May 30th, 2024

Innu Nation grand chief slams NunatuKavut Community Council at identity summit

By The Canadian Press on May 15, 2024.

Todd Russell, president of the NunatuKavut Community Council, talks to the media in St. John's on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016.THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Paul Daly

OTTAWA – Innu Nation Grand Chief Simon Pokue spoke to other Indigenous leaders at a meeting in Winnipeg today about what he calls Indigenous identity fraud by the NunatuKavut Community Council.

The council, which represents some 6,000 people in south and central Labrador, claims to be Inuit.

At a summit on Indigenous identity, Pokue says his community knows its territory and culture, but has to be wary of sharing publicly due to organizations like the council.

He says such organizations co-opt those stories for their benefit without actually being Indigenous.

The Innu Nation has previously asked the Federal Court to quash a 2019 agreement between the federal government and the council – a memo that sets guidelines for self-determination talks.

Council president Todd Russell has described similar allegations as defamatory.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 15, 2024.

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