ARCHIVED - Labrador Innu - Chronology of Events

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1939-1945
Mushuau Innu begin to settle in the Old Davis Inlet area

April 1954
Canada approves 10 year agreement broadening federal responsibilities for Aboriginal people in Labrador.

1965
The first Federal-Provincial Native Peoples of Newfoundland/Labrador Agreement signed.

1967
Mushuau Innu were moved from Old Davis to the new Davis Inlet community.

1976
Residents of Davis Inlet and Sheshatshiu request to be registered under the Indian Act.

1978
Innu Comprehensive Claim accepted for negotiation, conditional upon submission of a Land Use and Occupancy Study.

October 1990
Submission of Innu Land Use and Occupancy Study fulfilling precondition for beginning framework negotiations for comprehensive claim.

July 1991
Cabinet authorizes negotiation of Comprehensive Claim Agreement with Innu of Newfoundland and Labrador.

February 1992
House fire in Davis Inlet kills six children.

March 1992
Mushuau Innu elect Katie Rich as Chief

June 1992
As a result of the February 1992 fire, the Mushuau Innu and Innu Nation held an internal enquiry published as Gathering Voices: Finding Strength to Help Our Children.

Gathering Voices contains a seven-point long-term plan including land claim settlement and establishment of a family treatment centre at Border Beacon.

June 1992
Innu Nation asks the Canadian Human Rights Commission to investigate the allegations brought forward in Gathering Voices.

June 1992
Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples conducts hearings in Sheshatshiu.

November 1992
Tom Siddon, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, writes to the Muhsuau Innu noting Canada is prepared to negotiate self-government arrangements parallel with the land claim negotiation.

December 1992
Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples conducts hearings in Sheshatshiu and Davis Inlet.

January 1993
Six children captured on video, under the influence of gas sniffing, yelling they want to die.

This event sparked international media attention and began what is recognized by Canadians as the formal crisis.

February 1993
Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Mushuau Innu meet to discuss an immediate response plan to meet the needs of the Labrador Innu and the Mushuau Innu's request for relocation.

Cabinet endorses relocation of the Mushuau Innu.

Five Mushuau Innu children receive treatment at the Poundmaker Lodge in Alberta. Their families were with them.

August 1993
Canadian Human Rights Commission report on the complaints of the Innu of Newfoundland and Labrador, authored by Donald M. McRae, was released. Report concluded that Innu grievances were legitimate.

September 1993
The Innu reject registration under the Indian Act

October 1993
Innu stage a two-week sit-in on Parliament Hill to gain public support for their opposition to registration and demand relocation.

December 1993
Mushuau Innu force RCMP and judge out of the community, claiming they want control of their own destiny and they find sentences too harsh. RCMP closes its detachment, but promises police services from a community to the south whenever the residents of Davis Inlet request it.

February 1994
Canada releases Statement of Political Commitments, signed by Ministers Ron Irwin of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Diane Marleau of Health Canada, Allan Rock of the Department of Justice and Herb Gray of the Solicitor General, detailing its commitment to the Innu.

March 1994
Simeon Tshakapesh replaced Katie Rich as Chief

April 1994
The Innu accept the Statement of Political Commitments.

1993 - 95
About 20 Innu from Davis Inlet complete a Nechi Institute training course, funded mostly by HRDC, which gave them basic skills in counselling, addictions and management.

March 1995
RCMP returns to Davis Inlet. A Memorandum of Understanding is signed between the Government of Canada and community to establish tribal police officers who will assist the RCMP.

April 1995
Katie Rich was re-elected as Chief of Davis Inlet.

1996
Approval to relocate Davis Inlet to Sango Pond (Natuashish).

Health Canada directed to provide transitional funds of $250,000 first year reducing by $50,000 per year each year following, until the time of actual relocation from Davis Inlet to the Mushuau Innu to help them cope with dysfunction expected in the approach to relocation.

November 1996
The Mushuau Innu Relocation Agreement (MIRA) was signed by Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Ron Irwin, Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Brian Tobin, and Mushuau Innu Chief Katie Rich.

1997
Tripartite committee with Federal, Provincial and Innu representation first assembled to address issues of healing.

Prote Poker replaced Katie Rich as Chief of Davis Inlet.

October 1998
Mark Nui replaced Prote Poker as Chief

September 1999
Meeting of federal departments with Sheshatshiu Innu where two requests were made of Health Canada by the Innu, the first was to expand the six-bed solvent treatment facility to twelve-bed (this was done) and the second to fund a family cultural renewal centre (this was not done).

November 1999
INAC Atlantic Region met with Chief and Council in reaction to fear that chronic gas sniffers had entered into a suicide pact for the millennium.

A short-term and long-term approach was jointly developed.

2000
David Nui replaces Mark Nui as Chief in Band election.

March 2000
Federal/Provincial Labrador caucus meeting where it was agreed to maintain this caucus and establish departmental committee to oversee progress.

