Inuit Sled Dog Controversy Brings Troubled Past to Light

By Halperin, Alex | The Christian Science Monitor, February 1, 2009 | Go to article overview

Inuit Sled Dog Controversy Brings Troubled Past to Light


Halperin, Alex, The Christian Science Monitor


For centuries, the Inuit and their dogs depended on each other for survival.

Teams of the legendary canines pulled hunters' sleds across the Arctic tundra in pursuit of seal and caribou. Now, the dogs are largely gone from the north country - the few remaining teams are used for tourist rides.

"Our dogs were like your workhorses," says Peter Irniq, an Inuit politician and activist, during November testimony before the Qikiqtani Truth Commission, a body established to help tell the Inuit side of history.

In particular, the commission is trying to shed light on what happened to thousands of Inuit dogs. Some in the Inuit community believe Canada's federal police killed thousands of the canines in the 1950s and '60s in an effort to cut Inuit from the land and push them into larger settlements.

However, the change occurred during a time when Ottawa's interest in Arctic lands intensified and imports from "down south," including the snowmobile and alcohol, replaced age-old Inuit practices, including the use of dog sleds.

What's undisputed is that the dog populations almost disappeared. For many Inuit, losing the animals symbolizes their transformation from an independent, traditional hunting society into a marginalized part of Canada.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) denied conducting systematic killings of the dogs, saying only that it killed roaming or sick animals that posed a threat to public safety, according to the results of an internal inquiry from 2006.

That an additional review is necessary reflects ongoing mistrust between Canada's Inuit and white communities.

Many Inuit participants in the commission process declined to participate in the earlier RCMP investigation. "The commission is trying to produce a more accurate history of this period," says executive director Madeleine Redfern. "The period of transition has been written about, but primarily not from an Inuit perspective."

The commission was established at a time when Canada is attempting to make amends for its mistreatment of aboriginal people. Last year, Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized for the government's policy of forced "residential schools."

The sled dog controversy remains relatively obscure among the general public, but it's hardly a hidden tale for the Inuit. Over the past year, the commission has interviewed hundreds of Inuit elders across Nunavut, Canada's largest and least-populated territory. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Inuit Sled Dog Controversy Brings Troubled Past to Light
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.