Editorial: We’ve Moved!
Historic Ceremony in Kangiqsualujjuaq
Passages: Heiko Wittenborn
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Point of View: Veterinary Service in Nunavik
Chinook Project: Summer 2011 Report
Unikkausivut: Sharing Our Stories
Making a Mitten Harness
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Mayor Kitty Annanack and community Elder Johnny-George Annanack
receive a plaque commemorating the dog slaughter of the 1950-1970s
from Quebec Premier Jean Charest after offering his official apology speech
to the people of Nunavik. Photo: Bob Mesher, Makivik Corp.
Makivik and the Quebec Government Achieve Historic Resolution!
On August 8, 2011, standing in front of the people of Kangiqsualujjuaq while his words were being radio broadcast to Inuit in all fourteen Nunavik communities, Quebec Premier Jean Charest expressed a heartfelt apology for the slaughter of Inuit Sled Dogs that began in the 1950s. During his eleven-minute speech Premier Charest said,
"Today as the Premier of Quebec and as the one who speaks on behalf of all of the people of Quebec I want to express our regret. I want to express the apology of the people of Quebec for the trauma that was caused on the men and women of the Inuit nation who were hurt by the institution in the 50s. I want to say that from the bottom of my heart that we need to learn from what happened so that as we move forward in our relationship and we close the chapter from these sad events that we learn from each other and that we learn in our relationship so that never again something like this should happen…"
Also in attendance at the ceremony and agreement signing were Geoffrey Kelley, Minister Responsible for Native Affairs, and Pita Aatami, President of Makivik Corporation. The agreement includes Quebec’s official recognition of the dog slaughter. This, in part, will be in the form of fourteen commemorative plaques, one for each Nunavik community. Additionally, three million dollars was awarded to Makivik and President Aatami announced that the money would be used to recompense Nunavimiut whose dogs were killed between the 1950s and 1970s as a result of the dog slaughter. In his 2010 final report Judge Jean-Jacques Croteau, head of Makivik’s truth commission, had recommended that any financial compensation offered be used to "organize sled dog races (Ivakkak) in Nunavik, promote the sale and distribution of Inuit art and sculpture and promote the teaching and use of Inuktitut and syllabics in Nunavik."
A written transcription of Premier Charest’s speech can be found on The Fan Hitch Resource Page under the heading "Official reports regarding Canadian Federal Government vis-a-vis Inuit social/cultural issues, including sled dogs".