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

Editor's/Publisher's Statement
Editor: Sue Hamilton
Webmaster: Mark Hamilton
The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog, is published four times a year. It is available at no cost online at:

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The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog.

Image shows the Menu screen for the DVD

The Back-story of the Thank You DVD
by Mark Hamilton

This isn’t an opinion piece. This edition of The Fan Hitch is dedicated to John “Umelik” McGrath. My opinion: John is widely missed and he can’t be replaced. Instead I want to tell you the back-story of the thank you DVD that you can receive when you make a donation to honor his memory.

As reported elsewhere in this issue of The Fan Hitch, in 1998 we travelled with John McGrath to Massachusetts where he made a presentation on the Eskimo Dog Recovery Project. It was a memorable experience for a number of reasons, the primary of which was that John was such a memorable person.

We videotaped that presentation. For something over an hour I stood behind the video camera, monitoring the battery level and remaining tape in the cassette while I silently prayed neither would require attention. Thankfully, they didn’t.

Once home and after John and his traveling buddy headed back to Canada we made a copy of that original video tape and then put the original away to preserve it.

Flash forward 15 years to August 2013

Upon learning of his passing, Sue suggested we make a DVD of John’s 1998 presentation for his family and for Bill Carpenter. Oddly enough the original tape was exactly where we put it 15 years ago.  Our next surprise was that the 15 year-old tape played exactly the same as it did when we made that copy back in 1998.

We ripped a file from the DVD created during the process of digitizing the analog video cassette to one of our computers, created the file for a DVD and burned some copies. It was sometime after the DVDs were mailed off that the idea of making more DVDs to serve as thank you gifts for contributions made in John’s name to the Ilisaqsivik Society was born.

All the recipients of the DVD enjoyed having it. Bill Carpenter did suggest that a techie-person might be able to improve on the audio track. Sadly, I’m not that person. Even though I likely have the software I’ve never attempted such a thing.

That was when the amazingly talented and helpful-by-nature McGrath family came through for someone else yet again. John’s wife, Judy put us in touch with her granddaughter May-Jun. May-Jun not only touched up the audio on the mp4 file I provide for her, she also separated the audio track from the file and enhanced that as well. About the time I figured out that I should be able to replace the audio track in the mp4 file with that enhanced audio file, May-Jun had created the enhanced composite m4v file and placed it in my Dropbox. What else was there left for me to say except a profound thank you to May-Jun?

Those of you who choose to make donations to the Ilisaqsivik Society with the gift DVD option, your video be a burned from the video file with the enhanced audio track that was the product of the direct involvement of the McGrath family.
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