Beothuk not extinct

Steve
Steve Bartlett
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Mi'kmaq chief cites DNA results as evidence

The statue Spirit of the Beothuk stands overlooking the site where the Beothuk once made their home in Boyd’s Cove. DNA testing is showing a link between the Beothuk and other peoples.

Science is proving something Mi’sel Joe has always known — European settlers did not drive the Beothuk to extinction.

“Not by a long shot,” says the chief of the Miawpukek First Nation in Conne River.  

“They may have gotten to a point where they couldn’t find any more when they were looking, but that’s not to say they were all gone, and DNA will prove that.” In fact, Joe says it already has. “I know of DNA testing that has been done ... that shows there is a link between our people (the Mi’kmaq) and the Beothuk people,” he says, adding that’s happened in the past six months or so.

The Beothuk had lived in Newfoundland for centuries when European settlers and fishermen started arriving in the 16th century.

As the European presence spread, the Beothuk dwindled to the point where the last known Beothuk, Shanawdithit, died in St. John’s in 1829.

Over the years, a consensus has been that Europeans drove the Beothuk to extinction.  

But Joe says such sentiment “pisses me off … because it’s not accurate.”

He says Mi’kmaq oral history recounts that there were marriages between the Beothuk and his people, and also that the Mi’kmaq helped some Beothuk escape European pressure by helping them reach continental North America.

He remembers his grandfather talking about the Beothuk, and says there was always a hushed tone when he did.

“Among all of us, there is Beothuk blood somewhere in our genes, through the intermarriage that took place,” Joe says. “Not only through Conne River, but particularly on the west coast of Newfoundland.”

DNA testing on the remains of Beothuk people has been going on for years.

In 2009, the central Newfoundland-based Beothuk Institute said there were plans to test the remains of two Beothuks and then compare the samples with the DNA of members of modern native groups, including the Mi’kmaq.

And in 2010, a team of geneticists from Iceland and Spain announced they had discovered a strain of DNA in a small group of Icelanders which may represent the genetic survival of the Beothuk.

The theory was that the Vikings captured a female Beothuk — which the Norse called skraelings — and brought her to Iceland.

She is then thought to have had children and her lineage survives in the Icelanders who were tested.

Teresa Greene is the chairwoman of the Beothuk Institute.

“It kind of makes sense, but I don’t know if there is any scientific proof,” she says of the possible Beothuk-Mi’kmaq connection. “It does really make sense because they were around here at the same time, so why wouldn’t they (connect)?”

Greene says the institute has run out of funding to continue the DNA work, but she expects it will apply for more.

“It’s very expensive work,” she says, adding they appreciate the public donations for this work made at the Beothuk Interpretation Centre in Boyd’s Cove.

Joe notes there have been conversations in Conne River about conducting DNA testing themselves.

“We’ve talked a couple of times about doing that, and we’ll get to that,” he says.

Organizations: Miawpukek First Nation, Beothuk Institute, DNA of members Vikings Beothuk Interpretation Centre

Geographic location: Conne River, Newfoundland, Iceland North America Spain

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  • White Hair
    April 21, 2014 - 12:40

