Table of Contents
From the Editor
Nunavut Quest 2000:
More Than a Race
Nunavut Quest 2000:
On the Trail
Poem: Dogs of the Sledge
Inuit Demand Inquiry
of Historical Dog Extermination Policy
Niels Pedersen, D.V.M:
The Veterinary Service
Problems in Iqaluit
Baking: Dog Cookie
Crafts: Save That Hair
In My Humble Opinion:
Sharing the Trail
Ihe ISDVMA Meeting
Edition: Imaged and distributed
by the IPL students of the Ulluriaq School,
Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog International,
is published four times a
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Inuit Sled Dog International
Sled Dog International (ISDI)
is a consortium of enthusiasts whose goal is the
preservation of this
arctic breed in its purest form as a working dog.
The ISDI's efforts
concentrated on restoring the pure Inuit Dog to
its native habitat. The
ISDI's coordinators welcome to your comments and
At the Community Hall, entrants proudly display
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
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
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
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
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.