June 2000
Indian Affairs and Northern Development Minister Robert Nault appoints Eric Maldoff, a Montreal lawyer, as Chief Federal Negotiator.

September 2000
Federal/Provincial Labrador caucus met where it was agreed to focus on: 1. restoring order in community; 2. ensuring a safe service delivery environment; 3. registering the Innu under the Indian Act and creating reserves; 4. imposing third party management in both communities because of a high debt to revenue ratio.

Innu Nation announce Simeon Tshakapesh as their land claim negotiator.

Davis Inlet Council agreed to transform the HealthCommission building into a safe house for the at-risk children.

October 2000
David Nui resigns as Chief of Davis Inlet, was replaced by Daniel Poker on interim basis.

November 2000
Simeon Tshakapesh becomes Chief at Davis Inlet replacing Daniel Poker.

December 2000
37 children are taken to the former Grace Hospital in St. John's for treatment.

January 2001
Health Canada opens an office in Goose Bay specifically to work with the Innu communities of Sheshatshiu and Davis Inlet.

April 2001
Davis Inlet children return from treatment in St. John's.

May 2001
The Innu submit revised land claim proposal. The Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador agree to resume negotiations.

22 Mushuau youth enter a treatment program in Manitoba.

June 2001
The Labrador Innu Comprehensive Healing Strategy is initiated by Health Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, and Solicitor General to stabilize health, create safe communities and help the Innu build a better future.

September 2001
The Mushuau youth return from Manitoba.

October 2001 Chief Tshakapesh reports to local media that gas sniffing has abated in his community.

January 2002
CBC reports a resurgence of gas sniffing by children in Davis Inlet.

November 2002
Mushuau Innu and Sheshatshiu Innu recognized as bands under the Indian Act and registration of their members as status Indians begins.

December 2002
The Mushuau Innu begin the relocation from Davis Inlet to Natuashish.

January 2003
The new school in Natuashish is completed and opened. The school at Davis Inlet continues to operate while up to 12 children remain in that community.

The new community medical health clinic opens.

The date for completion of all homes is pushed ahead to June 30, 2003.

February 2003
Construction continues in Natuashish as approximately 100 homes are completed and occupied.

March 2003
Policing, hydro, airport, and regular nursing and emergency medical services are provided in both communities.

Media reports that the Mushuau Innu's social problems have followed them from Davis to Natuashish. Chief Tshakapesh says the federal government has failed to provide the social healing training and cultural programs it promised.

April 2003
A petition is circulated to Natuashish residents calling for the removal of the Chief and Council.

May 2003
Several new homes are vandalized and the completion date for remaining homes is again pushed forward to late summer 2003.

Elections in Natuashish and Sheshatshiu. Both communities elected new leadership.

June 2003
A petition to remove the Chief and Council in Natuashish is signed by 60% of the residents.

Petition was not done in accordance with the community's custom election code and therefore not implemented.

August 2003
Construction of the homes is completed and all Mushuau Innu are living in Natuashish.

September 2003
Vandalism of homes and buildings continues to plague Natuashish.

October 2003
Chief Tshakapesh pleads for help in treating gas addicted children in his community via an open-line radio show.

Treasury Board approved funding for additional housing in Natuashish

November 2003
RCMP break ground on the new Sheshatshiu detachment.

December 2003
Reserve created at Natuashish for the Mushuau Innu First Nation.

July 2004
Subsequent to Treasury Board approval of October 2003, Minister of Indian Affairs, the Mushua Innu and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador signed an amendment to the Mushuau Innu Relocation Agreement commiting $12 million for planning, design and construction of new housing.

July 2004
The Labrador Innu Comprehensive Healing Strategy extended for 1 year.

October 2004
Release of an Educational Profile of the Learning Needs of the Innu Youth. This study was conducted by Memorial University of Newfoundland between April 2003 and June 2004.

July 2005
Federal Budget 2005 extended the Strategy for five years (2005-2006 to 2009-2010) for two of the federal partners, INAC and Health Canada.

August 2006
President of Innu Nation Ben Michel dies suddenly of a heart attack. Succeeded by Daniel Ashini who pledges to continue Michel's path toward signing a Land Claims Agreement with the Province.

November 2006
In partnership with the Innu, Capacity Development Committee established. The mandate is to develop a capacity development plan.

November 2006
On November 23, 2006 the community of Sheshatshiu was set apart as reserve land for the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation. The reserve consists of 804.022 hectares of lands which constitutes the existing community land base of Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation.

November 2006
Treasury Board approves funding of $14 million towards the construction of a new school on the Sheshatshiu First Nation.

Summer 2007
Completion of the healing lodge and wellness centre in Natuashish to be completed in late summer 2007.

(November 2007)

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