Elizabeth (Tshaukuesh) Penashue

Elizabeth (Tshaukuesh) Penashue is the essence of what an elder can do in a community. She builds bridges between todays world and the traditinional, teaches younger generations the vitalness of the culture and most importantly, is active in her work as a protector of the homeland and Innu lifestyle.

Annually since 1996 she leads organized treks deep into her ancestral lands. In the winter she guides a 150-mile snowshoe trek and in the summer, a month-long canoe trip on the threatened Churchill River. Modestly she says she “is a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves, such as the animals, plants and other beings.”

It’s been a personal crusade for her for the better part of her life. Her purpose she says is to remind not only her own people about the history o the land but to consider the effects that resource development and globalization are having on them.

Her activism work began in the early 1980’s in opposition to NATO low-level flying and is often found on the frontlines leading the charge acting a media spokesperson and in the courts as an expert witness on Innu culture.

With her calm, focused presence she is a courageous leader, a proud representative of the Innu culture and a protector of the land she holds dearly.