The Fan Hitch Volume 4, Number 4, September 2002

Official Newsletter of the Inuit Sled Dog International

Table of Contents

Editorial
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We Are Not Alone
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Research Paper II: Occupational Osteoarthritis
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Who is an ISDI "Member"
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Northern Inuits (sic), Again!
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High Arctic Mushing: Part IV
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The Inuit Dog: Its Provenance, Environment and History
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Preserving "Bear" Dogs
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Janice Howls: Extinction
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IMHO: Little Minds, Little Worlds
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Index of The Fan Hitch, Volume IV


Navigating This Site

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Index of back issues by volume number

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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.)


The Fan Hitch
welcomes your letters, stories, comments and suggestions. The editorial staff reserves the right to edit submissions used for publication.


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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
Editorial.......

Milestones or Mile Markers?

Right about now I am filled with the same emotions as I experience when the qamutiq comes to a stop on the beach at Pond Inlet after a multi-day adventure out on the ice  - relieved, a sense of accomplishment, of bittersweet emotion of being both glad and sorry it's over. This issue of The Fan Hitch marks the last one for our fourth, our FOURTH publishing year. Wow! Not only did I never imagine  (when we decided to give this a go back in July 1998) that we'd make it this far, but even if someone could have assured me that we would, I could never have guessed at the impact the newsletter, and indeed the ISDI has had "out there". 

In The Fan Hitch you've read a lot about the good and the bad side of the visibility Inuit Dogs have achieved not only by way of the ISDI and The Fan Hitch, but also as a result of their exposure via owners themselves. Most recently, this exposure has afforded the ISDI an opportunity to present a realistic portrayal of our breed as part of a museum exhibit on dogs and how they work for man (more on this in the next issue). On the flip side of this experience, the Inuit Dog has, within the past year, been included in one of those popular dog books, a collection of (supposedly) all northern breeds. The bulk of the information provided on the ISD by this northern breed owning author included a history, description and attributes. In my view the material was poorly written, uninformative and not all correct. This could be potentially harmful when one considers the possibility that the information may be misconstrued by a novice reader seeking to make rational choices in the selection of a northern breed as a companion/pet. And speaking of "great family dogs", those darn Northern Inuits (sic) have surfaced again. In researching this latest flap, I discovered a website where two beautifully written commentaries included references to both the ISDI home page as well as a couple of Fan Hitch articles. We are apparently widely known and read and sought out for many reasons. In several cases of loyalty down the drain, some of the saddest motivations for ISDI being contacted are due to Canadian Eskimo Dog breeders who essentially abdicated their responsibilities to and have become estranged from their buyers. We cannot abandon these owners' requests for help. Given the unconscionable number of other breeds of dogs in rescue, ISDI must continue to be proactive in public education as well as to provide a safety net to those owners who seek our advice, albeit after buying a dog they either couldn't handle or who feel they could be successful, if they only had someone with experience and genuine concern to mentor them.

Taking into account the big picture, despite all the good that has come with our visibility, I continue to feel unfulfilled regarding the newsletter. Over The Fan Hitch's four years, there have been a paltry two contributions about Inuit Sled Dogs from Inuit people. Regardless of the reasons, this is a crying shame! I hope to figure out some way of improve on that and I openly seek your support and ideas to make things right.

With respect to the future of the Inuit Sled Dog, I have no illusions that The Fan Hitch represents anything beyond a newsletter that readers hopefully find entertaining and informative. Yet, we seem to be on a road to somewhere. Maybe we have not witnessed/experienced milestones as much as mile markers, a series of inuksuiit, indicating that we have traveled a road to who knows where.

Wishing you smooth ice and narrow leads.

                                                                              Sue
 

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