Rose Island: A final resting place in the hearts of Labrador’s Inuit Social Sharing
A stone cairn holding the remains of more than a hundred Inuit individuals sits peacefully on Rose Island in the Torngat Mountains National Park, along the northern coast of Labrador.
This is their final resting place.
Akinisie Sivuarapik, a throat singer from Puvirnituq, Nunavik — the Inuit area of northern Quebec — says she doesn’t feel alone in the Torngat Mountains landscape.
“You can feel the spirits from these mountains, and you can actually see faces on the mountains, like different facial expressions,” she said. “So you feel the spirits here. You don’t feel alone here.”
This summer, Sivuarapik paid tribute to the mass burial site on Rose Island with Evie Mark, who lives in Montreal but is from Ivujivik on the Hudson Strait.
Like Sivuarapik, Mark felt emotional the first time she throat sang at the mass grave.
The spirits miss hearing throat singing and drum dancing, Mark said. That’s why she and Sivuarapik dedicate songs to them.
“Today, I think that they celebrate when we come here. I don’t see them sad or lonely,” said Mark. “I think when we come here they get a chance to celebrate.”