Prayers for the Innu Children of Sheshatshiu and Davis Inlet

Friday, December 08 2000

(Ottawa – CCCB) The bishops of Canada have been asked by the Council for Reconciliation, Solidarity and Communion that special prayers be offered especially during the Advent season for the children and families of the Innu communities in Sheshatshiu and Davis Inlet, Labrador.

Media reports over the last month have depicted the horrific images of Innu children sniffing gasoline and the heart-rending requests for help from the adult communities in both Sheshatshiu and Davis Inlet.

The Council for Reconciliation, Solidarity and Communion, at a recent meeting in Edmonton, asked for the prayers as a sign of support for those communities as they struggle with the problems solvent abuse and poverty. Both communities have been plagued with solvent abuse and high levels of suicide for many years.

The request that was sent to the bishops of Canada reads:

That the pastors and faithful of the Church in Canada, especially during this Advent season, remember in prayer the Innu children of Sheshatshiu and Davis Inlet, Labrador and their families.

The Council was initiated by Canada’s bishops as part of a commitment made to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples to address in word and action all that continues to marginalize aboriginal peoples in Canada. It is focussed on strengthening the spiritual foundations to support reconciliation, solidarity and communion among Canada’s founding cultures.

Seven aboriginal Catholic leaders and two bishops make up the Council.

The request for the prayers was forwarded to the bishops by Council members Bishop Douglas Crosby, OMI, of Labrador City-Schefferville, and Bishop Denis Croteau, OMI, Bishop of MacKenzie-Fort Smith.