    This final message (3/3) is for Ardy Born With Three Thumbs. While I empathize with your frustrations regarding feedback and/or interest from officials on actualizing a Beothuk repatriation-reburial campaign, "my hands are tied" on this end. As my name, educational-research background and reputation do not carry weight and authority in effecting any positive change, outside that already initiated in the public domain by NL Mi'kmaw Saqamaw Mijjl Jo', I am renedered helpless. I am confident that other people like yourself do in fact share in in the ideal principles of your vision, and would love to see the bone come home to Keta'amishi't for reburial. I am also confident that with due time and patience the process will unfold as it should, and the vision will manifest as a reality. As for me I neither have the time, energy, resources or commitment to give to such a heavy, weighed-down, controversial and emotionally-charged ethnopolitical cause. I have learned a hard-lesson, the difficult and round-about away by getting my ass kicked and being dumb-treated, through the course of my experiences with government authorities, buraeucracies and agencies; that is, politics and ethnoplitics, especially those entailing any discussion of the "now extinct Beothuk" do not make good bed-fellows, and are a topic best left unsaid. As I am a labourer, guide, and unpaid arm-chair researcher with no official ties to any research institute, university, college, or publishing company, my voice will only "fall on deaf ears". However, I strongly encourage you to keep up the fight and to encourage fellow researchers, activists and lobbysists who have or will have a proven connection to the existing and up-coming aDNA test results of Beothuk skeletal collection to lobby and/or petition goverrment officials for this cause. I would also strongly suggest or reccommend that you and/or an entrusted delegate, in lieu of a trusted leader-public relations spokesperson, mentor, or liaison, such as Saqamaw Mijjl Jo' to draft a petition and circulate it to the various NL-NS-NB-PEI-Que. Mc communities, and perhaps thereafter (if the result is not effected) throughout Canadian First Nations communities. With the tens-of-thousands of signatures in hand present this to government departments and elected government representatives, and if action is delayed or thwarted, proceed with a walk-in, demonstration or lobbying through protest-the old-fashioned way that it was done here in NL in the early 80s, as the NL Mi'kmaq know. Like I said in a previous e-mail I am a supporter in spirit, albeit an impartial silent one, observing the progress of events from the outside in. I would sign your petition in a heartbeat and I know many others who would sign the peitition, both First Nations and non-First Nations. There is more support here than you think and can imagine-it will blow your mind. As you already know, all great things start small and grow big, just as a seed when planted will grow into a tree, it must be nurtured, protected and nourished. Trust me, the strength of a wise elder Clan Mother is required to start this process, not the foolish prognostications of a middle-aged man with no connection. As for me I am merely a "wape'k waqey", while I have 2 First Nations ancestors, one paternal (6-7 Gens, of alleged Lab. Mountaineer, or even Pi'tawkewaq ancestry) and the other maternal (3-4 Gens, of the same reported ancestry) my lineage is Western Euopean, primarily Bryhtonic-Goldelic Celtic, Anglo-Saxon- French Gaulish, going back deep in time to Celtiberian, Bell Beaker, adn Anatolian-Sumerian. While I have not taken a deep clade 500,000+ SNP autosomal DNA test through FTDNA or Ancertry.ca, my Western European genomic contribution is confidently estimated through detailed calculation at approximately 90.0% (the remainder being East-Central Asian, with little to no matches from Siberian-Native American groups). It is time to bring empowerment back to your group through the voice of a mother, that is why I think that you are the right person for the job. As for me I have "washed my hands" of all fringe matters controversial and conspiratorial if you will. After learning my lessons, I now shy away from the gray, murky waters of First Nations ethnopolitics, it is a fight which I am not willing to fight, and it is a fight that many First Nations will feel and think that I am not obliged and entitiled to fight. So who am I to speak of such matters when I have no rightful place or voice to do so, with the blessing of your people. I have learned to be more cautious, patient and accepting, learning to surrender things beyond my control which I cannot change-and this is one topic that I have learned to surrender. With that I have opted for a quiet life of peace and "going with the flow". I no longer have any books, manuscripts, or theses/disertations on the topic of Beothuk ethnography, ethnohistory, linguistics. My copy of J.P. Howley's "The Beothuck or Red Indians" (1915) has given way to books by Thich Nhat Hanh & His Holiness The Dalai Lama, such as the "Art of Living", ". All this knowledge I now carry with me, I carry in my thoughts and memories, sharing them only on rare occasion with a privileged few. Such material attachments merely weight the soul down, for he who travels lightest travels farthest. Someday when I am out in the country at my remote coastal log cabin working on my naomhog (currach) I wish to hear the news that the job has been done, that the Beothuk skeletons have been brought home for reburial. This will bring a smile to my face, and a silent prayer with an offering to the ancestors, to the Sky Father, Mother Earth and to all those earth-bound spirit beings who made this vision a reality. With this final note on the topic I impart to you my blessing of good will, protection and compassion to guide you on your journey to make this happen. I also pray that you will find a way to work with Saqamaw Mijjl Jo' to help this goal become a reality, a man of great vision, strength and wisdom, like yourself. You never know, the Joe family of Conne River (Le Cornu "The Horn") may be more Red Indian (Pi'tawkewaq) than we all think, for that is my prediction that future autosomal DNA tests will confirm! With this note, as a gesture of our shared humanity and a blessign extended, I blow you a breath of life-force your way to give energy and inertia to the spark in the fire that has been lit.

