Editorial: A Stretch of Smooth Ice
Caught by the Conditions
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Canadian Animal Assistance Team’s 2011 Northern Clinic
Piksuk Media’s Nunavut Quest Project Progress Report
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Unikkausivut: Sharing Our Stories
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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.
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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.
A Stretch of Smooth Ice
The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand,
as in what direction we are moving.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., 1841-1935
Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
from 1902 to 1932
WOW! What a way to end the calendar year and to begin The Fan Hitch's 14th year in publication! So much optimistic news! Nunavut has its first permanent veterinary clinic. Dr. Leia Cunningham brought her degree back to where she was born and raised to establish her practice in Iqaluit. The Canadian Animal Assistance Team is seeing some very positive results of their three-year partnership with the community of Baker Lake, Nunavut. The National Film Board of Canada's Unikkausivut project and website is up and running and magnificent films on Inuit Culture, some produced by Inuit, are now available to everyone around the globe. Piksuk Media's Nunavut Quest website is nearing completion and its absolutely marvelous documentary on the Nunavut Quest dog team race is about to become available. There is word, albeit unsubstantiated at this time, that the Nunavut Quest organizers are considering a requirement that adds weight to the qamutiit (sleds). This will help give preference towards the selection of more traditional dogs while discouraging smaller, faster dogs. Let's keep our fingers crossed that this really comes to pass. And even more good news…Thanks to the Avataq Cultural Institute, this issue of The Fan Hitch includes both a story and a book written by Inuit elders about their experiences with dogs. It has been my long desired wish to publish more from Inuit sources. And it's been quite a long drought, but once again we have an article from a Greenland Dog owner in Scandinavia, another region that has been too long underrepresented.
I have not stopped believing that we all have something to contribute. Although there are many of us whose interests in the Inuit Dog come from different directions and for different reasons, in one way or another our collective passion appears to be having a common consequence to the benefit of the Inuit Dog. It seems at the moment as though on this journey we've hit a stretch of smooth ice. And even though Mark says in his IMHO, "Thinking about a project where progress is measured in terms of generations instead of nanoseconds is challenging," we seem to be moving forward. Hopefully, as Aesop's fable of the tortoise and the hare goes, slow and steady will win this ‘race'.
Wishing you smooth ice and narrow leads this holiday season and for 2012.