Thursday, August 19, 2010

An apology for the Inuit five decades in the making

So read the headline in the GLOBE AND MAIL published August 19, 2010 written by a Bill Curry.

Late in 2009, I had written the following excerpt from a previous blog.

“Seems as the 2010 Olympic flame criss-crosses Aboriginal communities, issues such as environmental, social conditions, and past experiences are exposed. The latest headline read, “The flame arrives, but Inuit still await an apology,” outlined in the Nov. 10, 2009 issue of the GLOBE AND MAIL.”

Guess what happened today? While in Inukjuak, Quebec, Indian and Northern Affairs Minister, John Duncan said,

“The government of Canada deeply regrets the mistakes and broken promises of this dark chapter of our history and apologizes for the High Arctic relocation having taken place.

The purpose of the relocation of the Inuit to high arctic desolate locations has always been in question, even today.

“While the relocations are often described as an attempt by the government to assert Canada’s sovereignty in the uninhabited Arctic islands, the official government line has insisted that the moves were undertaken with humane intentions.
Mr. Duncan said after the formal apology that Ottawa has “no way to determine” what the true reasons for the relocation were at the time.” In 1996, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples “found government documents from the 1930s that show concern about mineral claims in the High Arctic contributed to the relocation discussion. “In addition to placing the Eskimos in new regions where game is more abundant and work more regular, there is the angle of occupation of the country,” states a federal press release found by the commission. “To forestall any such future claims, the Dominion is occupying the Arctic island to within nearly 700 miles of the North Pole.”
Unless embarrassed to do so, the government will never admit the truth.