QIA expands Qikiqtani Truth Commission website

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) is pleased to announce the improved  Qikiqtani Truth Commission (QTC) website www.qtcommission.ca.

Throughout the past year QIA’s staff have been working on improving and expanding the QTC website to ensure that the public online resources are more user friendly and accessible.

The new website features additions and new resources including:

Testimonial videos from 2008 and 2009:

  • Key word and theme search of videos.
  • Interactive map to allow user to search testimonials based on community.
  • The map will also provide the history of communities.
  • ​Key findings search tool based on themes of the reports.

New photo galleries:

  • Photos from the Smithsonian Museum (National Museum of the American Indian)
  • Photos from Library Archives Canada

"These important historical videos help to set the record straight about the historical injustices endured by our communities, states QIA president P.J. Akeeagok, “I encourage educators and researchers to use these personal accounts that chronicle the trauma of colonization and the resilience of Inuit to not only survive but thrive under insurmountable conditions."

As early as 2004, QIA began receiving and recording testimonies from Inuit on the killing of Qimmiit. In March 2005 the House of Commons Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development heard witnesses describe the killing of sled dogs in Nunavik and Baffin Region between 1950 and 1970. The committee asked the RCMP to do an internal investigation. Their 2006 report concluded that there had been no wrong doing on the part of the RCMP.

QIA was not satisfied with the RCMP report, which prompted the formation of the Qikiqtani Truth Commission. The Commission,  took place from 2007 to 2010, became the first Inuit-sponsored and Inuit-led initiative of its kind and documented the many historical injustices endured by Inuit during that time. It is a unique example of a comprehensive social justice inquiry led by an Aboriginal organization.

The QTC final report, Achieving Saimaqatigiingniq, calls on QIA, Government of Canada and the Government of Nunavut to implement 25 recommendations to better deliver services to Inuit. QIA coordinates and chairs the Saimaqatigiingniq Working Group to implement the QTC recommendations.

The recommendations include providing Inuit access to the QTC database which contains archival documents as well as audio, video and written transcripts of testimonials provided during the Commission. This database is a tool for learning directly from those that testified at the QTC’s hearings and is part of QIA’s commitment to making the work of QTC more widely available.

There are approximately 350 QTC video recordings of the actual individual testimonials which were documented during the Commission hearings in all 13 Qikiqtani communities. The testimonies include accounts of events that occurred between 1950 and 1975 from Inuit and non-Inuit who had lived through this difficult period and from their children, who continue to remember the suffering of their parents and other relatives.

These videos are available to the public on the newly redesigned QTC website.