Ousted from Labrador Inuit government, ex-politician questions ‘blood quantum’ method

Newfoundland and Labrador's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

A former member of Labrador’s Inuit government is questioning the methods used to quantify whether he is sufficiently Indigenous after he was removed from his government roles last week.

Edward Blake Rudkowski says he was informed last Friday he was no longer a beneficiary of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement after a review of his status determined he had just 17 per cent Inuit blood.

He says according to the land claims agreement, beneficiaries must have at least 25 per cent “blood quantum,” as it’s called, to be registered as Labrador Inuit and beneficiaries of the agreement.

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In a statement Monday, the Nunatsiavut government says that because Blake Rudkowski is no longer a beneficiary, he was removed from his seat in the Nunatsiavut Assembly and from his role as the assembly’s speaker.

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Blake Rudkowski says he’s been a beneficiary of the agreement for decades and doesn’t understand how it was determined that he had just 17 per cent blood quantum.

He says the review of his status was triggered by a former political opponent and he feels the process that determined his blood quantum amounted to throwing darts at a genealogy board.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.

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