The Foundation and the Early Years of the Moravian Mission in Labrador, 1752-1805
After an abortive attempt to establish a mission on the Labrador coast in 1752, the Moravian Church undertook a more determined program in the 1760's under the leadership of Jens Haven. With the blessing of government, a mission station was established in Nain in 1771, administered jointly by the German and English branches of the Moravian Church. The policy of the mission was to contain the aboriginal populations in the north, and to gather them into regulated Christian communities established on traditional Moravian lines. The mission could not provide a complete economic substitute for the southern trader. The realization of the settled community ideal involved far-reaching economic, social and religious changes for the aboriginals, which took far longer to occur than the missionaries originally anticipated. The mission was not willing to compromise on its high standards. There were not many conversions in the early years but as the mission became part of the established scene and the dependency of the aboriginals on economic and social services increased, mission schools began to have an effect on young people. The uniformity of local society was disrupted and then reestablished by the 1804-5 "revival" that established mission dominance from Okkak to Hopedale and brought into being the settled community.
01 Jan 1967
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Strategic Research Theme
Arctic and Northern Regions
Community and Regional Development