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

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.
From the Editor....

“You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.
So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.
You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”

Steven Paul "Steve" Jobs, 1955 –2011;
American entrepreneur, marketer, inventor,
co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc.


Well, here we are again, at the conclusion of yet another year, our sixteenth in publication. So much has happened, is happening and on the horizon: from sad to bittersweet to the hope of exciting good things to come.

It was just a year ago in the September 2013 issue of The Fan Hitch that you learned of the passing of John “Umelik” McGrath. Earlier this month, the McGrath family took the ashes of their beloved patriarch to be scattered at his special place in the North, Spence Bay (Taloyoak), Nunavut.

This past year it’s been an honour having Bill “Qimmiliriji” Carpenter as a contributor. “Qimmiliriji” (the dog man) and “Umelik” (the bearded one) together conceived and established the Eskimo Dog Recovery Project during the 1970s-1980s and kept it going at Bill’s kennel in Yellowknife, NWT, Canada. After the project ended, he and his family and his dogs relocated to the magnificent Moraine Point Lodge on the western shore of Great Slave Lake about 110 kilometres (as the crow flies) south, south west of Yellowknife, Bill and his late business partner John Bayly constructed the multi-building complex by their own hands. Although he hasn’t been living at the lodge for many years now, Bill’s articles in The Fan Hitch are recollections of some of his many adventures while residing there. Last month, the week of August 18th, despite controlled back burns that protected the property (on a peninsula of sorts) from massive ground moving forest fires, embers carried aloft by the wind crossed a nearby bay igniting an inferno that burned Moraine Point Lodge to the ground, every bit of it.

It is good to hold memories dear and be thankful to those who “created” them and who share them with others.

In this the last issue of year sixteen you will read about two very promising documentary projects involving Inuit Dogs, and one ambitious northern human-dog relationship project that doesn’t. There is a report on a video interview with a respected Inuk dog team owner in Canada, and a book review about trapping and hunting activity in early to mid-20th century North-East Greenland where Greenland Dogs played an essential role. You will also read an inspiring story of this past summer’s Chinook Project’s three-community veterinary wellness clinics in Labrador. From Norway there is an amusing account of a team of Greenland Dogs’ trailside discovery. Mark’s IMHO contemplates what connecting the dots from the past to a future without dogs will be like. And then there is blockbuster news of a recently published research project with a new angle on identifying dog domestication and what it could potentially mean for the scientific study of Inuit Dogs and other aboriginal landraces!

I would like to thank the writers of stories and articles distinguishing the pages of The Fan Hitch journal’s volume sixteen, numbers one through four. Your contributions to this publication in the face of all the other demands on your time are enormously appreciated. They unite that string of dots, as a continuum connecting the past to the future.

Wishing you smooth ice and narrow leads,
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