  • White Hair
    April 19, 2014 - 20:01

    This is 2/3 of the last messages on the topic. Here is a novel idea for someone who has the courage to spearhead such an event: why not sponsor a 1-2 day Beothuk Studies research forum or conference to discuss the latest in extant and upcoming research, inviting not only the academic community but the public to attend to share in their knowledge, participate in lectures, seminars, colloquia and poster sessions on various topics? Why not invite private sector and corporate investors to such research studies to raise awareness and perhaps formalize funding opportunities through networking? Why not hold this at MUN Archaeology, Anthropology, or Linguistics, departments which have a proven reputation of research in the field? Why not encourage geneticists and representatives from other international research laboraties to attend so they can gauge the development of the research study and contribute any knowldge to the field. In addition to a specialized scholarly academic forum, it would serve a public relations outreach campaign to stimulate further research in the field that could help archaeologists to secure more funding to protect endangered sites. Its worth a try, isn't it, just think about it? In addition to scholars, honourary distinguished First Nations, Inuit & Metis elders, leaders and guest speakers could attend presiding over the ceremonies. If it brings people together, sharing knowledge and information while promoting a good cause, why not, its all good right? I strongly encourage someome to step forward and initiate the process to get the ball rolling. John Hewson for one would be an excellent spokesperson for this. Not only is he a renown and distinguished scholar and research professor, with a proven reputation in comparative Eastern Algonquian historical linguistics, but an awesome speaker with great people person skills. Then there's Laurie Maclean, Mi'sel Joe, Ingeborg Marshall, Tim Rast, Holly, Wolff, Erwin,....and the list goes on ad nauseum. I personally think there is enough for a 1 day venue.

