How did the Commission use the testimonies heard during its public hearings?
In Inuit culture, important historical, legal and environmental information has been carefully retained in memory and passed from generation to generation. Recently, Canadian courts have begun to value this kind of evidence on par with written official records. That said, some Qallunaat scientists, administrators and people in the justice system remain sceptical. They still consider orally transmitted evidence less authoritative than printed records.
As an Inuit-led initiative, the Qikiqtani Truth Commission held no such prejudice. To collect the facts necessary to reveal truths and move toward reconciliation, the Commission gathered 345 testimonies from Inuit and Qallunaat, both in public hearings and private sessions. It recorded these testimonies in audio and video formats; reviewed them in detail to inform its findings; quoted them extensively in its work; and based its recommendations upon the wisdom reflected within their words.