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Word Count: 347
Until 30 years ago the Innu were nomadic hunters in the forests of eastern Canada Today they live in communities with high rates of suicide alcoholism child abuse and family violence Canada seems intent on destroying the Innus land - their sole hope of survival - with a series of mega-projects which it is pushing despite the fact that the Innu have never signed away their land Between the 1950s and 1970s the Innu were settled in fixed communities under pressure from the government and the church This abrupt change in their way of life has been a catastophe for the Innu Stuck in communities where there is nothing to do and cut off from the land which gives their culture meaning the Innus society has fallen apart They blame the tribes plight on the Canadian Government policy of moving the Innu into villages and away from their traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyles They lost their life in their land where they have lived for at least 7000 years They had no motivation to live and couldnt live without alcohol and gas sniffing As a result Alcoholism and Gas-sniffing has been a problem in Sheshatshiu for at least 40 years Many of the children who sniffed gas then are now the alcoholic parents and grandparents of todays sniffers In this situation I think both side of Innu community and Canadian government are responsible for this tragic situation in Labrador with the Innu children and gas sniffing First Canadian government should have guaranteed Innus life in Sheshatshiu The right of any small community can not be disregarded Government should respect each community equally Second Innu people should not live dependent on alcohol and gas sniffing If they have a strong will to survive they can enjoy their life wherever they live Alcoholism and gas sniffing are not the solution for their problem If they still have weak will for their life the situation
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