Newfoundland and Labrador to drop the word 'savages' from provincial coat of arms

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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The Newfoundland and Labrador government is moving ahead with plans to drop the word "savages" from the official description of the Indigenous people depicted on the province's nearly 400-year-old coat of arms.

Premier Andrew Furey made the announcement today, saying his government has introduced legislation to amend the Coat of Arms Act.

The amendments include removing the word "‘savages" and replacing it with "Beothuk," the name of Indigenous people who inhabited the island portion of the province when European settlers arrived.

As well, the government plans to add the name Labrador to the coat of arms.

In June 2018, the governing Liberals said they would drop the archaic description and redesign the coat of arms after Indigenous leaders and the party's own Indigenous Peoples Commission called for changes.

The coat of arms features two Indigenous figures in traditional garb, standing on either side of a red shield.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20 2021.

The Canadian Press

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