The Fan Hitch Volume 12, Number 4, September 2010

Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog
In This Issue....

From the Editor: An Outsider's Perceptions

The Gaze of Animal Life

In the News

Conducting Dog Feeding Trials on the Antarctic Huskies:
a behind the scenes look at how it got done!

Further Experiments on the nutrition of sledge dogs

How Use of the name Inuit became official

An Examination of Traditional Knowledge:
the case of the Inuit Sled Dog, part 4

Chinook Project visits Northern Labrador

Media Review: Qimmit - A Clash of Two Truths

IMHO: In Transition

Index: Volume 12, The Fan Hitch

Navigating This Site

Index of articles by subject

Index of back issues by volume number

Search The Fan Hitch

Articles to download and print

Ordering Ken MacRury's Thesis

Our comprehensive list of resources

Talk to The Fan Hitch

The Fan Hitch home page

ISDI home page

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,

Foreground: Dr. Marti Hopson and Melissa McGrath.
Background: Aimee Elson, Dr. Becky Jackson, Lindsay Rigoli,
Katie Lee, Billy MacDonald, Dr. Nicole Gallant.
                                                                      Photo: Chinook Project

Chinook Project visits Northern Labrador

by Marti Hopson, Veterinary Coordinator

Natuashish is a small (pop. approx. 700), very remote town in the Atlantic Canada province of Newfoundland and Labrador (see map). From May 27 to June 1, the town played host to a team from the Chinook Project from the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC). Three faculty members from the University of Prince Edward Island (PEI) coordinate this project, which has sent veterinarians, technicians and veterinary students into the Canadian North each year since 2006. The project aims to provide veterinary care to dogs and other companion animals in remote areas of the country.

The main goal of the project is to reduce overpopulation of dogs, by spaying and neutering, in areas where stray and roaming dogs can be a problem. We also vaccinate the dogs against distemper, parvovirus and rabies and treat them to remove roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms. These measures should increase the health of the animals, as well as decreasing potential public health problems.

In Natuashish there are many stray dogs. Mr. Ruben Pillay, a resident of Natuashish, helped organize our trip, and many other community members were also helpful in providing food and lodging to the AVC team. We are grateful to the Mushuau Innu Band Council and to the community in general for their support.

Upon arriving in Natuashish (by small plane, the only access), our team of three veterinarians (two from PEI and one from Goose Bay, Labrador), one veterinary technician and four veterinary students set up a mobile clinic in the local fire hall. Working from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m and then cleaning and sterilizing instruments until midnight or later, this clinic was able to accommodate many surgical patients each day, and we were able to spay and neuter over 80 patients, as well as vaccinate and deworm several more. We also performed a limb amputation on a dog that had broken her leg two weeks before our arrival. Porcupine quill removal and other minor procedures were performed as well.

Melissa McGrath (l) and Aimee Elson (r) perform a castration.
                                                                    Photo: Chinook Project

Many of the dogs altered were stray animals who recovered quickly from the surgery and were seen the next day lining up at the doors of the fire hall, perhaps because there were often hand outs of a few dog treats. This trip was our first visit to Labrador and the most successful of the five years of the project - doubling the number of spays and neuters done in past years. If financial support permits, the Chinook Project will return to Natuashish in 2011, and hopefully visit some of the other coastal towns of Northern Labrador as well.
Return to top of page