The Nunatsiaq Online published today that the Quebec government is finally to acknowledge the “impact of the slaughter of Sled dogs” in Nunavik. This agreement will likely include a compensation package for the Nunavik and Nunavut regions. The whole of Nunavik society suffered the damaging consequences of the actions, attitudes and mistakes of bureaucrats, agents and representatives of the federal and provincial governments who killed at least 1,000 dogs in Nunavik during the 1950s and 60s. (Click here to continue reading The Nunatsiaq Online)
The alleged killings of over 10,000 sled dogs by the RCMP will be finally recognized by the Quebec government. On November of 2006 the final report of RCMP claimed “there were no mass canine slaughters and that dogs were only shot for humanitarian and public health reasons.” The Inuit community thought this was not accurate and that the RCMP was covering their own wrong doings.
I am content, yet not satisfied with the turn out of this horrible case of animal cruelty. The Inuits asked for justice for themselves, not for the dogs. Many of Nunavik and Nunavut communities believe that the RCMP killed a form of transportation and hampered their way of living and are looking for compensation. Inuits have long argued RCMP actions were part of a plan to confine their people in settlements where they would be more manageable.
There is no mention of animal cruelty or condemnation for shooting dogs as a form of animal control. There is no acknowledgement that our government and our taxes care more for hampering a way of transportation than seeing that animals continue to suffer from our ignorant beliefs. Sled dogs are a form of transportation, a form of tourism and a form of sport to many humans. These dogs are trained to be a form of recreation and become disposable to society.
We have to see that we need to evolve and give up the ideology of cruelty and enslavement as a folkloric tradition and popular practice. In 2005 the Makivik Corporation submitted a brief called “The Slaughtering of Nunavik Qimmiit” to the Federal and provincial governments asking for snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles and canoes should be legally regarded as tools instead of recreational vehicles by the government and be subject to lower taxes. In my opinion, if the government would allow the lowering of taxes, maybe dogs could be replaced and therefore end the cruelty and over population of the enslaved breed.