North

Inuit call for truth commission to dig into husky deaths

A truth commission is needed to examine allegations that thousands of Inuit sled dogs were killed by the RCMP in the 1950s and '60s, the Qikiqtani Inuit Association says.

A truth commission is needed to examine allegations that thousands of Inuit sled dogs were killed by theRCMPin the 1950s and '60s, the Qikiqtani Inuit Association says.

Some Inuit say the RCMP systemically slaughtered sled dogs in Nunavut, Nunavik and Labrador between 1950 and 1970. The RCMP denies the allegations.

Association spokesman Terry Audla says a three-person commission could determine which version of history is correct.

"It's not impossible,"Audla said. ""The two can somehow meet and come up with a truer picture of what actually happened."

RCMP Chief Supt. Mike Woods, who led its investigation into the allegations, saysit is willing to work with the Inuit on the issue.

During its own investigation, Woods says, the RCMP reviewed 40,000 pagesof documentation and interviewed retiredofficers,former northern workers and some Inuit who were willing to talk to them.

"We were unable to find any instance, not even one instance, where there was a slaughter of sled dogs as reported in the allegation," Woods told CBC News.

"We did find, however, that the RCMP officers of the day did in fact kill some sled dogs and that was done for security reasons, for humanitarian reasons and most often for health reasons."

The RCMP released its interim report in 2005. Its final report is with the federal government.


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