Nfld. & Labrador

Labrador’s Métis Nation adopts new name

The Labrador Métis Nation has changed its name to Nunatukavut.

Labrador’s Métis Nation has changed its name to Nunatukavut to reflect its members' Inuit heritage, the group's head says.

Nation president Chris Montague said Tuesday the Métis group's name change, which means "our ancient land", doesn't mean Labrador Métis are also seeking a land claim agreement.

"It doesn't really matter what the end result is or whatever political gain we can get. We have to look at what's true and what comes up in our research, and we have good research going on from independent academics," Montague said.

"This is not us doing internal research, but sort of an outside viewpoint and they're all coming up with the idea that 'Yes, we are an Inuit culture.'"

The name is similar to Nunatsiavut, the name northern Labrador's Inuit group adopted for the territory it controls. Nunatsiavut means ‘our beautiful land.’

Nunatsiavut was created when Labrador's Inuit won the right for self-government in 2005 after three decades of negotiations with the governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador.

According to the group's website, the Labrador Métis Nation was formed in the early 1980s by Inuit-Métis who realized that their rights as Aboriginal Canadians were not being considered by governments in decisions being made about land use and social programs.

The website says membership in the group is open to people of Native ancestry originally from Labrador.