ENGLISH/INUKTITUT
traditionandtransition@mun.ca        
    

Research Projects

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Inuit self-governance during the Moravian missionary period

Researcher: Hans J. Rollmann, Ph.D.; Professor of Religious Studies
Contact email: hrollmann@mun.ca
Links: http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~hrollman/

The Nunatsiavut Government represents a pivotal achievement in present-day Inuit self-governance of Labrador. But Inuit self-governance has a longer history. Inuit traditionally held meetings in which community concerns were discussed and social tensions resolved. Building on these meetings, Moravian missionaries in the nineteenth century encouraged a structure of limited self-governance through chapel servants (Kivgat) in the Inuit congregations on Labrador's north coast. In the early twentieth century, a council of chosen and elected community elders (AngajokauKatigêt) emerged. These initiatives went hand in hand with world-wide Moravian synodal efforts to encourage greater Aboriginal involvement in church and community. These efforts at Inuit governance in Labrador invite further exploration on the basis of the Moravian records, which have preserved some valuable documents and insider minutes from the meetings of the Inuit elders. The project seeks to document and analyze this earlier context for Inuit self-governance and study.

Moravian archives are involved in furnishing the archival materials for this research, which is carried out in collaboration with Dr. Peter Evans.