A 40-minute drive on winding, icy roads took Dr. Sable to Goose Bay, Labrador and the fruition of 15 years of work with the Innu Nation.

“Prote Poker, the Grand Chief, had flown in from the community of Natuashish to work on the Innu Constitution,” says Sable, Director of Aboriginal and Northern Research for Saint Mary’s Gorsebrook Research Institute. “There was a very small window of opportunity to meet with him.”

Described by Sable as a groundbreaker in terms of recognizing intellectual property rights of indigenous communities in co-researching and participating in major research grants, the new MOU lays the foundation for a collaboration that supports the Innu Nation’s process of self governance.

“The signing was a momentous occasion,” says Sable, who worked for more than a year crafting the document with Gina Funicelli of Saint Mary’s Industry Liaison Office and Richard Nuna of the Innu Nation Environment Office. Support throughout the project came from David Gauthier, Saint Mary’s V.P. Academic, and Kevin Vessey, Dean, Faculty of Graduate Research.

“It was also a fairly miraculous event,” adds Dr. Sable. “After years of working to make this happen, everything came together over the course of a few days, including Dr. Dodds signing the MOU.”

Photo: Grand Chief Prote Poker of the Innu Nation and Dr. Trudy Sable of Saint Mary's University

News story originally published on Saint Mary's website