Monday, 2 Aug 2021

Beothuk remains returned to Newfoundland after almost two centuries in Scotland

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – The remains of two Indigenous people have been returned to Newfoundland from Scotland after being stolen from a grave site on the island almost two centuries ago.

Representatives from five Indigenous groups in Newfoundland and Labrador were at The Rooms archive in St. John’s Wednesday, where the remains of Beothuk people Nonosabasut and Demasduit had arrived hours earlier.

National Museums Scotland announced last year that the remains would be transferred to Canada following a federal government request.

The remains will stay at The Rooms so they can be preserved until a final burial site is decided on by Indigenous leaders.

Chief Mi’sel Joe of the Miawpukek First Nation, who led efforts for the return starting in 2015, says it’s a sacred moment for the island’s history.

The remains of married couple Nonosabasut and Demasduit were discovered by Newfoundlander William Eppes Cormack in 1828 and sent to Scotland.

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