Fighting for what’s theirs

Fighting for what's theirs

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Warning: This story discusses intergenerational trauma, addiction and abuse.

Flickers of light draw attention to the sandy ground stretching in front of white crosses as the sun sets over Natuashish on Labrador’s northern coast.

Headstones for babies. Toys that will never be hugged. Pictures of teens who died by suicide.

The wash of warm colours — pinks, purples, blues — is a startling contrast to the messages of loss and longing loved ones have left behind.

“I look at my kids. I watched them sleep and I cry. I cry to stay alive for them,” says Phyllis Katshinak, who’s lived many of her 32 years on Labrador’s north coast.

“So many of my generation, my people, my relatives took their own lives, my best friends.”

Katshinak has her hair pulled back from her face with a scarf, revealing two deep dimples. Big hoop earrings move rhythmically as she walks through the sandy trails in Natuashish with a broken hockey stick across her shoulders. Walking is part of her healing, she explains.


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