Last of Beothuk honoured in new monument
Shanawdithit, the last known survivor of the Beothuk of Newfoundland, is being honoured with a plaque unveiled Thursday that recognizes her as a person of national historic significance.
Shanawdithit, while living with writer and explorer William Epps Cormack, revealed much of what is now known about the Beothuk, who had been called Red Indians by settlers because of the ochre they put on their bodies.
Theplaque wasrevealedThursday afternoon at a ceremonyat Bannerman Park in St. John's.
Ingeborg Marshall, an anthropologist who has written defining works on Beothuk culture, said the honour is deserved.
Dave Taylor, a manager with Parks Canada, said Shanawdithit's drawings and sketchings have illuminated what is known about the Beothuk.
"She was also very skilled in conveying the structure and form of the language… [She gave us] the whole portfolio of what the Beothuk language was," Taylor said.
"History is history. We can dwell on it, and we can live in it, but that's what it is— history. Let's move on to something that's more positive," he said.
"If nothing more, [this] brings people together, and [we] have a better understanding of where we are coming from as aboriginal people."
Parks Canada has not yet determined where the plaque will be permanently installed.