Editorial: Know the Dog, the Land and the People
Chinook Project Returns to Labrador
Canadian Animal Assistance Team Returns to Baker Lake
Ghosts of Dogs Past
A Conversation with
Charlotte DeWolff of Piksuk Media and
Jake Gearheard of the Ilisaqsivik Society
Qimmivut: the Ilisaqsivik Society’s Dog Team Workshop
Media Review: Of Ice and Men (book)
Navigating This Site
Index of articles by subject
Index of back issues by volume number
Search The Fan Hitch
Articles to download and print
Ordering Ken MacRury's Thesis
Our comprehensive list of resources
Talk to The Fan Hitch
The Fan Hitch home page
ISDI home page
The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog International, is published four times a year. It is available at no cost online at: http://thefanhitch.org.
Print subscriptions: in Canada $20.00, in USA $23.00, elsewhere $32.00 per year, postage included. All prices are in Canadian dollars. Make checks payable in Canadian dollars only to "Mark Brazeau", and send to Mark Brazeau, Box 151 Kangiqsualujjuaq QC J0M 1N0 Canada. (Back issues are also available. Contact Sue Hamilton.)
The Fan Hitch welcomes your letters, stories, comments and suggestions. The editorial staff reserves the right to edit submissions used for publication.
Contents of The Fan Hitch are protected by international copyright laws. No photo, drawing or text may be reproduced in any form without written consent. Webmasters please note: written consent is necessary before linking this site to yours! Please forward requests to Sue Hamilton, 55 Town Line Rd., Harwinton, Connecticut 06791, USA or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Inuit Sled Dog International
The Inuit Sled Dog International (ISDI) is a consortium of enthusiasts whose goal is the preservation of this ancient arctic breed in its purest form as a working dog. The ISDI's efforts are concentrated on restoring the pure Inuit Dog to its native habitat. The ISDI's coordinators welcome to your comments and questions.
Natural Resources Canada
Qimmivut - Our Dogs
The Dog Team Workshop of the Ilisaqsivik Society of Clyde River, Nunavut, Canada
by Jake Gearheared
For four weeks at the end of February 2011, the Ilisaqsivik Society* organized a land-based cultural workshop and community hunt by dog team to Arviqtujuq and Majuallaruluk, traditional camps of historical and cultural importance to Kangiqtugaapingmiut - the people of Kanngiqtugaapik (Clyde River). Workshop participants included six mushers/instructors each with one or two youth apprentices, one musher/instructor/workshop coordinator and seven skidoo support drivers/instructors. Approximately 20 youth participated during the entire four weeks. Seven youth participants rotated through the workshop for one or two weeks at a time. Some mushers got new youth every week. Other mushers stayed with the same youth the whole time. The mushers, skidoo drivers and coordinators often changed over the course of the workshop, usually depending on the length of the workshop.
The purpose of the Qimmivut workshop is to provide an opportunity for participants to share cultural skills, knowledge and values. The workshop promotes mental, spiritual and physical well-being, and validates and transfers Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) - the body of knowledge and unique cultural insights of Inuit into the workings of nature, humans and animals; closer to Inuit ways of thinking and being - associated with Inuit societal values, hunting, traveling, working with dogs, camping, and being on the land.
This is an annual workshop that Ilisaqsivik has been organizing for the past five years. The workshop allows youth and young adults to be out on the land with recognized hunters, dog team owners and Elders. The purpose of this trip is to reaffirm and teach IQ, as well as promote the development of mentoring relationships between Elders, adults and youth. Traveling by dog team provides an excellent opportunity to transfer IQ around practical navigation, travel, camping, tool making and harvesting skills, as well as social values related to principals that include:
Fish and other country foods gathered during the trip are passed out to community members after the group returns. This trip is an excellent way to combine the promotion of healthy living and wellness with the promotion of cultural knowledge and activities.
Checking the seal net. photo: David Iqaqrialu
Workshop time is planned each day of the trip. The group stays in cabins at Arviqtujuq and Majuallaruluk providing a space to meet in the evenings and talk. Workshop time also occurs outside, through group discussions on the land or ice and, most importantly, through direct, hands on experiences.
The following is a list of topics that were addressed during the workshop:
· Caring for and feeding dogs
· History of dogs in our community
· Social, economic, and cultural significance of dogs
· How to make harnesses, leads, whips and backpacks
· Relationship with the land
· Relationship between oneself and social group
· Value of hard work and team work
· Respect for each other
· Respect for oneself
*Incorporated in 1997, Ilisaqsivik Society is a non-profit, community-based Inuit organization in Clyde River, Nunavut, Canada dedicated to promoting community wellness in ways that maintain respect for traditional Inuit teachings and learning, and are accountable to the community. Ilisaqsivik offers a wide range of community-based programs that support the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs of all community residents from infants to Elders. For more information about Ilisaqsivik or the Qimmivut workshops please contact Jakob Gearheard, Executive Director, Ilisaqsivik Society/Ittaq Heritage and Research Centre, P.O. Box 150, Clyde River, NU X0A0E0 or email@example.com.