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Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett takes part in an event in Iqaluit, Nunavut on March 8, 2019.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

The Canadian government has apologized for the killings of thousands of sled dogs decades ago.

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett delivered the apology in Iqaluit.

She says the government made a mistake by assuming it knew what was best for Inuit people.

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Between 1950 and 1975, Inuit in Nunuvut’s Baffin region were moved from mobile camps to permanent communities.

Sled dogs proved a hazard in the communities and the government required owners to muzzle and chain the animals.

An inquiry report in 2010 found that it became easier for authorities to shoot the dogs instead of enforcing the ordinances.

“We have and will learn from these great errors,” Bennett said Wednesday.

“We are committed to ensuring our future is different from our past. We apologize to Qikiqtani Inuit for the deep and lasting effects this has had in their lives and in their communities.”

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