The English in Newfoundland & the Beothuks

In the 1400s fishermen from Portugal, Spain, and England had discovered the island of Newfoundland. British colonies were soon established there in the early 1600s.

They came into conflict with the Beothuks, the First Nations people who were living there, when they came from the interior to fish on the coast where the whites had their settlements.

In time, the conflict worsened and settlers pursued a policy of extermination to make the country safe for whites.

This was so successful that in 1759 a law was passed making it illegal to kill a Beothuk.

Painter - George Catlin 1832


















However, white men and Micmacs continued to hunt them down until none were left. The last known Beothuk, a woman named Shawnadithit, or Nancy, died in 1829. She was only 28.

Shawnadithit or Nancy
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Copyright Goldi Productions Ltd. 2007