Davis Inlet pulled together to stave off a near-invasion in early September by up to 100 members of the RCMP tactical squad and a horde of justice officials intent on restoring Canadian law in this Innu community.
Debris was scattered along the airport’s runway, Innu came from other communities to support Davis Inlet and the possibility of a violent confrontation hung in the air for several days. In the end, Newfoundland Justice Minister Ed Roberts decided on Sept. 8 to call off the forced entry of government officials into the community.
“(The Innu) have indicated clearly that they don’t want to submit to the laws which all Canadians are subject to, including the criminal code,” said Roberts.
The court’s judge, his staff and Mounties were kicked out of David Inlet by Davis Inlet’s Chief and other residents last December.
The Innu complained of unfair sentences and the court’s insensitivity to their community. They are seeking a separate aboriginal justice system, which would take into account the community’s own traditions of justice and wouldn’t force the Innu into ineffective prison stays far away.