As an Inuit-led project, the Qikiqtani Truth Commission recognizes the importance of oral history to our understanding of what happened in the past. The stories of Inuit elders, told in their own words and the words of their children and grandchildren, allow all Canadians to see and interpret the multiple truths of their lived experiences, through their eyes. Their personal accounts, within the context of this truth commission, have been gathered, recorded and weighed along with the written records found in archives across Canada.
During 2008 and 2009, the Qikiqtani Truth Commission held 16 community hearings and private sessions both inside and outside of the Baffin Region to hear testimonies about events that occurred between 1950 and 1975 from Inuit who had lived through this difficult period and from their children, who continue to remember the suffering of their parents and other relatives. The interviews were conducted in the following places:
- Arctic Bay (April 21 - 24, 2008)
- Cape Dorset (January 29 - February 1, 2008)
- Clyde River (October 7-10, 2008)
- Grise Fiord (April 17-18, 2008)
- Hall Beach (September 9-10, 2008)
- Igloolik (September 11-13, 2008)
- Iqaluit (June 17-19, 2008)
- Kimmirut (January 22-24, 2008) (September 15-16, 2008)
- Ottawa (November 25-28, 2008)
- Pangnirtung (May 13-16, 2008)
- Pond Inlet (December 9-11, 2008)
- Qikiqtarjuaq (September 30-October 2, 2008)
- Resolute Bay (April 14-16, 2008)
- Sanikiluaq (March 4-6, 2008) (January 20-22, 2009)
The Commission also interviewed several non-Inuit who worked in or studied the region during this period—such as retired RCMP officers, government officials and scholars—to gain a more informed perspective of the broader cultural context during that historical period.
Interviews conducted by the Qikiqtani Inuit Association from 2004-2006 also informed the work of this Commission.