Shimun Michel


Shimun Michel was born in 1924 at Mishintshuku (Lac Clugny), northwest of Menihek Lakes. He is the son of Pinip Michel (Ashtunishish) and Mani-Nush Jean-Pierre, and is one of 10 children. He was widowed twice before marrying Manian Ashini in Sheshatshiu in 1949. Together, he and Manian had 14 children.

In his youth, his family frequented the Mishintshuku area and Kaniapishkau (Lac Caniapiscau) in northern Quebec, trading at Sept-Iles via the Moisie River. It was not until 1938 that he first visited Sheshatshiu which his family reached via Mishikamau (Michikamau Lake) and Matshinassiu-shipu (Beaver River). During the years that followed, he visited many locations in the interior of Labrador including Mishta-shipu (Churchill River), Mishikamau-shipu (Naskapi River), Nipississ Lake (Nipishish), and Atshiku-nipi (Seal Lake). Shimun took up wage-labour in the early 1960s and worked for many years with the provincial Department of Transportation.

Shimun has been an active participant, as an expert elder advisor to the Innu Nation, in land claims negotiations and various technical committees dealing with environmental matters. The Innu Nation called upon him frequently to attend official events where the Elders' point of view could be conveyed to visiting dignitaries and government representatives.

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