In This Issue...
Passing the Torch
F.I.D.O.: Kevin Slater
Dog Yard Noise
Road Food Inuit
in Mushing: Greenland and Arctic Canada, Part III
How Much is That
Doggie in the Window?
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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
One end of a chain picket line (Canada) held fast
to an ice
A Visualization of Differences Between
Greenland and Canadian Mushing, Part III
by Sue Hamilton
Confinement of Dogs
Before the Inuit lived in permanent settlements, dogs ran loose in
the camps. They were better socialized then. Eventually, dogs were required
to be tied up. Today, although one will occasionally see groups of dogs
(adults or puppies) kept in pens, the usual method of confinement is picketing,
tied by a length of line to one or two fixed points.
Dogs picketed in
In Canada, dogs are picketed in linear fashion and the material of choice
is some manner of chain. The "drops" - the short section of chain off the
main to which the dogs are attached - are either singles separated by a
distance to prevent dogs from having contact with each other, or in pairs.
An ice davit (a thick "bridge" of ice remaining after the ice on either
side and underneath has been hacked away) is created to secure each end
of the picket line.
In Greenland, dogs are tethered by the end of their tuglines
to a single ice
In Greenland, the chain picket line is also used in town designated
dog yards. Out on the trail the dogs remain in their harnesses with
their polypropylene tug lines attached. In the same manner that tugs are
fixed to the sled, they are bunched together at their terminal point and
then tied to a line which is anchored to an ice davit or some other fixed
point, if on land. All dogs have complete access to each other, although
it is not uncommon to see them resting in a great circle.
Thankfully, the art of building a snow house - iglu - is still practiced
in both Canada and Greenland. An architectural marvel, it comes in many
sizes and is incredibly warm and, in a raging windstorm, incredibly peaceful.
However, modern temporary dwellings are commonly used.
In Canada the wall tent is typically seen. The dominant variety is the
double wall Fort McPherson Tent. The
tent is stretched out and held in place by lines attached to ice davits
or four-liter (gallon) cans of Coleman™ fuel buried in the snow. The plastic
tarp used to secure the contents of the qamutiq while traveling also serves
as the "ground cloth", on top of which go the caribou hides and then the
Spring 2000 in North Greenland. A tent covering
two sleds. You
sleep on the sled on reindeer skins.
Photo: Manfred Horender
Courtesy of Greenland Tourism Photo Service
In Greenland tents are used as well but they are much smaller and set
up over pairs of qamutiit.