The Fan Hitch Volume 8, Number 1, December 2005

Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog

In This Issue...

Editorial: Firsts, F.I.D.O.s and Foremosts
F.I.D.O.: Daniel Annanack
F.I.D.O.: Mark Brazeau and Qimmiit Utirtut 
Wolf Problems in Kuujjuaq
Inuit Dogs of Mawson Station
Differences in Mushing: Greenland and Arctic Canada, Part II
Inuit Produced Information Resources
In the News
Book Review: 1000 Days with Sirius
Product Review: 3Mô Precise Skin Stapler
 IMHO: A Time for Action

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....

                                       Photo: Nunavut Tourism

Update on the Dog Slaughter Inquiry

This past October the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) released an interim report on the investigation they were directed to undertake, what has come to be known as the "Dog Slaughters" in Nunavik and Nunavut. The report was summarized in the Canadian press, and Inuit groups were described as having disputed the report which concluded that mass slaughters did not take place. Work is now underway on a "full report", due out in May 2006, which is expected to run in excess of 500 pages. There will also be a "final report" of about 50 pages for the ministers of parliament. 

The complete interim report (in .pdf format) can be read on-line by clicking here. For those without internet access, what follows are its Title, Table of Contents, Executive Summary and Conclusions so that you can make an assessment as to whether you require the complete document. If you do, The Fan Hitch has the RCMP's permission to supply printed copies for the cost of reproduction and mailing, which is $3.00 USD to the United States and Canada and $5.00 USD to Europe. Please send check (made out to "ISDI - Sue Hamilton"), cash or money order to: Sue Hamilton, 55 Town Line Rd., Harwinton, CT 06791, U.S.A.

Synopsis of the Interim Report:

RCMP Review of Allegations Concerning Inuit Sled Dogs

Executive Summary 
Methods & Procedures
Extensive Review of RCMP Records
Extensive Review of External Government Records
Internet Searches
Interviews of RCMP Members & Civilians
Literature Review Focused on the Media
General Findings
Key Findings
Executive Summary 
The purpose of this interim report is to outline the research that has been conducted thus far concerning allegations that the RCMP is responsible for a mass culling of Inuit sled dogs in Nunavik and Nunavut between 1950 and 1970, which is alleged to have been carried out at the direction of the government, or on the RCMP's own initiative. An RCMP review team, with resources from RCMP National Aboriginal Policing Services and various experts in research methodology at RCMP National Headquarters, has been created to conduct a full and comprehensive review into these serious allegations. 

The main goal of the RCMP review team has been to ensure all possible sources of information relevant to this matter are located and reviewed objectively to determine if there is any evidence of an organized and systematic mass slaughter of Inuit sled dogs in the eastern Arctic between 1950 and 1970. Other goals are to depict the most accurate chronology of events possible, to ensure that key people from northern communities are located and interviewed, and to consult with other federal departments that were active in the eastern Arctic during this period. The review team has faced significant challenges in terms of unearthing details from 35 to 50 years ago. Often with the passage of time people's memories are affected and concrete evidence is minimal or no longer exists. 

To date, an estimated 20,000 pages of historical documents from the RCMP and other government departments relevant to this matter have been obtained and reviewed by the team. Also, more than 40 persons (RCMP members and civilians who have lived and worked in the eastern Arctic) have been interviewed and their statements have been documented. It is anticipated that over 200 people will be interviewed during the complete review process. An extensive media review and literature review of academic papers and books on this subject has been conducted as well. Collaboration with the Makivik Corporation and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association will be sought in the near future to review statements and to discuss the specifics of their complaints. The review team will be reaching out to other key federal government agencies and media resources to gain more insight into the Inuit way of life in the eastern Arctic during the time period in question.

The RCMP review team is continuing its efforts to establish an accurate and complete historical record of this time period in the eastern Arctic, which will be compiled into a comprehensive final report and will be forthcoming in May of 2006. More full-time resources will be dedicated to the review team to ensure the final report is complete, detailed and timely. 

Presently, the review team has found evidence that Inuit sled dogs were destroyed in the past by members of the RCMP. However, the destruction was undertaken for public health and safety reasons because malnourished, disease-ridden dogs posed a threat to residents of the northern communities. The preliminary findings of the review team is that there is no evidence of an organized mass slaughter of Inuit sled dogs by RCMP members in Nunavik and Nunavut between 1950 and 1970, which is alleged to have been carried out at the direction of the government, or on the RCMP's own initiative.

Despite significant challenges, the RCMP review team continues its effort to establish an accurate and complete historical record of this period in the eastern Arctic. There is an increasing risk that these recollections may be irretrievably lost with the deaths of elderly witnesses. To date, the RCMP review team has found no evidence to support the allegations that the RCMP conducted an organized slaughter of Inuit sled dogs in the eastern Arctic between 1950 and 1970. 

Much more research, analysis and documentation is necessary to ensure this matter is addressed completely and objectively in the form of a final report by May 2006. Next steps include more interviews to be conducted by the review team in collaboration with RCMP divisional members. The interviews will be focused on retired RCMP members who have served in the eastern Arctic, with civilians who worked in the eastern Arctic, with Inuit elders, and with employees from other federal government agencies who were active in the eastern Arctic. The geographic and socio-economic factors of the time, as discussed in some academic books and research papers, will be reviewed and analyzed in more detail to determine the contributing factors that led to the malnourishment and diseases that significantly affected the Inuit sled dogs. An extensive review of all RCMP related documents, relevant material from federal government departments, and media reports will also be conducted to ensure a complete final report. 

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