The Fan Hitch   Volume 18, Number 3, June 2016

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

From the Editor

Canadian Inuit Dogs I have owned, raised and trained: a photo essay; Part 3
Book review: Across Arctic America
Book review: White Eskimo

Interview with Author Stephen Bown

The Thule Atlas Project

March distemper outbreak in Ilulissat

Okpik’s Dream/Harry Okpik still going strong

IMHO: I’m “Neat” with Tarps

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.
From the Editor....

"Do you know the desire to see new lands?
Do you know the desire to see new people?

Inuit leader and angakkuq (shaman) who,
in the mid-19th century led a small band of
Inuit on an epic journey from the eastern
Canadian Arctic to North Greenland.

His story was first told to the outside world in
The People of the Polar North: A Record by
Knud Rasmussen who, during Danish Literary
Expedition to Greenland,1902-04, interviewed
some of the surviving participants of that migration.

I have long admired Knud Rasmussen for who he was and what he accomplished, so very opposite of what I believe were the egotistical, geopolitical, religious, commercial goals of others who came to polar regions.

Rasmussen’s achievements continue to have meaning for Inuit. The Kitikmeot Heritage Society’s (KHS) “Fifth Thule Expedition Atlas Project”, a digitization of the Fifth Thule Expedition’s accomplishments, is reconnecting today’s Inuit with their past from nearly one-hundred years ago: ancestors, places, traditions and elements of their culture. The world will also have an opportunity to venture into that long ago life as well.

In pulling together the Knud Rasmussen features in this issue of The Fan Hitch, I have been faced with the matter of the use of the “E”-word; its use makes me uncomfortable. It is apparent that both Terrence Cole, University of Alaska, editor of this Classic Reprint Series edition of Rasmussen’s Across Arctic America, Narrative of the Fifth Thule Expedition and Stephen Bown, author of White Eskimo, Knud Rasmussen’s Fearless Journey into the Heart of the Arctic also felt the need to made a point of addressing terminology when speaking about people of Greenland, Arctic Canada and Alaska:

From Across Arctic America, Narrative of the Fifth Thule Expedition, by Knud Rasmussen; Terrence Cole, Editor:
Introduction to the 1999 Edition (page xi)
“During the age of exploration, “Eskimo” was the term commonly used by outsiders to describe the people of the far north, who generally prefer today to be called Inuit, their word for people.  For consistency with Rasmussen’s work, the term Eskimo is used in this introduction.”

From White Eskimo, Knud Rasmussen’s Fearless Journey into the Heart of the Arctic by Stephen R. Bown:
A Note on Terminology (page vii):
“Although considered by many to be a slur today, Eskimo is not inherently a pejorative word and was originally how all Arctic peoples were known. Now the term Inuit is generally preferred by the people of Arctic Canada. In Alaska the preferred terms are Eskimo or Alaska Native, and in Greenland the common term is Greenlander or, among English speakers, Inuit. In academic literature, the word Inuit is now prevalent.

In this work I have opted to use the word Inuit except when quoting from historical documents.

In his time, Rasmussen was sometimes called a white Eskimo.”

In addition to featuring Knud Rasmussen, June’s issue continues with the more recent history of the Inuit Dog, presenting part three of Bill Carpenter’s photo essay, “Canadian Inuit Dogs I have owned, raised and trained”. You will also read that Okpik’s Dream is still quite successful at screenings and festivals, reminding us of the important role aboriginal Inuit Dogs still play, that there is still a place for them in the north. And in his IMHO, Mark reflects on his time out on the ice and the importance of learning to be “neat”.

Wishing you smooth ice and narrow leads,
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