Davis Inlet

     Davis Inlet is an Innu abandoned town on the Labrador coast.  It is a town where a lot of drug and alcohol abuse  and gas sniffing take place. The Innu natives are a very tight and close family with the whole community. Their town “Davis Inlet” did not have running water, sewage system, heating, and absolutely no health care. This community was in desperate help from the government.  

 People first heard of Davis Inlet in 1992, when six children, ages 3 months – 10 years old, died in a house fire while parents were out with neighbours drinking. With no running water, the neighbours stood there in shock, but could do nothing.  In 1993, a group of gas sniffing teenagers barricaded themselves into a shack to commit suicide. Local police found them screaming, “leave me alone, I just want to die.” Police were just in time to break down the shed and save them before they made a dreadful decision. 

 Marie Georgetre of Davis Inlet has seen much tragedy in her 60 years of life. Three of her eight children have died, one committed suicide in the house she lived in. She remembers the shadow of “Sniffer Hill”, where teens go there to inhale gas fumes from plastic bags. Three decades they had been beset by family violence, sexual and substance abuse and one of the worlds highest suicide rates.  

     The town was talking about this new promise from the government of newly built homes and running water. The community was thrilled. 15 kilometers west of their home, with running water, sewer stores, school, church and shelter. NATUASHISH, the moving data was scheduled for December 14th. 

      In 2008, my friend and I went on an exchange trip to Natuashish for two weeks. We did not know this information until a week before we were leaving. We had some doubt and some kids decided not to go. We were assigned to a teacher to stay with because some kids on the trip didn’t have the accommodations for us. With the weather -40 the first day we got there, we had a warm welcome from the community. The people were so friendly and comforting compared to tv shows we seen before we went. We learned how close family’s and friends are.

     After building a relationship with the Innu’s, they took us to Davis Inlet.  It was a very deep and emotional trip for the Innu’s and us. The state of the house’s were beyond repair and not very health for a family of ten to live in. Some kids said they know people who go back to Davis Inlet to drink and do drugs. We visited the site where the 6 children died. The expression on the kids faces when we went there were heart wrenching. Some remembered them, others they were their family members.

    To experience this trip was priceless and I wouldn’t change it for anything. It opened my eyes on how much people need our help and stop the stereotypes. When we were in Nat, the first 2 students in 16 years graduated highschool. It was amazing to be there to see the girls who did. They now moved on to college and we still talk to them to this day. =)

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