  • White Hair
    April 19, 2014 - 19:38

    This group of messages (1 of 3) are addressed to saqama'skw Ardy Born With Three Thumbs". I have read in detail your 2 messages below. As such I have given serious thought and consideration to what you have spoken in truth from your heart and spirit. I honour, acknowledge and respect all of your past, present and future decisions and actions on the matter knowing deep from within that they come from a sacred and genuine space of nurturing maternal care and compassion as a rightful descendant for the cause. I sense in your writing a "fiery passion" which I have not heard or felt in many years, as there are but few today who can articulate with such brevity and forcefulness. Your educational background as reflected in your writing style fails to do honour and service to ther reality of your true scholarly intelligence, wisdom and compassion, which are equal to if not surpassing many scholars in the field at the post-graduate and tenured professorial positions of many research institutes-universities, who merely pay lip service to funding agencies and bureaucrats, afraid to "rock the boat" if you will, or go "against the norm", all of this in an effort to secure research funding and promotions from within the established pecking order of the hierachy. As you already know there is no lack of corruption, neoptism, and fratrinization in academic circles. As you also know the truth is far from obvious, it is all not written in history books, it is not all known to our prsent knowldge, it is more complex than we can imagine and it is never what we think it is, despite the presuppositions which our previous knowledge base and experiences impose upon it. It is a truth which reflects new and evolving knowledge which comes to lightover time and through sacrifice. The truth can only be extracted by taking an "outside of the box looking in" approach, an approach which the "scientific method" strives to emulate in the real world" through principle at least, but which fails to replicate or reproduce holistically in reality. Arriving at that truth, however fluidic, dynamic and relative, should be not only interdisciplinary but muli-dimensional, collating knowledge and evidence from many different fields, including, of course, other less-recongnized fringe disiplines such as medical genetics, folklore (oral tradition acounts), spirituality-shamanism, and paranormal phenomena. I also deeply sympathize with your past and on-going efforts to initiate a Beothuk skeletal repatriation and reburial process, via the Beothuk Institute, Government of NL and Ktaqkukewaw Saqamaw Mijjl Jo'. I myself have tried to "spark such a fire" from the outside as a silent supporter, but to no effect. My interpretation of this lack of response is motivated from several observational points derived from my own personal exeperience in catalyzing such a process. Some of these are as follows: i.) lack of interest, or rather apathy and indifference, among certain representatives or spokespeople who can come forward and take a stand on the issue (but for obvious personal reasons cannot or will not); ii.) no-one wants to put their credibility, reputation or job on the line by putting themselves out in the public domain (with the exception of Saqamaw Mijjl Jo's April 2013 standpoint) to take a stand on the issue, despite the emerging and mounting archaeological and genetic eveidence, which seems to give weight and credence to the pre-existing circumstantial evidence, such as ethno-historic, NL Mi'kmaq oral tradition accounts of Beothuk survivors incorporated into NL-NS Mi'kmaw regional extended kin groups; & iii.) funding from private sector sponsors, oil-gas corporated business and provincial government affiliates-subsidiaries is limited or rather not being channelled from the top through the proper funding agencies to help sponsor or subsidize these research projects-both government and corporate business, predicated by "Social Darwinistic" capitalism-free market economy operational-foundational ideals and philosophies which question the viability of financing such "high-risk" research endeavours interpreted as high-risk liabilities with questionable long-term profitability with no "high-return" rewards or profit for the investor. They question "how practical is it", "who does it benefit" and "why should we fiance such a project" for a people known on record to be extinct.Both levels of bureaucracy continue to circulate funding internally, behind closed doors if you will, via a reciprocal feedback loop of "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours". Its the oldest story in the book: politicians pander and pay lip service to big business which finance the megaprojects (Hibernia, Muskrat Falls, ...) and keep the money flowing in the economy. Anyone who questions or chllenges that "feedback loop" is perceived as a threat and is thrown outside the loop, through the "silent treatment" and starve them out through isolation and deprivation. So it is neither wise nor practical to question the norm here paraphrased periphrastically and euphemistically as "don't bite the hand that feeds you". Any act at questioing the master will be perceived as treason, treachery, or desertion-all acts of rebellion or insurrection from within the ranks and files of the party faithful. Here we are in 2014 and the Beothuk Institute is still fighting to secure funding to complete the comparative DNA study-wow, that is mind blowing. We live in a time now when supercomputers can microprocessor array libraries can perform full-genome wide sequencing of an individuals nuclear DNA in 2-3 hours. What once took 2-3 months, to 2-3 weeks with microprocessors and gen-chips, can now be performed in a mere hours. Yet it has taken a lengthy 10 years or more to go from 2 DNA samples from skeleta sampled in Scotland to the 20 being studied (on hold) through McMaster, MUN Genetics and the Beothuk Institute. The question for the unexpected delays and holds on the research are obvious to any outsider who is neither naive or oblivious. Funding delays are a mere public relations smokescreen or sideshow distraction to interpersonal differences among researchers about sharing of the information in the public domain, licensing and propietary ownership of the test, and implications for ackowedging the existence of a reportedly extinct group of people. So it comes down to "how do we deal with these people", "how do we define them under existing legislation" and "what are the long-term consequences of this recognition". So ultimately, researchers are asking the question "how do we maintain peace and order, while not "upsetting the apple cart" and "destabilizing the status quo". On the one hand we have Northern and Western Europe which is more open to comparative genomics, both genetic genealogy and ancient DNA, openly funding such projects for the altrusitic sharing of knowledge for the philanthropic advancement of mankind, while here in Canada, particularly NL-Lab. there is still a strong "stubbornly persisent illusion" or a strong underground movement against asking any such questions-a movement that has been inherited unconditionally by descendants of Anglo-Irish settlers who bear some of the inherited blame, guilt or shame in somehow being responsible for the actions of their distant ancestors who were deemed as being partly responsible for the extermination or genocide of a distinct and unqiue group of people. It is also founded by a prevailing attitude of provincial NLTA currculum (and textbook)designers and facilitators who pay lip service to provincial bureaucrats and financiers, who continue to allude briefly in lesson-unit plans to the former existence of a people deemed extinct only as a footnote/endnote or suggest for further recommended reading secondary references/resources which are rarely followed through with scholarly debate. For instance, why are resources such as Jackson's "On the Country" and Wetzels "Decolonizing Ktaqmkuk History" not recommended readings in high school curricula-such resources reinforce the credibility of NL Mc oral tradition accounts that some of these people did in fact survive, and tangentially the reasons for extinction or rather diaspora were not only complex, but multitudinous and multifacted being motivated by many factors, such as intragroup-intergroup competition for resources, manifesting as wifestealing & fratricide, hereditary illness, and, finally, Ultimatley, the Beothuk (Pi'tawkewaq) made the final decision to go into hiding, some opting for emigration to Labrador, some opting for integration into Conne River-Bay St. George's communities, with another group of traditionalists stubbornly holding on into the interior vowing never to come out or mix with other groups. That decision was predicated on their own volitional free will and mutually consensual from within. Finally, another factor that is rarely if ever discussed in the research literature is the role that shamanism played in influencing or driving a collective decision to abandon their traditional territories. The fact is that goverment officials who endorse and censor such curriculum content don't want people to ask the essential questions contrary to poplular belief or prevailing stereotypical norms. The reaction to these efforts at effecting a reponse is one directed to and perceived by the activist as giving them the "dumb treatment" or "cold shoulder". They operate under the "modus operandi" lets just pretend that we never read and heard that (with reference to Beothuk survivors) and hopefully with some time they will get the message, shut up and go away. Essentially, it is a sweep it under the rug policy, but all dirty laundry must sometime be put out to wash. So if you take a stand either way here in NL, or heaven forbid even mention their name, you are still regarded in closed circles as a "shit disturber", a "trouble maker", a "pain in the ass" or a "thorn in the side"-as harsh as it sounds, it is true, and truth hurts. I personally think that it was not only a crime committed among the early NL governing authorities and settlers to turn a blind eye to this so called "problem", which doesn't seem to want to go away, but by ignoring the mounting evidence vis a vis the mtDNA and future SNP autosomal DNA evidence among certain NL-NS Mi'kmaq descendants (and perhaps NL Anglo-Irish-French) with a known or attested connection to the Beothuk skeletal collection, we are merely perpetuating that crime in perpetuity and without awareness, through blind ignorance, apathy and indifference the wrong ways of think and doing that goes with that ignorance. This "Social Darwinistic" reasoning was the same mantra or driving force that resulted in the "apparent extinction" of a "nuisance species" such as the Beothuk Wolf (canis lupus beothucus) and the "apparent extinction" of the Beothuk. Old people who spent time "on the country" have known for many years that some NL wolves did in fact survive deep in the interior beyond their official date of extinction-the same argument or reasoning can be said for the Pi'tawkewaq. To date, none of the parties in question who have been implicated in such atrocities against the NL Wolf or the NL Beothuk have stood forward to take some level of responsiblity or to offer condolences in "wiping away the tears" having said sans selfish egotistical pride "On behalf of our ancestors who acted out of ignorance of fear, for any crimes against humanity, beyond our control or cuplability, we are sorry for any hardship, suffering or losses incurred by you or your descendants" To end the above noted preamble, I will contact Ardy Born With Three Thumbs in the near future via e-mail correspondence, but I will need 3-4 weeks to reflect on my thoughts. As an endnote, I include a website address for Oxford RGC-UK Genetics Laboratories (Oxford University Hospitals) as a link providing you with information regarding SNP testing for GLi3 ( http://ukgtn.nhs.uk/ find-a-test/search-bylaboratory/laboratory/ oxford-rgc-42/p/). I also include a website address for Svaante Paabos research facility housed at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology: (http://www.eva.mpg.de/genetics/staff/paabo/home.html). Perhaps you can contact him and encourage him to participate in the upcoming DNA studies, as his prodigal expertise in ancient DNA studies would be a valuable asset to the interdisciplinary research team. To sign off, I want you Ardy Born With Three Thumbs to know that you have gained a trusted brother in fealty and spirit in perpetuity to help you and your family to realize its goal, and perhaps the silent and though not unheard goals of other supporters, of initiating the Beothuk skeletal repatriation and reburial process. The chain has now been forged and the bond unbroken until the long-term goals have been relaized. I encourage other descendants with a proven mtDNA connection via HVR I-II + Full mtDNA test results to existing and future samples studies, to initiate a near future petition, demonstration and lobbying movement to expedite the repatriation and reburial process, to bring the skeletal remains back to their resting place where they belong with their loved ones. I encourage you and other Clan Mothers to stand up and do the right thing, in acting out of maternal right and reason. With this I give you my blessing.

