'Suicide' community to be moved

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The Independent Online
OTTAWA (AP) - The government has bowed to demands to move an impoverished indigenous community where six children tried to commit suicide last month. The Indian Affairs Minister, Tom Siddon, said the Innu community, in the tiny Davis Inlet settlement on an island off Labrador, 'can no longer exist in its present location'.

The 500 people living on a barren island with no running water or sewerage have been plagued by social and economic problems. The Newfoundland government promised improvements when it moved the Innu from the mainland in 1967. The community is expected to be moved back nearer the caribou herds that form a vital part of its culture. The site has not been chosen, but Mr Siddon said Ottawa would immediately begin planning the move with the Innu leadership and the Newfoundland government.

Tuesday's announcement was met with joy by Innu leaders. 'It's wonderful,' said Davis Inlet Chief Katie Rich. 'It hasn't sunk in yet.'

In January six Innu teenagers high on petrol fumes found in an unheated shack fought their rescuers, saying they wanted to die. Native leaders say 42 children in the community are addicted to solvents.