chapter  9
Threatening the fantasy of an Arctic welfare state
Canada, Quebec and Inuit dogs in Qikiqtaaluk and Nunavik between 1957 and 1968
ByFrancis Lévesque
Pages 19

This chapter focuses on the historical, political and ethical issues surrounding the killing of dogs in four different locations: Kuujjuarapik and Kangiqsujuaq (Nunavik), as well as Pangnirtung and Iqaluit (Qikiqtaaluk). However, dogs threatened that fantasy of an Arctic welfare state because they were a "menace to health and safety". Starting in the 1950s, Canadian authorities tried to create an Arctic welfare state where inhabitants could live fulfilling lives in a secure context. Kuujjuarapik was part of the Mid-Canada Line, which stretched from Northern British Columbia to Labrador. Justice Croteau, who was appointed by Nunavik Inuit, and Justice Igloliorte, who was president of the Qikiqtani Truth Commission, came to the conclusion that the killing of dogs was linked to the expansion of Canada into the Arctic. Snowmobiles had appeared in the Arctic in 1962 and were commonplace in 1968. By 1970, dogs had all but disappeared from Kuujjuarapik and other settlements in the Canadian Eastern Arctic.