Coffee & Culture: Elizabeth Penashue

Thursday, October 11, 2018 - 2:30pm to 3:30pm
The Rooms, 9 Bonaventure Avenue
Free with admission; wheelchair accessible venue.

Elizabeth Penashue shares moving stories from her life as an environmental activist and defender of Innu culture. Alternating between traditional tales and personal experience, the private and the political, this will be a special change to share space with a truly incredible woman.

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Born into a nomadic family, Elizabeth Penashue learned to write in Innu-aimun as a child and began keeping diaries systematically in the 1980s during the Innu campaign against NATO low level flying and weapons testing on Innu land. She is well known in Nitassinan as well as nationally and internationally as a cultural and environmental activist. For many years she led an annual weeks-long spring walk on traditional Innu hunting trails and a summer canoe trip on the Mishta-Shipu to teach people about Innu culture and respect for the land. Elizabeth’s work has been recognized by a National Aboriginal Achievement Award, an honorary doctorate from Memorial University and, most recently, a Labradorians of Distinction award. She has featured in numerous film and radio interviews and profiles, newspaper and magazine articles and consultations, including testifying before the International Human Rights Tribunal in the Hague and speaking at Harvard University. She recently completed a book based on her diaries, stories and essays (forthcoming from the University of Manitoba Press) and she continues to speak publicly about environmental, cultural and human rights issues. She states: “I don’t like to walk on pavement. I want to be connected to the earth, to feel the moss and the forest floor beneath my feet. I believe the spirits of those who have gone before us are still there in nutshimit and I have a responsibility to them. I will never give up my work, which is to protect the animals, the trees, the children, everything in the circle of life.

Elizabeth will also be featured at
Homespun: Tales from Rural NL