Thursday February 11, 2016

Shocking history of Inuit trapped in 'human zoos' revealed in documentary

Trapped in a Human Zoo – Promo 1:06

Listen 23:43

Read story transcript

Trapped in a Human Zoo, a documentary that focuses on a small group of Inuit people from Labrador in the late 1800s, tells the story of how indigenous people wound up in Europe, on display.

It's estimated that some 35,000 indigenous people from all over the world were recruited for these human zoos.

In the case of the group from Labrador, they were lured to Europe with promises of wealth and adventure, only to be exhibited like animals.    

Trapped in a Human Zoo – The First Exhibit1:01

Trapped in a Human Zoo traces the work of France Rivet, author of In the footsteps of Abraham Ulrikab. She has been piecing this story together for years and helped with the research for the documentary.

Inuit elder ​Johannes Lampe has been working with his community in Nain, Labrador, to repatriate the bodies and bring his ancestors home. 

Trapped in a Human Zoo – Abraham's Mistake0:41


Trapped in a Human Zoo airs on The Nature of Things Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, 8 p.m. on CBC-TV

This segment was produced by The Current's Shannon Higgins and Cathy Simon.