What recommendations does the Qikiqtani Truth Commission make in its final report?
As the Commission visited the Qikiqtani communities, we heard impassioned statements—not only about traumatic past experiences, but also about the need for healing and reconciliation. Many participants recommended reasonable steps that can and should be taken to allow Inuit to move forward into a more promising future of their own making. These, along with recommendations put forward by the Commission and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, are outlined in The Qikiqtani Truth Commission Final Report: Achieving Saimaqtigiiniq. Key recommendations, however, can be summarized as follows:
- The Government of Canada needs to acknowledge its responsibility for the many government decisions that led to unnecessary hardship and poor social, health and education outcomes for Inuit. Both southern Canadians and younger Inuit need a better understanding of the harmful changes that were imposed on Inuit between 1950 and 1975. A number of other concrete steps to promote healing for those affected are detailed in Qikiqtani Truth Commission Final Report section on Acknowledging and Healing Past Wrongs.
- To prevent the mistakes of the past from being repeated, Inuit governance must be strengthened so that political, social and economic decisions truly reflect Inuit culture and needs. Some of the ways this can be accomplished are detailed in Strengthening Inuit Governance.
- Despite many changes in their way of life since the Second World War, Inuit have retained their distinct culture. They are one of the founding peoples of Canada. Inuit culture needs to be celebrated, strengthened and made better known to other Canadians, as described in Strengthening Inuit Culture.
The historical legacy in the Qikiqtani region includes a number of serious social ills, such as alcohol and substance abuse, unhealthy diets, high unemployment, low rates of graduation, high crime rates, and insufficient and substandard housing. Creating Healthy Communities describes a variety of culturally appropriate steps that should be taken to improve the quality of Inuit life.