  • White Hair
    April 07, 2014 - 14:16

    Here is an extract excerpted from the 2013 PAO Annual Field Report regarding the preliminary results of a survey in the Piper's Hole watershed area: ...Ten new sites were recorded. They consist of five unknown aboriginal, three historical/aboriginal and two historic localities. Piper's Hole-1 (CLAn-03), one of the historic/aboriginal sites, is a possible Beothuk occupation, based on the recovery of a headless wrought iron nail and 33 non-diagnostic lithic artifacts. The four other historic components include the alleged homestead of John Barrington, a prominent late-nineteenth century Mi'kmaq resident.... Nine of the 10 new sites yielded surface finds, four of the localities produced artifacts from test pits. Thirty one of ClAn-03s 33 stone artifacts were found on the surface of a blowout and eroding banks. In total, 49 of 53 lithics found in the survey were collected from the surface of eight sites.... (L. Maclean 2013: 99). With regard to the enigma or question as to why archaeologists have not been successful in finding more Beothuk skeletal remains to date, other than the 22 currently being tested for aDNA, one should ask the question: did the 2 primary Beothuk splinter groups that left the Red Indian Lake area ca. 1823-28, one migrating north to Labrador and the other east-southeast to the Piper's Hole-Black River watersheds, shift their mode of burial practices in response to increasing encroachment in their traditional territory to ensure that their remains would not be appropriated by intruders? It is known that the Newfoundland Mi'kmaq and Quebec Mi'kmaq sank their birch-bark canoes during late fall-early winter for preservation. It is quite possible that other Eastern Algonquian groups as well as NL beothuk practiced this tradition. No one ever asked the question, at least in a public medium anyways: did the splinter groups bury their dead with their sunken canoes in lakes and ponds in the interior of Keta'mshi't (Ktaqmkuk) as an alteration or adaptation to an already pre-existing practice, to evade detection by grave robbers? Perhaps that would be a question best answered in the future by the discipline of underwater archaeology! Another area which has not been explored in more detail but warrants further research is the satellite imaging and topographic mapping, and coastal surveying of caves. It is known that the Beothuk and Dorset Inuit (Tuniit) buried their dead in coastal caves and rock outcrops. For example, it is known that some members of the Martin family from Indian Cove, Piper's Hole-Le Cornu (The Horn) were born in a cave located in the side of a mountain. Source:(http://www.tcr.gov.nl.ca/tcr/pao/newsletters/Vol%2012%20-2013.pdf

