The Fan Hitch Volume 2, Number 3, May 2000

Table of Contents

From the Editor
*
Nunavut Quest 2000:
More Than a Race
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Nunavut Quest 2000:
Drivers' Meeting
*
Nunavut Quest 2000:
On the Trail
*
Nunavut Quest 2000:
Race Results
*
Poem: Dogs of the Sledge Trail
*
Inuit Demand Inquiry of Historical Dog Extermination Policy
*
Memories
*
Nunavut's Official Symbols
*
Niels Pedersen, D.V.M:
The Veterinary Service in Greenland
*
ISDI Foundation:
Acknowledgements
*
Sled Dog Problems in Iqaluit
*
Baking: Dog Cookie Recipe
*
Crafts: Save That Hair
*
Behavioral Notebook:
Social Order
*
Book Review:
Polar Dream
*
In My Humble Opinion: 
Sharing the Trail
*
Update:
Ihe ISDVMA Meeting


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Editor's/Publisher's Statement
Editor-in-Chief: Sue Hamilton
Webmaster: Mark Hamilton
Print Edition: Imaged and distributed by the IPL students of the Ulluriaq School, Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik
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.)


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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.

ISDI Coordinator Canada:
Geneviève Montcombroux, Box 206, Inwood, MB R0C 1P0; gmontcombroux@gmail.com
ISDI Coordinator USA:
Sue Hamilton, 55 Town Line Road, Harwinton, CT 06791, mail@thefanhitch.org

At the Community Hall, entrants proudly display their race bibs                         Hamilton photo

Nunavut Quest 2000: 
The Pre-Race Drivers' Meeting
by Sue Hamilton

The drivers' meeting was held on Tuesday March 28th at the Pond Inlet Hamlet office.  The large conference room where the meeting took place was packed with all 13 drivers, their support crews (who were to travel by snowmachine), race officials who had just come from Arctic Bay (traveling by show machine along side some of the teams that were to run the race), and curious onlookers such as Mark and I.  Chairs were lined up along one wall and there was a small three row gallery section along the adjacent wall. There was a U-shaped arrangement of tables occupying most of the room.  Some of the folks seated here were officials from the hamlet of Pond Inlet.  Paul, the mayor sat attentively in the middle of the bottom part of the "U", the handle of a gavel resting lightly in his hand.  At the end of this section of table was free lance writer/photographer and former sled dog racer from southern Ontario, Lee Narraway, the official race timer. In the center of this table formation was a shorter table and on it a speaker telephone, for the long distance dialog with the race officials remaining behind at Arctic Bay.  The connection was up for nearly all four hours of the assembly.

The meeting was entirely in Inuktitut.  Except for the occasional reference to "GPS" and "miles" we didn't understand any of it. We sat next to Lee who would convey the proceedings to us as she received them from a woman sitting next to her who whispered the translation to her.  It was clear that concern was being expressed for the welfare of the dogs.  Last year's event saw teams out on the trail for up to 16 hours a day. The drivers felt that bad trail conditions warranted a new, shorter route, and one was selected. Reasonable distances between each day's start and check point were desired and 50 miles was suggested.  I thought even that was pretty ambitious, given the trail conditions described. There was also much discussion regarding the dimensions of the qamutik, entrants were concerned about their competitors' not having an advantage due to weight and maneuverability. With the written rules listing qamutik size long since available to the entrants and some teams arriving in Pond a mere two days prior to the event, I found the need for this dialog rather puzzling.  Below is a copy of all the rules as they were written.

* * * 

Additions or deletions can be made to these rules and regulations for the Nunavut Quest.

1) List of rules to be explained at the Mushers meeting before the race.
2) *VERY IMPORTANT* Teams require clear identification, each team is to use their community sealift colors as their vests with numbers visible from at least 100 feet.
3) No outside assistance along the trail. Only Mushers can help each other, except in emergencies.  One person will be designated to follow the camp crew, and no one is allowed to turn back and interfere with or help any teams.  After leaving camp, all persons shall proceed to the next check point, no one turns back.  Any one who goes behind the designated follower will cause immediate disqualification to the team they represent.
4) No dogs are to be dropped from a team and left behind.  The dogs are to be carried on a qamutik by the musher's ski doo driver. If the musher wishes to use the dog at a later time, he/she must carry the dog on the qamutik with him/her.
5) If any dogs are missing, they will not be permitted to join the team again during the race.  Dogs left behind shall be retrieved by ski doo after the teams have all reached the check point.  Disqualified dogs will be spray painted and will not be required to join the team again.
6) The teams leave in the order of the fastest times from the previous day at one minute intervals, and mushers should be informed of their total time to date each day.
7) A 15 minute penalty will be given to any team that does not arrive at a check  point, the 15 minute penalty will be added following the last person’s time going into the check point.
8) Qamutiit are to be 14 feet long, the length will be measured from tip to tip.  Height to be 6" to 8", and measured not including the runners.  The cross pieces shall measure to 2 feet 6 inches in length (30 inches) and to be measured from tip to tip. Qamutiit to be measured before participants depart from their communities and before the race departs from Pond Inlet.
9) Excessive cruelty to dogs will result in immediate disqualification.
10) Each musher is to feed their own dogs, feeding another musher's dogs may be viewed as foul play and could result in disqualification.
11) Harnesses, and style of team to be in the traditional fanned type team, everything should be hand made and not ordered from else where.  That includes all the accessories that are required which I cannot translate but with Roman Orthography reads as follows: sangniruaq and uqsiq.  These accessories can be made from material chosen by participant.
12) Whips (iparautiit) are suggested to be used as they come with the traditional package.
13) All mushers are required to bring along a two burner type camp stove.  Each musher will be given a fish a day, but may bring along any food he/she feels he/she may need as emergency supply.  It is also suggested that a musher carry a SSB radio with him/her.
14) Guns will be required to be brought along, however, guns are not to be held unless during emergencies.
15) Any person who wishes to join the race will be required to pay a $100.00 registration fee.
16) A ski doo driver is required to be able to pitch tents, prepare dog food, and know how to survive out on the land. Only people involved with the race should follow the race, whole families are  not required to follow if they are not ski doo drivers or helpers.  If anyone's family wishes to see the start or finish of the race, they are welcomed to be in the Communities before the start or the finish of the race.
17) Two flags and poles will be carried and used each day to clearly mark the start and finish line for the mushers, the finish line for the check points shall be required to be approximately 100 feet from the camp.
18) A megaphone would make it easier for starting the teams each day.
19) A race official should be appointed to handle complaints, and to coordinate the mushers' meetings.
20) Two time keepers unrelated to anyone involved with the race are required.
21) From Pond, all campsites will be left clean, garbage bags should be provided by the race committee.  Mushers will also carry garbage bags on their sleds and will be encouraged to use them.
22) The ski doo drivers will be required to carry the Mushers dog food, and the hosting communities are required to make sure there is enough dog food for the dog teams.
23) ?  Prize money will be paid down to the tenth place.
24) Finish line will be at Uluksan point, the people will be asked to wait at the beach in Arctic Bay and requested not to drive around with ski doo's past the beach.
25) It was recommended that each team may have eight (8) to twelve (12) dogs.
26) Mushers are required to bring along a saw, a knife and sleeping gear just in case they get lost due to blizzard.
27) All mushers will start at the same time on the last leg and sprint to the finish.  There will be prizes other than the prize money.


At the start some teams headed for the iceberg instead of the trail to Arctic Bay    Hamilton photo

The photographer will be taking photos during the race but will try to stay back from the teams.

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