Statue in Newfoundland to pay tribute to one of the last of the Beothuk people

BOTWOOD, N.L. — Plans are in the works to install a bronze statue in central Newfoundland to commemorate the death more than 200 years ago of Demasduit, an Indigenous woman who was among the last surviving members of the Beothuk people.

The federal and provincial governments announced today $471,000 in funding for the project in Botwood.

The larger-than-life statue will include Demasduit, her husband Nonosabasut and their newborn child.

The sculpture will be placed on Botwood’s Blueberry Hill, which overlooks the Bay of Exploits, where Demasduit died, likely from tuberculosis, aboard the a British warship on Jan. 8, 1820.

The Beothuk were wiped out after European settlers encroached on their land, resulting in deadly conflicts and the introduction of new diseases.

Demasduit's niece, Shawnadithit, was the last known Beothuk. She died of tuberculosis in St. John's in 1829.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 4, 2022.

The Canadian Press