  • White Hair
    April 07, 2014 - 13:18

    I have been following up on some of the comment of "Ardy Born With Three Thumbs". While not questioing the veracity or truthfulness of her genealogical claims to tracing direct descent from Santu, or her reported connections to Demasduit via genetic genealogy testing (mtDNA C1), I must address 2 question of relevance indirectly relating to the topic. First, I am sure that you are aware that there exists reconstructed circumstantial evidence collated from NL Mi'kmaw oral tradition accounts and other ethnographic evidence that both Santu and John William Paul, Speck's informant and guide, were believed to be brother and sister. I am sure that you are also aware that both John William Paul and John Barrington, of Conne River (Breton "Le Cornu" The Horn")-Indian Cove, Piper's Hole-Black River, PB, are known to be related, at least through family oral traditions and reconstructed circumstantial evidence. For example, Alphonse Barrington Jr. of Badger s/o Alphonsus Barrington Sr (b. Black River, PB, b. ca. 1880) reiterated on numerous occasions after citing stories told to him by NL Mi'kmaw elders from the community of Badger, where he grew up that both the Barringtons and Pauls were indeed related. In relating what an elder member of the Paul family told him as a young man, Alphonse stated: "you guys [Barringtons] are related to us [Pauls]. You guys are Mountaineers from Labrador". The question remains was the ethnonym "Mountaineer" noting more than a taboo-deformed term for Beothuk Indian, given the proven close ethnographic, linguistic and, perhaps, genetic affinities of both groups? This Labrador Montagnais-Naskapi connection was attested through not only oral tradition accounts of Beothuk informants that confirmed friendly relations with the Shaudamunk (Innu-aimun Tshiuatin-innuat/k) "Northen People" (cf. Mc Oqwatnukewaq), an origin myth or legend of the Beothuk tracing ancestry and migration from Labrador, as well as the destination of a small surviving splinter group that migrated there ca. 1826-28. A similar argument of such alleged Mountaineer ancestry may also be extended to the John/Baptiste/Sekaquet patriline of Miawpukek-Nukamkia'ji'jk. As an extension to this reasoning, albeit hitherto unproven pending future comparative genetic genealogy testing of the Beothuk skeletal remains and their full genome sequencing & comparison to extant (Mi'kmaq, Innuat, Labridorimiut, Kablunanngajuit) and extinct (Maritime Archaic Indian-Red Paint People, Beothuk, and Tuniit/Dorset Inuit), I am sure that Ms. Landry (Ardy Born With Three Thumbs) is also aware that the phenotypic trait of having multiple thumbs or radial preaxial polydactyly, is a congenital, autosomal-dominant, hereditary condition encoded by a zinc-finger GLi3 frameshift mutation on locus 7p13 (short p arm of chromosome 7 @ position 13, located from base pair 41,960,948-42,237,869). So as to air on the side of caution and not to presuppose, I am also sure that you are aware that this GLi3 mutation also encodes both Greig Cephalopolysyndactyly and Pallister-Hall Syndrome, with their associated embedded clusters of syndromic and non-syndromic symptoms. My question for "Ardy Born With Three Thumbs": has your family been tested for GLi3 frameshift mutation on 7p13, and, if not, will you and/or your family members be willing and able to participate in a future full genome SNP comparative autosomal DNA study to help in identifying this gene and other related gene clusters associated with this and other related medical conditions?

    • Ardy Born With 3 Thumbs
      April 18, 2014 - 02:31

      White Hair, My email is: 3.thumbs@ns.sympatico.ca I would like to further discuss your DNA request in the best interest of medical science for future generations. Do not hesitate to contact me at the above address so I can learn more about your role in this topic. Also, I assume you have seen a copy of my mtDNA certificate to be aware that I was born to a Landry father. Today, my legal name is: Ardy Born With 3 Thumbs as recorded on my property deed, driver's license, utility bills and other documents. Also, I have made application to Misel Joe, Newfoundland Government & Beothuk Institute in the past as to having Demasduit and her husband's skulls repatriated from Scotland to Red Indian Lake for reburial, however, none of the said parties were interested in supporting my request. Furthermore, Chris Aylward from Nfld whom teaches at Ryerson in Ontario visited me in 2012 at my dwelling in Nova Scotia to assist in a dissertation he is preparing on the Beothuk. Professor Aylward was accompanied by a cameraman from Ontario as he is also preparing a film on this matter. Each & every person involved is like a Link, but, when we join hands, we have Forged a Chain === Together we shall make a difference. Hope my Smoke Signal reaches your Camp in Good Spirit! Ardy

