut Inuit. It is a sad reminder that colonization is deeply rooted in our society. The fact that some of our experiences of colonialism differs from that of Nunatsiavut Inuit does not make us any less Inuit. NCC demands that the Mr. Leroux’s irresponsible and unethical report be retracted, and that Mr. Leroux issue an apology for its publication. And, secondly, that Nunatsiavut Government issue a statement retracting their endorsement of this report. Further, we say to President Lampe and the Nunatsiavut Executive Council — the progress and strengthened relationship between NCC and both the federal and provincial governments in no way, shape or form lessens or diminishes the priorities and programs that Nunatsiavut Inuit benefit from.
The NunatuKavut Community Council will continue to advance the recognition and affirmation of our Inuit rights to further the health and well-being of our people.”
To read previous statements on this matter, please check out the News & Media section of our website at https://nunatukavut.ca/news-media/latest-news/
To learn more about NCC and NunatuKavut Inuit, please visit our website at www.nunatukavut.ca and we invite you to check out our new Story Map page which helps tell our story. Please also join in the conversation at facebook.com/nunatukavut and Twitter @nunatukavut.
NCC Media Contact:
Director of Communications