August 14, 2019 – Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami welcomes the apology today in Iqaluit by Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett on behalf of the Government of Canada to Inuit of Nunavut’s Qikiktaaluk Region for the federal government’s actions in the region between 1950 and 1975.
The Qikiqtani Truth Commission provided an independent review of incidents and policies impacting Inuit of the region’s 13 communities between 1950 and 1975. Its final report included interviews with nearly 350 witnesses who described the varied impacts of government action and policy on their lives, including being moved from the land into settlements with inadequate housing, attending residential school and the widespread killing of Inuit sled dogs.
The commission developed 25 recommendations, including that the Government of Canada acknowledge its role in contributing to suicide, addiction, incarceration and social dysfunction that exists in the region today, as well as calling on the federal government to remedy Nunavut’s housing shortfall.
“Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami celebrates the work of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association leading up to today’s announcement, and of Inuit of the Qikiqtaaluk region, who bravely told their stories. At the national level, I am proud to work through the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee to move forward reconciliation measures that reflect Inuit desires for self-determination and a renewed relationship with with the federal government and provinces and territories,” said ITK President Natan Obed.
Photo courtesy of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association