The Fan Hitch   Volume 19, Number 3, June 2017

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

From the Editor: Hammering Home the Point

A Qimuksiqti and Her Dogs: Remembering Siu-Ling Han

Gone Without a Trace? Searching for the Origins of
Dog Transport in the Archaeological Record

Dogs of Knud Rasmussen’s 2nd and 5th Thule Expeditions
Psychology of Aboriginality

Rabies in Igluliq

Media Review:
Aboriginal Life as Presented in Art Forms

IMHO: This Changes Everything

Navigating This Site

Index of articles by subject

Index of back issues by volume number

Search The Fan Hitch

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Ordering Ken MacRury's Thesis

Our comprehensive list of resources

Defining the Inuit Dog

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Editor: Sue Hamilton
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From the Editor....

If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver.
Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time - a tremendous whack.
                                                                                                                 Sir Winston Churchill

Hammering Home the Point

In the December 2016 issue of The Fan Hitch, Guvener Isik’s “Bulldog with a Short Snout” related what an aboriginal dog is and isn’t and when an aboriginal dog becomes a cultured breed. Yet I still wonder why some folks, for one reason or another, do not understand or outright refuse to differentiate between the two classifications, instead equating one with the other. In the June issue of The Fan Hitch, Isik presents why he “thinks aboriginal” and why some people cannot or will not. His “Psychology of Aboriginality”, explains what aboriginal-ness means to him. I had to read it several times over in order to get a good grasp of his perspective, and ultimately I agreed.

I accept it is pointless to actively campaign to alter the mindset of those who cannot distinguish one dog’s world from another’s. However, I remain compelled to emphasize the version of reality as I and like-minded people see it with the hope that the curious are willing to venture beyond their comfort zone. They can find our alternative views found within nearly twenty years of this journal, including in this issue the articles by Isik, Shari Gearheard’s retrospect of a fellow qimuksiqti who also “gets it”, images of dogs of early in the last century that cannot remotely be equated with those non-indigenous dogs of today’s cultured dog world, a research project on the working dogs of antiquity, and how dogs in remote communities survive in the face of health and a host of other challenges unlike the today’s couch potatoes elsewhere.

Perhaps this last incongruity might serve as the most graphic differentiation between the aboriginal and the cultured.

Will reaffirming definitions positively affect the outlook for aboriginal landrace dogs in general and Inuit Dogs specifically? I don’t know. But I am convinced it couldn’t hurt, and it just might help resolve the confusion where people, inadvertently or otherwise, equate apples and oranges, thereby perpetuating a myth, a chimera that serves neither side.

Wishing you smooth ice and narrow leads,
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