A show by indigenous Canadians at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is to request the remains of two bodies which are held by the National Museums of Scotland.

The remains of the two Beothuk people, a chief and his wife from the people of Newfoundland, are in the collections of the museums (NMS), which say they are of "utmost scientific importance".

However the artists of Article 11, an indigenous performance company led by Tara Beagan and Andy Moro, who coming to Edinburgh this summer as part of the Summerhall venue's programme, are to press for their return to Canada.

The remains, which are not on display, are set to be the focus of a formal request for repatriation from the Canadian government.

The Canadian Heritage Minister, Melanie Joly, has notified National Museums Scotland of the "intention" to formally request repatriation.

Article 11's show, named Rematriation, which will be at the King's Hall venue from August 7 to 25, hopes to bring further focus to the campaign to return the remains to Canada.

Mr Moro said: "We intend to approach the museum with a gentle request for this particular process of Rematriation – begun by Chief Mi’sel Joe in 2013 - to be accelerated with a mind to human decency and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

"We will appeal to the directorship of the museum to review the situation based on what we do know instead of what we don’t or can’t."

He said he hoped the show would create "awareness and art" and added: "Indians are not the mythical, stilted English-speaking creatures of lore. We are here."

Mr Moro noted: "We are actively learning more and more about the good work that is being done at the Museum – particularly with Australian Indigenous collections and others.

"We are indeed hopeful. Good consciousness and appropriate actions regarding Indigenous peoples are on the rise everywhere."

A motion has been made in the Newfoundland-Labrador House of Assembly by member Tracey Perry calling for repatriation of the remains “so that they may be laid to rest with dignity.”

The effort has been publicly led by Chief Mi’sel Joe, who has visited Edinburgh twice, and performed a ceremony over the remains, which the campaign wish to be returned to the eastern coast of Turtle Island.

Article 11 say the skulls belong to Chief Nonobawsut, and his young wife Demasuit, whose land was taken by Governor Charles Hamilton.

Demasduit was captured and taken by the British contingent while Nonosbawsut, her husband and community leader, was murdered.

Demasduit died of tuberculosis on 8 January 1820. Her body was placed in a burial hut beside her husband and child.

The Scots-Canadian William Cormack took the skull and other goods from the grave of Nonosbawsut and sent them to Edinburgh, along with the remains of Demasduit in 1828, and later became part of the NMS collection.

Chief Mi'sel Joe, of the the Mi’kmaq, along with the Innu and the Innuit, share the traditional lands of the Beothuk.

"They were stolen from Newfoundland. They belong to us and they should be brought back," he has said.

A spokeswoman for the NMS said: "National Museums Scotland was pleased to host two visits by Chief Misel Joe, Traditional Saqamaw of the Miawpukek First Nation, Conne River, Newfoundland to the National Museum of Scotland, to discuss and provide access to collections relating to the Beothuk people, currently not on display, and the Mi’kmaq people.

"During these meetings representatives of National Museums Scotland and Chief Misel Joe discussed the specific history and importance of the Beothuk collections."

She added: "The two Beothuk skulls are of the utmost scientific importance as they represent a now-extinct tribe and these skulls are among the very last evidence for this tribe.

"National Museums Scotland is committed to caring for these items with great sensitivity and respect in the present as in the past.

"Representatives communicated to Chief Misel Joe the proper channels through which he could make repatriation requests."

The spokeswoman said that there has been no formal request for repatriation from the Canadian government, but "we have been happy to provide all materials and information that the Canadian Government has required and are continuing a constructive dialogue with the government and its civil servants."