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The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog, is published four times a year. It is available at no cost online at: http://thefanhitch.org.
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Illustration by Qin Leng
an Inuit Puppy Story
by Donald Uluadluak
reviewed by Sue Hamilton
This may look like a children’s book, but adults interested in learning about the traditional care and use of Inuit Dogs – especially as described by a “been there and done that” Inuit Elder – will definitely want to add Kamik, an Inuit Puppy Story to their northern book collection.
The author, Donald Uluadluak was born in 1932. For many years he lived a traditional nomadic-hunting lifestyle on the western shores of Hudson’s Bay, around Arviat. After his life on the land and then working as a heavy equipment operator, an educator and curriculum developer of traditional life, activities and language programs and an Elder advisor to the Nunavut Department of Education, he retired and is now devoting his time to recording his recollections in books.
In Kamik, an Inuit Puppy Story, his first book, Uluadlauk’s style is a conversation between a young boy, Jake, and his grandfather who explains the many ways Inuit Dogs served their owners year ‘round living a nomadic life. He describes their use as hunting partners and how the dogs could sense danger even before humans could. As he listens to his grandfather’s stories, the youngster expresses frustration at the rambunctious nature of the puppy he has named Kamik. But Grandfather continues on, also sharing with the boy the ways in which dogs were raised and trained.
After listening intently to his grandfather’s stories, Jake has to return home for supper. But before leaving, he asks what his grandfather called his talented lead dog and, resolving to become a better dog trainer and someday having a dog team of his own, the youngster renames his pup after that dog.
It has often been said that the future of the Inuit Dog in the arctic rests with the younger generation. Kamik an Inuit Puppy Story is an example of Elders passing along the knowledge and encouragement needed for future generations of Inuit Dog owners in the Canadian North.
Kamik, an Inuit Puppy Story by Donald Uluadluak, ISBN-13: 9781927095119, is published in English by Inuit-owned Inhabit Media with the support of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association. The 32-page, 8.5” x 8.5” (21.6 cm x 21.6 cm) hard cover is generously filled with full color illustrations by Qin Leng. It is available from online booksellers such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble for under nine (U.S.) dollars, plus shipping.