The Fan Hitch Volume 8, Number 1, December 2005

Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog

In This Issue...

Editorial: Firsts, F.I.D.O.s and Foremosts
F.I.D.O.: Daniel Annanack
F.I.D.O.: Mark Brazeau and Qimmiit Utirtut 
Wolf Problems in Kuujjuaq
Inuit Dogs of Mawson Station
Differences in Mushing: Greenland and Arctic Canada, Part II
Inuit Produced Information Resources
In the News
Book Review: 1000 Days with Sirius
Product Review: 3M™ Precise Skin Stapler
 IMHO: A Time for Action

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

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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.
Featured Inuit Dog Owner....

Daniel with some of the new Inuit Dogs         Photo: Brazeau

Daniel Annanack
Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik, CANADA

TFH: When you were growing up did your family have sled dogs? If so, did  you have any pure dogs?
DA: When I was young, all of the dogs in Kangiqsualujjuaq were pure.  Our family had some dogs, but my parents had snowmobiles too.  We used our snowmobiles often.  My uncle Johnny Sam had a team of dogs that he used for camping and for tourism.  My brother Sandy also had a team he used mostly for tourism.

TFH: Since your family used dogs, do you think it mattered to them if the dogs were pure or not?
DA: It seemed that there were very few mixed dogs, or maybe none back then.  A dog was a dog for them—they didn't think about purity.  But, some dogs were born with short legs—these dogs were not good in soft snow.

TFH: How long have you been keeping sled dogs?
DA: From when I started at twelve years of age until now.  When I was younger, I had a team of four dogs, but I borrowed some dogs from my uncle for longer trips.  When I was thirteen, my friend Jamie and I would go to the Korac River with our dog teams—we had about eight dogs per team.

TFH: Do you use them for hunting, tourism or just as a way of getting out on the land?
DA: We use the dogs to get to fishing spots or to go for a "joy ride".  We don't use them to go hunting very often.  I plan to use the dogs more often for camping and fishing, so I sold one of my snowmobiles. Now we only have one snowmobile—I'll use my dogs more often.  For tourism, I don't have any plans now—maybe in the future.

TFH: How many dogs do you currently have?
DA: I have thirteen dogs altogether. Four of those dogs are new to my team—they are pure Inuit Sled Dogs.  Three are from Linda Fredericksen in Minnesota, and one is from Allen Gordon in Kuujjuaq.

Annie, Daniel's wife, with her new puppy   Photo: Brazeau

TFH: How do you keep your dogs?
DA: The nine adult dogs are chained up near the tree line.  The three dogs from Linda are together in one pen beside my house. The very young puppy from Allan is in a pen by herself for now. When the new dogs are bigger they will join the adults. I plan to make two large pens in the summer for all the dogs

TFH: What do you feed them?
DA: I feed them anything I have—char, seal, whale, caribou, etc. We also feed them leftover food from our meals—soups and stews especially.  Even some elders phone me when they have leftover food for dogs. Sometimes I feed the dogs commercial dog food when we are running out of country food.

TFH: Tell us about how you raise your dogs and train them to be part of your team.
DA: I plan to integrate the new dogs with my team soon. So far, the younger ones have already been pulling light loads and I am training them to turn left, right and stop—they are responding well.

TFH: What is the reason for your interest in the pure Inuit Sled Dog?
DA: The pure dogs from when I was young are different from the dogs we have now. Many dogs in town are mixed from other dogs.  The pure Inuit Sled Dogs are tougher dogs and they are better for pulling sleds. The mixed dogs we have now get tired faster and are often hurting the pads of their feet.

TFH: Are you surprised by the level of support and interest you have received regarding Qimmiit Utirtut?
DA: I am surprised and very happy about the support. I really wanted to get the pure dogs back in our community, but I could not afford to pay a lot of money for the dogs, fences and food. Most people that want to start mushing in our community, especially the youth, don't have a lot of money. Qimmiit Utirtut gives support so that anyone can start mushing if they want to.

TFH: What else would you like The Fan Hitch readers to know about you, your dogs and your vision for the future of the pure Inuit Sled Dog?
DA: We don't want to lose the pure Inuit Sled Dog. I hope that mushers will share their Inuit Dogs with other mushers in different communities. If we all cooperate, we can get many pure dogs in Nunavik again. We want to see more mushers in Kangiqsualujjuaq and in Nunavik.

Daniel and his students got a bearded seal--
food for the dogs and hide to make leads 
for the sled.            Photo: Brazeau

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