About the Qikiqtani Truth Commission
QIA initiated the Qikiqtani Truth Commission to undertake a comprehensive social justice inquiry into the Government’s colonial policies, programs and decisions between 1950 to 1975. Inuit calls for a public inquiry into these colonial practices had gone unanswered. QIA believed Inuit deserved to have the opportunity to confront the Canadian government about forced relocation, killing of qimmiit (sled dogs), and other assimilative actions. QIA began the recording of testimonials from Qikiqtani Inuit in 2004. In 2007, the Qikiqtani Truth Commission was officially established with the Qikiqtani Truth Commission’s Final Report: Achieving Saimaqatigiingniq published in 2010.
The Final Report: Achieving Saimaqatigiingniq, chronicles the Government of Canada’s colonial practices subjected on Qikiqtani Inuit. The Report distills three years of interviews, testimony, and archival research about the experiences of Qikiqtani Inuit with modern-day colonialism.
The Qikiqtani Truth Commission’s investigation undertook two closely related activities:
- Gathering testimonies about events between 1950 and 1975 from Inuit who lived through this difficult period, as well as from their children who continue to remember the suffering of their parents and other relatives.
- Completing an extensive archival research program and interviews with non-Inuit who worked in the region during this period. The interviewees included a retired RCMP officer, government officials and academic researchers.
Inuit shared personal accounts of coerced relocation, mass removal of children from families, residential school experiences, slaughter of qimmiit, separation of families due to a lack of healthcare infrastructure, and the separation of Inuit from their culture, language and the land.
The report also recognizes that Inuit still suffer from the impacts of past colonial policies and programs and that the legacy of colonialism still lingers within present-day Government frameworks.
Inuit want to move forward by implementing the 25 recommendations for action in the Qikiqtani Truth Commission’s Final Report. These recommendations are grouped into four themes:
- Acknowledging and healing of past wrongs
- Strengthening Inuit governance
- Strengthening Inuit culture
- Creating healthy communities