Tshikapisk Foundation
Innu People
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L to R: Ketshastipineu, Tshenish and Manteshkueu at Euinuatsh, Kamestastin 1999. Photo: Susan Connell, SECA Travel
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The Innu
The Innu are the indigenous people of the Labrador Northeastern Quebec Peninsula. Originally tent dwelling nomadic hunters we are now based in 13 communities in Labrador and Quebec. In 1971 the last group of Innu to abandon a year round nomadic existence moved from tents into houses in the government sponsored village of Pukuatshipit. Although sharing a common language and culture, we are divided into several regional groups of which the northernmost representatives are the Mushuau Innut or Innu of the Tundra. Kamestastin is situated in the heartlands of the Mushuau Innu group.

The Innu are the north eastern branch of the great family of Algonkian peoples who are to be found across North America from the Atlantic and Ungava coasts all the way to the Rockies. The lands of the eastern members of this family of related peoples extended down into the southern United States. With the application of different jurisdictions and with the influence of various christian missionaries, the Innu of the Labrador Ungava peninsula and Iyu ("Cree") of the lands which drain into eastern Hudson Bay and James Bay have developed slightly different identities. Though now variously identified in English and French discourse as Montagnais, Naskapi, Montagnais-Naskapi, Cree and, more and more often in recent years, as Innu, originally all the non-Inuit indigenous inhabitants of this vast area could properly be thought as belonging to the same ethnic and cultural entity. Only regional accents and territoral affiliations distinguished the various sub-groups.

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