Natives at a clothing store, Battle Harbour. Waiting for the store to open.
Dr. Wilfred Grenfell was deeply affected by the poverty that he perceived in northern Newfoundland and Labrador. Initially, he and his associates distributed relief, often in the form of used clothing. However, he became convinced that the poverty was caused by the precarious economy of the fishery and the prevalence of the truck system. He maintained that it could be counterbalanced only through comprehensive programmes of community development. In 1896, Grenfell encouraged the establishment of the first cooperative store at Red Bay, Labrador.
The work of the Grenfell mission expanded to encompass social welfare and community development programmes. This included the introduction of livestock, including cattle, sheep and - most fascinating - reindeer; the encouragement of agriculture through the development of family gardens; and the creation of alternate employment, including sawmills.
Adult education was also promoted by the Mission and several residents were sponsored for relevant studies in New York and in Berea, Kentucky. The Grenfell Mission established the George V Institute in St. Johnís, intended to provide comfortable accommodations for fishermen and outport women in the city, as well as access to a reading room and to social amenities.
The IGA even promoted tourism to northern Newfoundland and Labrador as a vehicle of community development, establishing an inn in St. Anthony for visitors and extolling the attractiveness of the northern wilderness for potential visitors.
The language in the title reflects
contemporary views by mission staff and volunteers towards northern
Newfoundland and Labrador
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