The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today apologized on behalf of the Government of Canada to Inuit for its actions during the tuberculosis epidemic from 1940s to the 1960s.
Prime Minister Trudeau recognized the pain and trauma this injustice caused for families and communities across Inuit Nunangat, and the intergenerational impacts that continue to affect Inuit communities today. He also apologized for the colonial mindset that drove these and other government actions and brought such shameful destruction upon Inuit communities.
The Prime Minister also announced the launch of the Nanilavut Initiative, developed in partnership with Inuit, to help Inuit families and communities with the process of healing. In Inuktitut, “Nanilavut” means “let’s find them.” The initiative will help families find information on loved ones sent away during the epidemic. It will also provide other support identified as important by Inuit, including mental health assistance and commemoration activities.
The apology and the Nanilavut Initiative are the result of a collaborative effort between the Government of Canada, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Makivik Corporation, Nunatsiavut Government and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated.
Reconciliation initiatives like this are a key priority for these partners, and part of the work of the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee. They also reflect the Government of Canada’s firm commitment to renewing the Inuit-Crown relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership.