The Fan Hitch   Volume 15, Number 4, September 2013

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

From the Editor: A Great Man Has Passed


Baker Lake MLA Speaks Out in Support of Nunavut's Inuit Dogs

Proposed New Dog By-law, a Threat to Iqaluit Dog Team Owners?

Published Research Has Implications for the Aboriginal Inuit Sled Dog!

Fan Mail

The Chinook Project’s July 2013 Visit to Labrador

NFB Increases Internet Accessibility to its Film Library

Movie Review: Vanishing Point

Problems Accessing/Viewing Pages

IMHO: The Back Story of the Thank You DVD

Index: Volume 15, 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

Defining the Inuit Dog

Talk to The Fan Hitch

The Fan Hitch home page

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Editor: Sue Hamilton
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                                                                    Photo: Corel Arctic

Baker Lake’s MLA Speaks Out in Support of Nunavut’s Inuit Dogs

Just as the community of Baker Lake, Nunavut was about to receive the Canadian Animal Assistance Team’s fifth wellness visit in five years, in Iqaluit Baker Lake MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) Moses Aupaluktuq stood before his fellow MLAs from across the Territory at the September 11, 2013 gathering of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut to speak on behalf of the traditional Inuit Dog. Taken from that day’s hansard (report of proceedings in a parliament or legislature), here is the text of MLA Aupaluktuk’s statement:

The Fan Hitch applauds MLA Moses Aupaluktuq for speaking his mind in front of his colleagues in support of better care for Nunavut’s Official Animal:

Member’s Statement 551 – 3(3):
Caring for the Animals in our Communities

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise today to follow up on a project that is very close to my heart, the Buddy Fund in Baker Lake, which supports a number of activities in caring for the family, animals, and pets in our communities. The annual Buddy Fund will provide veterinarian services beginning Friday, September 13 in Baker Lake.

Mr. Speaker, the Buddy Fund supports the Canadian Animal Assistance Team in bringing veterinarians into the community for clinics, vaccinations, spays, and neutering. One of the objectives of the Canadian Animal Assistance Team is also to support local mushers in keeping dog sledding and good sled dog lines alive.

As all Members of this House will be aware, the Qimmiq, Canadian Inuit Dog, is the territorial animal of Nunavut, as chosen by our predecessors in the First Assembly of Nunavut’s legislature. Qimmiq has long been part of our northern culture and dog sledding is an ongoing cultural activity. This breed is facing some serious threat to its survival with the lack of access to vaccines to prevent common canine diseases like distemper and parvovirus, as well as interbreeding with non-sled dog breeds.

With so many dogs tethered together in large communities and stray dogs roaming in the area, the spread of disease is hard to control.

Mr. Speaker, while I certainly appreciate our government’s involvement in providing rabies vaccines to sled dogs across the territory as a public health initiative on behalf of our human population, I believe more could and should be done.

As an example of what could be done, the Quebec government recently sponsored veterinary clinics across Nunavik’s Hudson Bay communities providing free vaccinations for all dogs and cats to prevent the spread of distemper, hepatitis, and parvovirus.

Mr. Speaker, I was very pleased to note in the media that in the Minister of Health’s constituency, the Cambridge Bay “Diamonds in the Ruff” program recently hosted a very successful vet clinic in their community.

It is very gratifying to see the spirit of community activism for the health and well-being of our pets and animal friends across Nunavut. It is my hope that the minister will consider the importance of our government also supporting an expansion of animal vaccination programs across Nunavut’s communities. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

This is not the first time MLA Aupaluktuq has addressed the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut on this subject. He did so back on March 4, 2013. (on page 7).

There is no word of any action taken by the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut in response to MLA Aupaluktuq’s request. However, on September 13th an assembly employee indicated,“...this present sitting ends early next week and then we head into the general election. If any action is taken it will be up to the next government which will not be in place until late November.”
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