In This Issue...
Firsts, F.I.D.O.s and Foremosts
Brazeau and Qimmiit Utirtut
Inuit Dogs of
in Mushing: Greenland and Arctic Canada, Part II
In the News
Days with Sirius
Review: 3M™ Precise Skin Stapler
IMHO: A Time
Edition: Imaged and distributed
by the IPL students of the Ulluriaq School,
Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog International,
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Mark Brazeau, Box 151 Kangiqsualujjuaq QC J0M
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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
|Featured Inuit Dog Owner....
Daniel with some of the new Inuit Dogs
Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik, CANADA
TFH: When you were growing up did
your family have sled dogs? If so, did you have any pure dogs?
DA: When I was young, all of the dogs in Kangiqsualujjuaq were
pure. Our family had some dogs, but my parents had snowmobiles too.
We used our snowmobiles often. My uncle Johnny Sam had a team of
dogs that he used for camping and for tourism. My brother Sandy also
had a team he used mostly for tourism.
TFH: Since your family used dogs,
do you think it mattered to them if the dogs were pure or not?
DA: It seemed that there were very few mixed dogs, or maybe
none back then. A dog was a dog for them—they didn't think about
purity. But, some dogs were born with short legs—these dogs were
not good in soft snow.
TFH: How long have you been keeping
DA: From when I started at twelve years of age until now.
When I was younger, I had a team of four dogs, but I borrowed some dogs
from my uncle for longer trips. When I was thirteen, my friend Jamie
and I would go to the Korac River with our dog teams—we had about eight
dogs per team.
TFH: Do you use them for hunting,
tourism or just as a way of getting out on the land?
DA: We use the dogs to get to fishing spots or to go for a "joy
ride". We don't use them to go hunting very often. I plan to
use the dogs more often for camping and fishing, so I sold one of my snowmobiles.
Now we only have one snowmobile—I'll use my dogs more often. For
tourism, I don't have any plans now—maybe in the future.
TFH: How many dogs do you currently
DA: I have thirteen dogs altogether. Four of those dogs are
new to my team—they are pure Inuit Sled Dogs. Three are from Linda
Fredericksen in Minnesota, and one is from Allen Gordon in Kuujjuaq.
Annie, Daniel's wife, with her new puppy
TFH: How do you keep your dogs?
DA: The nine adult dogs are chained up near the tree line.
The three dogs from Linda are together in one pen beside my house. The
very young puppy from Allan is in a pen by herself for now. When the new
dogs are bigger they will join the adults. I plan to make two large pens
in the summer for all the dogs
TFH: What do you feed them?
DA: I feed them anything I have—char, seal, whale, caribou,
etc. We also feed them leftover food from our meals—soups and stews especially.
Even some elders phone me when they have leftover food for dogs. Sometimes
I feed the dogs commercial dog food when we are running out of country
TFH: Tell us about how you raise
your dogs and train them to be part of your team.
DA: I plan to integrate the new dogs with my team soon. So far,
the younger ones have already been pulling light loads and I am training
them to turn left, right and stop—they are responding well.
TFH: What is the reason for your
interest in the pure Inuit Sled Dog?
DA: The pure dogs from when I was young are different from the
dogs we have now. Many dogs in town are mixed from other dogs. The
pure Inuit Sled Dogs are tougher dogs and they are better for pulling sleds.
The mixed dogs we have now get tired faster and are often hurting the pads
of their feet.
TFH: Are you surprised by the level
of support and interest you have received regarding Qimmiit Utirtut?
DA: I am surprised and very happy about the support. I really
wanted to get the pure dogs back in our community, but I could not afford
to pay a lot of money for the dogs, fences and food. Most people that want
to start mushing in our community, especially the youth, don't have a lot
of money. Qimmiit Utirtut gives support so that anyone can start mushing
if they want to.
TFH: What else would you like The
Fan Hitch readers to know about you, your dogs and your vision for
the future of the pure Inuit Sled Dog?
DA: We don't want to lose the pure Inuit Sled Dog. I hope that
mushers will share their Inuit Dogs with other mushers in different communities.
If we all cooperate, we can get many pure dogs in Nunavik again. We want
to see more mushers in Kangiqsualujjuaq and in Nunavik.
Daniel and his students got a bearded seal--
food for the dogs and hide to make leads
for the sled.