    • Ardy Born With 3 Thumbs
      April 18, 2014 - 13:30

      White Hair, Although I am familiar with Amerindian mtDNA ... I am not schooled in science as you appear to be able to quote genetic information at random; similarly, I consider myself well-versed in legislation, statutes & caselaw pertaining to Treaty & Aboriginal Rights of American Indians. It is very important to me as it is the only life I know - my life. I was born 1951, at a time that it was not so easy for Indians. Actually, today it is still not an easy life. I was born in a shack without electricity & water. I was forced to Catholic school as a child. I have a grade 6 education. I still live in a 2x4 shack without a foundation, furnace or septic system. I ate out of dumps as a child. I continue to see more mealtimes than meals. I weigh about 85 lbs. Just think, Canadian Taxpayers share in excess of $20 Billion Dollars a year with the Aboriginal People of Canada. Today, our people should not want for anything. Where are the monies going? I rely on our Treaty Rights for Survival - Hunting & Fishing for bounty provided by the Creator to be used as sustenance for food, personal consumption & ceremonial purpose. Like my Mother from whose Womb I stem and her Mother - my Grandmother - I refuse to live in captivity of a governmental Indian Reservation. I am a Status Indian registered with Indian Affairs Canada on the General List - Atlantic - therefore, I have no affiliation or membership with an INAC First Nations Band. I am MicMac Nation. I never received a Red Cent for being an Indian - I was born Indian. The Land does not belong to the Indian - The Indian belongs to the Land. It is of utmost importance to me that my Beothuk Ancestors remains be returned to Newfoundland to there original burial location and where their son is buried. Then and only then shall my Ancestors have Spiritual Peace. It seems today that others claiming to be "Indian" are only consumed by monies, moreso than a traditional value system of respect for those whom we have a duty owing as they gave their lives for us to be here today. It greatly disturbs me in regards to the Beothuk Institute's failure to support me on this sacred matter. The Institute continue to spend monies un-necessarily when they are aware that I have Beothuk mtDNA, as does my 2 daughters and 2 granddaughters. One would of thought that the Newfoundland Government would have taken my request of re-patriation more seriously as this matter also has great cultural relevance to the history of the province which may have financially boosted & positively affected the tourism industry. Furthermore, without balance there shall be no harmony ... Misel Joe failed me too. Many others fail not only to see the burden on the MicMac Woman's shoulder ... they also Fail to see the Motherlode - the Great Burden in the MicMac Woman's Heart. I am slowing up on the trail. I do not have many seasons walking the land of my Ancestors hunting, fishing & singing our songs in the fading sunset of my Indian Summer years. I remain a Free Indian. This is not talk I choose to speak, but talk that must be spoke. I honor my traditional unpaid role as Clanmother of the Tribe of MicMac. These talks are good medicine for us and healing for me, a MicMac Woman. Thank you for allowing me to share. Submitted in the Spirit & Intent of Treaty - Peace & Friendship. All my respect. Chief Ardy Born With 3 Thumbs - Sagama'sgw TTT (my mark)

    • Ardy Born With 3 Thumbs
      April 18, 2014 - 15:05

      White Hair, I forgot to mention that since I had my DNA tested in 2008 at Family Tree DNA, Houston Texas I agreed to further extensive testing paid by others through laboratories at MeAnd23 & DecodeMe; plus the University of Illinois whom studied my test results said my Amerindian mtDNA was "Special". I even received health reports from my testing. It is amazing the things DNA can tell us about ourselves. Scientific DNA evidence trumps British documents and Oral theories daily in Canadian Courts convicting, exonerating & determinig paternity. I was never a threat to Misel Joe, the "Chief" whom calls himself "Mi'kmaq", but, where is his Pride? I was not an enemy of the Newfoundland government, I even voluteerily issued a Permit to Premier Dunderdale for the dam development at Muskrat Falls. I could be their Strongest Ally - the original Spirit & Intent of the Sacred Covenant Chain of Peace & Friendship Treaties forged Nation to Nation between the Royal Imperial Crown of Great Britain and Her Majesty's Ally, the Tribe of MicMac in the 18th century. The Beothuk Institute which has been in existence for many moons continues to campaign for donations in their longtime search of locating living Beothuk DNA, yet they are aware that I have Beothuk mtDNA. They all forget that MicMac Woman has feelings too. Then I ponder ... if I was a "Man" would my re-patriation request been taken more seriously ... rather than be faced with systemic racism of a bygone colonial paternalistic era ... makes one wonder, doesn't it? Let us hope they all soon see the light. Historically speaking, the MicMac are very forgiving people. Let the healing begin. In closing, I would feel Great Honor to support you in your lifework in regards to the Ancient Ones of the MicMac - The Beothuk. Today is a Good Day! - Smile! - Ardy TTT

