Historical Events

An Eskimo dies of cancer.

Cancer among Labrador Europeans was, of course, well known to the Moravian mission, both from their own experience and that of the Grenfell mission to the south of them. In his letter of November 20, 1957, Superintendent Peacock says, “Previous to my coming to Labrador, Robert Ford [a Scot who may have had some Eskimo blood] ... died from a diagnosed cancer ...”

In the aforementioned letter of November 20, Superintendent Peacock reports what he believes to have been the first death of a Labrador Eskimo from a recognized cancer:

“When I first came to Labrador, in 1935, I was told [by the Reverend W. Perrett] that cancer never occurred among Eskimos. However, during the winter of 1935-36 an Eskimo, Michael Nochasak, became ill with abdominal trouble ... This man suffered intense pain and was removed to a hospital when navigation opened, and died of cancer.

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