From the Editor: Of Sledge Dogs and Bulldogs
The Qimuksiq Network
A Hunt for the Greenlandic Sled Dog’s Soul
The Arctic Nomads Post-Symposium Report
Bulldog with a Short Snout
Book Review: The World of Tivi Etok
IMHO: Staying the Path
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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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This site is dedicated to the Inuit Dog as well as related Inuit culture and traditions. It is also home to The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog.
From the Editor....
"In this picture Aggeok and Udluriak are with women of the family of Peter Pitseolak's
brother Petalossie [Petalassie]. Left to right: Aggeok (Peter's wife), Sheowak (a very
good early print maker, she did the symbol for the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative,
was first wife of Aggeak Petalassie, son of Peter Pitseolak's brother Petalassie, died in
influenza attack), Ekalook, Udluriak (daughter of Peter Pitseolak), and Etereak." Dogs
standing around the women. Possible quarmak in the left background. Circa 1940-1960.
Courtesy, Canadian Museum of Civilization;# MP 245/75 (1138);
photographer Peter Pitseolak (People From Our Side)
Of Sledge Dogs and Bulldogs
There is fabulous news in this the first issue beginning our nineteenth year of The Fan Hitch quarterly journal; news that hasn’t been this exciting since Hanne Friis Andersen’s landmark masters thesis in the September 2005 issue confirmed by DNA research what Ken MacRury determined by morphometric analysis in his 1991 masters thesis – that the Greenland Dog and the Canadian Inuit Dog are the same landrace. What is even more exciting is that there are not one but TWO projects, The Qimuksiq Network in Canada and the Hunt for the Greenlandic Sled Dog’s Soul/the Arctic Nomads Project in Greenland, currently underway that are looking at the Inuit Sled Dog from a different approach, human–dog relationships, that could result in meaningful contributions towards the brighter future for this aboriginal landrace that we have been hoping for. We have a reason to celebrate!
This issue of The Fan Hitch also offers a refresher course on the concept of an aboriginal landrace. With the seemingly disparate title “Bulldog with a Short Snout” (which even includes images of birds to illustrate points) Guvener Isik offers his no-holds-barred definition of “aboriginal” and when/how a landrace slips into a cultured breed. Previously The Fan Hitch has been honored to have contributions by John Burchard, Vladimir Beregovoy and Johan and Edith Gallant offering their perspectives on this topic – all outstanding ones. Yet no matter how exceptional they are, to some the premise is still not understood, is unclear or is thought to be irrelevant. That’s why I am so grateful to have this opportunity to present this author’s forthright and illustrative explanation making it abundantly clear what an aboriginal landrace is….and isn’t.
Mark’s opinion piece helps to put all this into perspective as does the story of a Nunavik Elder whose life has been so much a part of the natural and aboriginal world, including the use of dogs for survival.
This holiday season and always, wishing you smooth ice and narrow leads,