The Fan Hitch Volume 6, Number 1, December 2003

Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog International

Table of Contents

Editorial: What's in a Name?
Fan Mail
Breaking Away: The Liberation of Ove Nygaard
What is the ISDI and the ISD?
A Holiday Miracle
Of Sheep and Sled Dogs
News Briefs
Qamutiit and How They're Loaded
The Truth Behind the Madrid Protocol
Media Review: Globe Trekker - Iceland and Greenland
Product Review: Ryobi TrimmerPlus®
Tip for the Trail: Bitches in Season
IMHO: Super Cars and Inuit Dogs

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Index of articles by subject

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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:

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.

Contents of The Fan Hitch are protected by international copyright laws. No photo, drawing or text may be reproduced in any form without written consent. Webmasters please note: written consent is necessary before linking this site to yours! Please forward requests to Sue Hamilton, 55 Town Line Rd., Harwinton, Connecticut  06791, USA or

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;
ISDI Coordinator USA:
Sue Hamilton, 55 Town Line Road, Harwinton, CT 06791,
Media Review.....

Globe Trekker: Iceland and Greenland

reviewed by John Senter

Over Labor Day weekend, Oregon Public Broadcasting aired five one-hour segments of the program "Globe Trekker."  This is not your typical travelogue.  The format is on the ground and into the culture of the people who live there.  While they do visit the more typical tourist locales - the south of France being the first segment - they also visit some lesser-known places.  In the second hour of this marathon, two countries were visited:  Iceland and Greenland.

The host is a very intrepid Britisher named Ian Wright.  In Iceland, for example, Wright takes a ride on a replica Viking ship, takes a mud bath at a thermal spa, and tastes a local delicacy -- moldy shark meat washed down with a belt of potato wine.

From Reykjavik, Iceland, it is a short flight to Ammassalik on the east coast of Greenland.  Here, Wright visits an Inuit family and samples their food, among other things, raw seal liver.  From Ammassalik, he flies to Isotoq, where he goes on a reindeer hunt with an Icelander who settled in this Greenland community ten years ago and has since made his living farming a herd of two thousand wild reindeer. The hunt is conducted from a snowmobile.  And, again, he tries another local treat: partly-digested vegetable matter from the stomach of the reindeer.  As he tastes a finger-full, his Icelandic host tells him that he was "only spoofing." Wright then rinses his mouth out with snow and makes a pointed comment about his host's sense of humor.  From Isotoq, he travels to Nuuk, the capitol of Greenland.  Here, he visits a local grade school, a museum of Inuit artifacts and takes a sea-kayak lesson from the Inuit hunters. The last stop on Wright's tour is Ilulissat, one of the oldest settlements in Greenland.  He ends his trip with a nordic ski trip out onto an ice floe with an Inuit guide, to spend the night in an ice cave.

At Ammassalik the program gets interesting to Inuit Sled Dog enthusiasts.   Among his other adventures, Wright hires a dog team and driver.  He mentions that it is the only place south of the Arctic Circle that one may ride a dog sled.  He also mentions that you do a lot of walking and pushing, so it's best to be in good physical condition.  And, once the team gets going, he says, it will only stop for seal meat, bad driving - and here the sled tips over, burying the camera in ice - or a fight with another team, which happens next. Wright's driver breaks up the scuffle before it really gets going, however.  At Ilulissat, also, we briefly see a couple of really spectacular dog teams.

Wright makes a couple of other interesting comments:  that the dogs are not pets and work nine months out of the year; and that “domestic dogs” are not allowed north of the Arctic Circle, lest they "interbreed" with the sled dogs and "weaken the pedigree."  During the Istoq reindeer hunt, Wright makes another intriguing comment:  That "skidoos" are not allowed in some areas, lest they render dog teams "redundant.”

This program is a travelogue and not concerned just with the Inuit Sled Dog, so the time spent with the dogs is brief.  However, this program does show them at their work and gives a very matter-of-fact commentary about what these dogs are, what they are not and what's being done to preserve them.  That is, no cross breeding of the sled dogs and minimizing the use of snowmobiles to keep the dog teams viable.

Videos of this program are available for $19.95 USD at: 

Or you can contact the company by snail mail, fax or phone at one of the following locations:

Pilot Film & Television Productions Ltd. 
The Old Studio 
18 Middle Row 
London W10 5AT
Fax: 44 20 8960 2721

Pilot Film & Television Productions Ltd.
160 South Van Ness Avenue
Los Angeles
CA 90004
Phone: 1-888 565 0361
Fax: 1-323-962-9345

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