QIA wants Ottawa to acknowledge dog slaughters
“The Inuit truth must be acknowledged by the federal government"
The Qikiqtani Inuit Association says it applauds the Quebec for acknowledging the dog slaughter that took place in Nunavik decades ago.
“This is an important step towards building a more meaningful relationship based on trust between Inuit communities and government in Nunavik,” QIA President Okalik Eegeesiak said Aug. 9 in a news release.
Quebec premier Jean Charest signed an agreement with Nunavik leaders Aug. 8, which recognizes the suffering that many Inuit families endured when their sled dogs were killed in the 1950s and 1960s.
Now, the QIA hopes the federal government will acknowledge the findings of its Qikiqtani Truth Commission, which looked into similar allegations of dog slaughters in Nunavut communities and other traumatic events stemming from government policies.
Those wrongdoings must be acknowledged in order for Inuit to move forward, Eegeesiak said.
The QIA launched the commission in 2007, one year after the RCMP investigated allegations about their own involvement in dog killings in northern communities. The police force concluded they were forced to kill the dogs for health and safety reasons.
The QIA has recently completed an implementation plan for the Truth Commission’s report and will be seeking responses from various levels of government.
The purpose of the truth commission is to improve relations between Inuit and government, while promoting healing among those who suffered at the hands of government policy, Eegeesiak said.
“The Inuit truth must be acknowledged by the federal government before the healing can begin for our region,” she said.