The Fan Hitch   Volume 16, Number 4, September 2014

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

From the Editor: Chronology

In the News: An interview with Joelie Sanguya

The Arctic Domus Project

The Practice of Veterinary Medicine and Loving Kindness in Labrador

Canadian/Greenland Inuit dogs and the “domestication syndrome”

Ptarmigan Hunting with Greenland Dogs

Documentary Film on the Sirius Patrol

Book Review: A Trapper in North-East Greenland

Okpik’s Dream

IMHO: Reflections

Index: Volume 16, 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
Webmaster: Mark Hamilton
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This site is dedicated to the Inuit Dog as well as related Inuit culture and traditions. It is also home to
The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog.

Eskimo woman and dog traveling in summer, between ca. 1900 and 1929;
(title transcribed from caption accompanying item)
                       Frank and Frances Carpenter collection (Library of Congress)

The Arctic Domus Project

According to their website, Arctic Domus objectives are:

    •    to place Arctic field examples at the forefront of debates on animal domestication, human/animal co-evolution, and commensialism;
    •    to build a new model of human-animal relationships by categorising person and place in a new way, and open to understanding how these relations change, advance and retreat;
    •    to critically apply a range of new analytical techniques in ethnography, the history of science, environmental archaeology, osteology and animal genetics to a range of new sites;
    •    to build a strong, interdisciplinary research environment for young scholars.

To accomplish these goals, nine field sites have been established: (1) Fennocandia (the northern region of the Scandinavian peninsula), (2) Iamal (northern Siberia), (3) North Enisei (in Eurasia), (4) Saian Mountains (southwest of Lake Baikal in Russia), (5) Northeast Baikal (Russia), (6) Yukon River (Alaska), (7) Mackenzie Delta and Porcupine Flats (Yukon and Northwest Territories in Canada), (8) Northern Alberta (Canada) and (9) the Highlands and Islands (north of Scotland). Being among the very, very few domesticates in the regions and their value and importance to the human-animal relationships, dogs appear to be of significant importance to the project’s study.

In looking over the map on their Fieldsites page, one will notice a vast chunk of geography is not included, areas representing significant ethnicity, human history and the only domestic animal in existence in that region for nearly 4,000 years – Inuit of Arctic Canada and Greenland (and the treeless regions of Alaska) and their aboriginal landrace Canis familiaris borealis or Qimmiq, the Inuit Dog!

Given the well worn description (joking) of an Inuit family consisting of a father, a mother, children and an anthropologist, and the longstanding and continuing interest in the examination of Inuit Dogs as a component of the study of origins of domestication as well as the history of human migration, the Arctic Domus Project’s omission is absolutely stunning! The article on the website’s Event Details page, “Robert Losey publishes and article on implications of tooth loss in northern dogs and wolves” (Craniomandibular Trauma and Tooth Loss in Northern Dogs and Wolves: Implications for the Archaeological Study of Dog Husbandry and Domestication) seems particularly out of place with the rest of the Arctic Domus project given Dr. Losey’s research covers the Canadian arctic archipelago and Greenland and other sites, many of which are also not included in the Arctic Domus study sites.

On July 26th, a letter co-authored and co-signed by Sue Hamilton and Bill Carpenter was sent to the Arctic Domus Project Leader  Dr. David G. Anderson asking that his project's scope be expanded to include Inuit and their dogs. Dr. Anderson replied that he shared our “enthusiasm for the Inuit dog and all forms of engaged life with animals in the Arctic,” adding “It is true that our project does not have a component in either Nunavut nor Greenland.  That is not to say that we do not recognize the importance of the region. The project is large, but not so large to cover everything... but a further expanding of the project towards other regions is obviously a good thing.” Professor Anderson offered some suggestions for consideration. We are pleased that the lines of communication appear to be established and open to further discussion and hope that at some point and in some way, Canadian and Greenland Inuit and their dogs will be integrated into the Arctic Domus Project.
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