In This Issue....
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Royal Canadian Mounted Police Report
The news of the RCMP’s final report on what they refer to as "allegations concerning Inuit Sled Dogs" (1950 to circa 1970) and which Inuit organizations refer to as "the dog slaughters" were widely reported in the Canadian press and has continued to appear in many "blogs" as well, ever since the report’s release on November 29, 2006 when it was tabled in the Canadian House of Commons.
The twenty-four-page statement is an executive summary of the internal 771-page report, bringing to a close the RCMP's own investigation which had been ongoing for more than twelve months. This summary has been made available to the public on the RCMP web site. The 771-page internal report is also available to the public, in English only, at no charge, on CD-ROM by sending an email request to RCMP S/Sgt. Phil Campbell or to him by traditional means at:
This report reaffirms the interim report of September, 2005 and concludes that, while stating dogs were killed for humane reasons (starvation and disease) or for reasons of public safety (dogs running loose), there was no evidence found supporting allegations of the killing of thousands of qimmiit as a means of forcing Inuit away from their traditional lifestyle and into communities.Operational Policy Section, CCAPS
Inuit and their representing organizations have disputed the RCMP’s conclusions. A joint Makivik/Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) December 5, 2006 press release claims Inuit hunters and dog team owners had developed over many centuries the knowledge and skills to manage the health and welfare of their dogs and the size of their teams, and in times of hunger would not kill the principal and most productive means of travel to hunt for food. They also claim that some dogs were not loose when shot. In listing some of the sources of information used for their report, the RCMP mentions that organizations such as Makivik were unwilling to cooperate by providing access to elders and their testimonies. However, in the press release QIA president Thomasie Alikatuktuk states, "The RCMP underestimate the level of distrust that remains from the colonial period, and the bitterness resulting from the dog slaughters. They cannot blame the elders and our organizations for not trusting a process that was not independent."
In late October a Nunatsiaq News story reported that the QIA suggested the establishment of a "truth and reconciliation commission" to examine the allegations that Inuit Dogs in Nunavut and Nunavik were systematically slaughtered. In fact, the QIA says it will allocate funds (variously stated by different news sources at $600,000 and $2,000,000) to a public inquiry to begin in 2007 and expected to last three years. The organization has already initiated plans to have a video produced on the subject as did the Makivik Corporation with their "Echo of the Last Howl".