  • White Hair
    April 07, 2014 - 12:21

    Will the Beothuk Institute and the PAO (Provincial Archaeology Office) commit to undertaking an arcaeological survey and follow-up dig of the Red Indian Pond site in the Piper's Hole watershed area, where are a small group of Beothuk survivors were hiding out at a remote mountain camp ca. 1809-1819, prior to migrating to the old Mi'kmaw-Pi'tawkewaw campsite of Nukamkia'ji'jk (Indian Cove, Brown's Island), Piper's Hole, PB.? See the 2013 PAO Annual Field Report (Laurie Maclean 2013, Burnside Heritage Foundation) (http://www.tcr.gov.nl.ca/tcr/pao/newsletters/Vol%2012%20-2013.pdf) for preliminary results of a field survey and follow-up dig in the Nukamkia'ji'jk area.

  • Tony Stuckless
    April 02, 2014 - 14:28

    The Stucklesses of Twillingate always had it passed down from generation to generation that there is a Beothuck connection in our family. The most unique thing about us is our teeth.

  • Jessica Gallant-Hatt
    February 11, 2014 - 01:04

    I'm a status Mi'kmaq and had my mtDNA done last year I belong to hg X2a1 and a dna match to Chief Nonosabusut .

  • Grant Tucker
    November 13, 2013 - 14:52

    There is compelling historical, anecdotal and anatomical evidence that the Beothucks are not extinct. They may be alive and well and living all around us. Those of us who have roots in Hants Harbour consider it very likely that there was a Beothuck female in our ancestry. There is enough evidence to warrant genetic testing.

  • Carmel Whittle
    July 02, 2013 - 23:18

    The Beothuk did survive with great efforts made by the Mi'kmaq People who protected the Beothuk. The government of NL & Lab. needs to support the science community in investing funds to find the truth through DNA testing to uncover that the Beothuk (Pi,taw) People remain with us to this day despite all the efforts made by previous history to deny their existence. Wela'lin (Thank you) to the Mi'kmaq People who also must be cleared of being the blame for the Beothuk's demise. The truth is in the DNA. Many scientist who have researched the genetics of the Beothuk cannot say for certain that the Beothuk exist because they do not have enough genetic comparisons to go by unless the Mi'kmaq of NL & Lab have DNA testing. The government should do the right thing and make sure that those who wish to be tested can be out of respect for the First Nations Peoples of NL & Lab. To restore the Mi'kmaq pride in all Mi'kmaq People that they helped their Beothuk brothers and sisters survive. Scientist need the evidence and they need the cooperation and funds from the government to successfully claim the existence of the Beothuk.

  • Dave
    July 02, 2013 - 21:50

    I remember hearing about 15-20 yrs ago that there was a family in Central NL that had similar dental features/jaw structure of the Beothuck. But nothing ever came of it so I don't know if it is true or not. I would be so pleased to hear the Beothuck aren't all gone. But I'm not sure those with Beothuck ancestry would enjoy the amount of attention they would get. Talk about media frenzy.

  • Joe
    July 02, 2013 - 13:54

    It makes a lot o sense given the events surrounding our Mi'kmaq ancestry. It's understandable. It goes without say, "Out of sight; out of mind" There are probably many other ancestry groups that are alive and well! Wouldn't it be interesting to find out that we all have Indian blood flowing through our veins, except for Stephen Harper of course. I would be ashamed to know that he has Indian blood! How ironic would that be?

  • Cindy Murray
    April 29, 2013 - 16:45

    I hope the Beothuk Institute is soon successful in raising the remaining financial resources necessary to continue with their important DNA testing to find a genetic link between our beloved Beothuk and Mi'kmaq people. DNA testing should also be done to find a genetic link between the Beothuk and Europeon and French settlers as well because if the genetic link survived with just one known female brought to Iceland by the Vikings, it stands to reason that there could very well be much more to be discovered right here in Newfoundland!! Contact with Europeon or French settlers meant almost certain death for the Beothuk, so they would have likely gone to great lengths to keep their native origin secret. As far as I understand it, their skin was lighter than most native groups, so removing the red ocher from their bodies would have perhaps made it easier for them to blend in with Europeon and French settlers. I read at least one comment on-line from a Newfoundlander who claimed that his ancestor was of Beothuk origin.

  • Gerry Samms
    April 19, 2013 - 10:27

    I am excited to think that the Beothuck were not driven to extinction.. my family has great evidence of native blood, I would be pleased to undergo DNA testing if it meant proving a point.