By the time that European contact with Newfoundland began in the early 16th century, the Beothuk were the only indigenous group living permanently on the island.  Unlike other groups in the Northeastern area of the Americas, the Beothuk never established sustained trading relations with European settlers. Instead, their trading interactions were sporadic, and they largely attempted to avoid contact in order to preserve their culture.  The establishment of English fishing operations on the outer coastline of the island, and their later expansion into bays and inlets, cut off access for the Beothuk to their traditional sources of food. In the 18th century, as the Beothuk were driven further inland by these encroachments, violence between Beothuk and settlers escalated, with each retaliating against the other in their competition for resources. By the early 19th century, violence, starvation, and exposure to tuberculosis had decimated the Beothuk population, and they were extinct as a cultural group by 1829. 
The border between Labrador and Canada was set March 2, 1927, after a tortuous five-year trial. In 1809 Labrador had been transferred from Lower Canada to Newfoundland, but the landward boundary of Labrador had never been precisely stated.  Newfoundland argued it extended to the height of land, but Canada, stressing the historical use of the term "Coasts of Labrador", argued the boundary was 1 statute mile ( km) inland from the high-tide mark. As Canada and Newfoundland were separate Dominions , but both members of the British Empire , the matter was referred to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council  (in London ), which set the Labrador boundary mostly along the coastal watershed, with part being defined by the 52nd parallel north . One of Newfoundland's conditions for joining Confederation in 1949 was that this boundary be entrenched in the Canadian constitution.  While this border has not been formally accepted by the Quebec government, the Henri Dorion Commission (Commission d'étude sur l'intégrité du territoire du Québec) concluded in the early 1970s that Quebec no longer has a legal claim to Labrador.