North

No slaughter of 20,000 Inuit sled dogs: RCMP report

Allegations the RCMP slaughtered thousands of Inuit sled dogs in the 1950s and '60s to force people into communities are unfounded, an RCMP report concludes.

Allegations the RCMP slaughtered thousands of Inuit sled dogs in the 1950s and '60s to force people intosettlements are unfounded, an RCMP report concludes.

The report, tabled in the House of Commons on Wednesday,refutes charges that police killed as many as 20,000 sled dogs in Nunavut and Nunavik at the request of the federal government.

RCMP Chief Supt. Mike Woodssays that after sifting through more than 40,000 pages of documentation and conducting 180 interviews, theydidn't findany proof such a slaughter took place.

"We were not able to find one single reference or piece of evidence that supported the allegation — not one single act or piece of evidence under any circumstances," Woods told CBC News on Wednesday.

"Everything we read, everything that was told to us through interviews, was consistent.And the consistent story was that in fact the RCMP was very committed to the Inuit people in the North."

Woods sayspolice did, however,kill northern sled dogs if they were sick, starving or posed a danger to the public.

"What we're offering is the reason for the dogs that were being killed, which supports the memory of the Inuit," he says.

"But if they, over time, have evolved into thinking something else was behind the dogs being killed, then perhaps there may be a feeling of conflict in the community."

The findings of the RCMP's final report are similar to theresults ofthe force's interim report in 2005that weren't accepted by the Inuit.

Reactionfrom theQikiqtani Inuit Association, which recently called for a truth commission into the alleged slaughter,was expected Thursday.

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