Shawnadithit

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Shawnadithit.jpg

Shawnadithit

Shawnadithit was the last known survivor of the Beothuks or Red Indians, the aboriginals of Newfoundland.

"Shawnadithit, also Nance April or Nancy, the last BEOTHUK (b c 1801; d at St John's 6 June 1829). A member of one of the small and dwindling family groups of native Indians, Shawnadithit was the niece of DEMASDUWIT.

In Mar 1823 she, her mother and her sister, all starving, were captured by English furriers at Badger Bay and taken to St John's. The authorities determined to return them, laden with presents, to their people, but no contact could be made. The other 2 women died of pulmonary consumption and Shawnadithit was taken into the household of planter John Peyton at Exploits-Burnt Is.

In 1828 she was brought to the Beothuk Institution at St John's and from her its president, W.E. CORMACK, recorded valuable information about the language and customs of her unfortunate people during their last melancholy years; her deftness with pencil and sketchbook was especially useful. She too died of consumption and was buried in the military and naval cemetery." Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia

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