The Fan Hitch Volume 10, Number 3, June 2008

Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog

In This Issue....

From the Editor: The Fan Hitch... Enhanced

F.I.D.O.: Andrew Maher and Julia Landry

Fan Mail

In the News

Out on the Ice: Three Days with ISDs in North Greenland

Two Friends, Fourteen Dogs…One Quest!

The Nunavut Quest’s 10th Anniversary Run

BAS Vignette: Lampwick Harnesses

Sledge Dog Memorial Fund Update

CAAT’s 2008 Northern Schedule

The Chinook Project Returns to Kimmirut

Product Review Update: Double Driver Sled

IMHO: On Feral Cats and Inuit Sled Dogs

Navigating This Site

Index of articles by subject

Index of back issues by volume number

Search The Fan Hitch

Articles to download and print

Ordering Ken MacRury's Thesis

Our comprehensive list of resources

Talk to The Fan Hitch

The Fan Hitch home page

ISDI home page

Editor's/Publisher's Statement
Editor: Sue Hamilton
Webmaster: Mark Hamilton
The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog, is published four times a year. It is available at no cost online at:

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This site is dedicated to the Inuit Dog as well as related Inuit culture and traditions. It is also home to The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog.
In the News....

J.D. Soper and family, assistant Moosa and family, leaving for
zoological trip en route down Westbourne Bay to outer coast,
Lake Harbour [Kimmirut, Nunavut] N.W.T., 6 June 1931.
                       Photo: J.D. Soper / Library and Archives Canada


Qikiqtani Truth Commission

In October 2007, QIA Board of Directors passed a motion at its Annual General Meeting in Iqaluit approving the Qikiqtani Truth Commission's Terms of Reference and Mandate.  At the same time, James Igloliorte was appointed as the Commissioner, Madeleine Redfern as Executive Director and Paul Crowley as Special Advisor.  In November, QTC hired Joanasie Akumalik as Executive Assistant.

In December QTC set out a community schedule for its public hearings in all 13 Qikiqtani communities.  The Commissioner also approved the Commission’s Rules of Procedure which provides guidelines with respect to participating in the hearings, requests for assistance, rules regarding evidence, amnesty from civil suit, private or in-camera testimony, filming and media coverage.

The Commission has already conducted seven community hearings (Kimmirut, Cape Dorset, Sanikiluaq, Resolute Bay, Grise Fiord, Arctic Bay, Pangnirtung).  There has been good attendance and participation.  Over 100 Inuit have come before the Commissioner to recount their recollections on a variety of issues, including but not limited to: killing of dogs, dog disease, housing, education, hunting, health issues, such as TB, employment, and relocations.  The hearings are done in public, except for a few that are done privately due to the sensitivity or private nature of the person's testimony or in the person's home – usually due to age and/or health reasons.  All witnesses' testimony are filmed, except where the person expressly declines, however, their testimony is recorded.

The Gordon Foundation, a private charity, is providing the Commission $180,000 grant over two years to help cover the cost of filming ($100,000), research and database creation ($80,000).

The Commission has hired an Ottawa based company to do its archival research by finding and copying government records, including but not limited to RCMP and DIAND files.  The researchers have been producing community histories from these documents for the Commissioner in preparation of his visits into the communities.  These community histories will, in part, form part of the report.

Commissioner Igloliorte has met with RCMP Commissioner Elliott, his two Deputy Commissioners, Assistant Commissioner and Chief Superintendent.  RCMP is very supportive of the Qikiqtani Truth Commission and has granted full access to their archives, permission to reproduce any RCMP reports, provide assistance for retired members to attend QTC hearings, issued a joint press release to this affect.  QTC has also established an ongoing dialogue with the RCMP V Division.  Both levels of RCMP are keen to assist QTC and very interested in Commissioner Igloliorte’s recommendations to help promote and facilitate reconciliation between the RCMP and Inuit in Nunavut.

QTC is creating a searchable database and inputting all records, reports, press releases, media stories, testimonies (video, audio), transcripts and translations, so that the Commission can use to produce its report.  The Commission desires to have this database accessible to all Inuit, Canadians and the world – long after its work is done.  Inuit will be able to download sections of the report or video of a family or community member’s interview or a RCMP community reports from 1950’s to 1980. 

The next hearing will be in Iqaluit and is scheduled for June.

For more information, please contact:

Qikiqtani Truth Commission
P.O. Box 1340
Iqaluit, NU X0A 0H0  CANADA
Tel: (867) 975-8400, (867) 979-7035 or 1-800-667-2742

*      *      *

Makivik Corporation’s "Dog-Cull" Probe is Underway

Makivik, the development corporation mandated to manage the heritage funds of the Inuit of Nunavik, is planning its own inquiry into the "alleged sled dog killings in Nunavik communities during the 1950s and 1960s." An April 11, 2008 article in the Nunatsiaq News ("Makivik to launch Nunavik-wide dog-cull probe"
) describes this effort as independent from the Qikiqtani Truth Commission's currently ongoing investigation.

Quebec Judge, Justice Jean-Jacques Croteau, is already visiting communities in Nunavik, consulting with and interviewing Inuit leaders as well as dog owners. As part of his report, Justice Croteau will review Makivik’s 2005 legal brief, their video Echo of the Last Howl, testimonies of Inuit Elders that Makivik collected for the brief and video, 1950-1970 laws regarding dealing with of loose dogs, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's 2006 final report on the "Allegations concerning Inuit Sled Dogs". He plans to submit his report, a "review and analysis of the events that occurred during the 1950s and 1960s concerning Inuit sled dog killings," by the end of 2008, but only if the Canadian federal government covers the expenses for his investigation.
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