Moravian Missions

In the 1700’s, Moravian Missionaries brought education and religion to the people of the wild, unknown lands of Labrador.  It is said that the first attempt was made to establish a Moravian Mission in Makkovik, a community located on the north coast of Labrador.  If you’re lucky enough to visit this magical place, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the White Elephant Museum – now a registered heritage structure – and housing over 200 artifacts.  A little further north you’ll find Hopedale where Moravian Missionaries arrived from Germany in 1782.  Today, you’ll find the Hopedale Mission National Historic Site where some of the oldest wooden-framed buildings in Canada still stand there as built by the Moravian Mission.  Okak is an Innu community and Moravian outport that in 1918 was visited by a Moravian ship carrying supplies – and the Spanish influenza. The Spanish influenza reached Okak on November 4th, 1918 after the SS Harmony arrived there with at least one infected crew member onboard. Before the pandemic, Okak was the largest Inuit settlement on Labrador’s coast and one its most prosperous.  Located nearly 150 miles north of Nain, Hebron was founded in 1831, and was inhabited until 1959. Cruise ship is one of few ways to get here.  The massive Moravian Mission House, completed in 1836, is the most prominent structure in this uninhabited community and is still holding out against the elements.

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