Let the Beothuks rest in peace

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION -

Dear edi­tor,

Many years have passed since the white set­tlers erad­i­cated and stole the land from the First Na­tions Beothuk peo­ple.

We have a lot to be ashamed of here con­sid­er­ing the 20th and 21st cen­tury de­scen­dants could have learned a great deal from the Beothuk. All our fore­fa­thers had to do is give the Beothuk a de­cent chance. No race de­served such a fate as ex­tinc­tion.

The truth is, New­found­land’s re­mote wilder­ness ar­eas, like Cliffty Pond on the North Shore of Con­cep­tion Bay, are be­ing de­stroyed by re­mote cab- in de­vel­op­ment, car wrecks and in­dis­crim­i­nate dump­ing.

These ar­eas, the burial places of the ex­tinct Beothuk race, are be­ing de­stroyed along with it. We should show some re­spect for the rest­ing place of the First Na­tions Beothuk cul­ture in all of New­found­land’s re­mote wilder­ness ar­eas. How much more en­vi­ron­men­tal abuse can this prov­ince en­dure con­sid­er­ing our past his­tory?

We wiped out the Beothuk and now we are well on our way to wip­ing out their fi­nal burial grounds.

What a joke! You wouldn’t want 21st cen­tury peo­ple dump­ing their garbage and build­ing shacks in your grand­mother’s grave­yard. Why al­low it in the Beothuks’ burial ground? Are they less wor­thy of re­spect than the fi­nal rest­ing places of Chris­tians?

The An­cient First Na­tions peo­ple had a con­nec­tion to the land that few peo­ple of this mod­ern age can com­pre­hend. It is ob­vi­ous when I write about the en­vi­ron­men­tal abuse in my area and home­town that a lit­tle an­cient First Na­tions in­flu­ence wouldn‘t hurt in this cen­tury. As the world pop­u­la­tion con­tin­ues to ex­plode, we should look at First Na­tions ide­olo­gies in a more pos­i­tive way and con­sider them in im­ple­ment­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal change. It can’t get any worst.

Re­scind re­mote cabin de­vel­op­ment in Cliffty Pond and other re­mote wilder­ness ar­eas and let the First Na­tions Beothuk peo­ple rest in peace. Doesn’t all of hu­man­ity want that for their loved ones? Re­mem­ber, lim­ited ac­cess to our re­mote wilder­ness ar­eas is the key.

Let the ex­tinct Beothuk peo­ple rest in peace. Have re­spect for the dead and keep the butch­ers out of the woods. Tony O’Leary West­ern Bay

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