Paul Quassa

Paul Quassa was born in 1952 in an outpost camp near Igloolik. His testimony includes information about his experience in a southern sanitorium and the transition period his parents went through while he was away for school. His parents’ dogs were killed, but he would rather let his mother testify about it since he was not there. After spending about a year in the sanitorium at a very young age, he lost some of his ability to speak Inuktitut. Around 1959, he went to school because his parents were told that they would lose their allowance if their children did not attend school. Paul believes that dog elimination, schools, and relocation to communities were part of the whole process of assimilation. He mentions that the apology made by Stephen Harper gave the Inuit more confidence, although the government should make sure not to deal with Inuit and other Natives the same way because their experience was not the same. He also calls for a reconciliation between the Inuit and the RCMP and asks for a stronger involvement of RCMP officers in communities through hunting, for instance.