Iqaluit, Nunavut – March 6, 2019 – Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) releases ‘Action on the Qikiqtani Truth Commission’ report which sets out a plan for a formal acknowledgement, apology and action on the recommendations outlined in the Qikiqtani Truth Commission.
In the spirit of reconciliation, QIA wants Canada to acknowledge modern-day colonial practices in the Arctic to allow Inuit to forgive and heal. Reconciliation, for Inuit in Nunavut’s Qikiqtani Region, means taking action on the Qikiqtani Truth Commission’s Final Report: Achieving Saimaqatigiingniq (2010).
“QIA is asking the Government of Canada to finally take action on the Qikiqtani Truth Commission’s report,” says QIA President, P.J. Akeeagok, “Specifically, we are asking the Federal Government to not only apologize for past wrongs but also implement measures that help Qikiqtani Inuit achieve social, cultural and economic empowerment in the future.”
For years, the Canadian government rejected Inuit calls for a public inquiry into colonial practices that radically transformed the Inuit homeland and traditional ways of life from 1950 to 1975. Inuit did not have the opportunity to confront the Canadian Government about forced relocation, killing of qimmiit (sled dogs), and other assimilative actions.
Instead of an inquiry, the government directed the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to look into these allegations and report to Parliament. QIA was deeply disappointed with the RCMP report, which contradicted and rejected Inuit accounts of this history
For these reasons, QIA established an independent truth commission to gather its own account of what happened to Qikiqtani Inuit between 1950 and 1975. Approximately 350 Inuit participated through public hearings to uncover the truth about the Government of Canada’s policies and practices.
The Qikiqtani Truth Commission’s Final Report distills three years of interviews, testimony, and archival research about the experiences of Qikiqtani Inuit with modern-day colonialism.
To date, the Government of Canada has not officially responded to the Qikiqtani Truth Commission and its findings.
For more information, please contact:
Sima Sahar Zerehi, Director of Communications, Qikiqtani Inuit Association