In This Issue...
F.I.D.O.: Kevin Slater
Dog Yard Noise
Road Food Inuit Dog Style
Differences in Mushing: Greenland and Arctic Canada, Part III
How Much is That Doggie in the Window?
Product Review: MAXIGUARD® Zn7™ Derm
IMHO: People, People, People
|From the Editor...
Tradition: Passing the Torch
The Inuit Sled Dog faces many challenges if it is to have a future in arctic Canada, beyond barely surviving until a broadly receptive environment for the breed is established. Just as fragile as the dog's existence is the presence of the elders whose knowledge of the pure Inuit Dog and its traditional use has to be passed down to younger generations before the elders depart this life. This knowledge is at least as precious a resource as the dogs themselves. If this wisdom is lost, it may be lost forever, or maybe only partially rediscovered at some time in the future.
Pauloosie Koonaloosie was one such elder. For all his years, he maintained a traditional way of life, using a team of fine Inuit Sled Dogs. He was well respected in his community of Qikiqtarjuaq on the southeast coast of Baffin Island, and beyond. He was a mentor to Kevin Slater, an outfitter based in Maine, U.S.A. Kevin is introduced as the Former Inuit Dog Owner in this issue of The Fan Hitch. For twelve years Kevin took clients to Qikiqtarjuaq, where he partnered with Pauloosie Koonaloosie, who was eager to share his everyday life with visitors. Kevin and Pauloosie's relationship thrived far beyond a business arrangement. Pauloosie became Kevin's dear friend, from whom the younger man learned much about traditional travel and hunting with dog teams.
Seventy-eight-year-old Pauloosie Kunaloosie died in Qikiqtarjuaq just hours before Kevin paid tribute to his teacher in a presentation at the November 2003 Snow Walkers' Rendezvous in Fairlee, Vermont, USA.
This month, Kevin will resume offering Inuit cultural experiences as he teams up with The Fan Hitch's March, 2005 F.I.D.O. Allen Gordon of Kuujjuaq, Nunavik. Allen has sought the counsel of the elders in his community regarding the pure Inuit Sled Dog. Now together, as contemporaries, he and Kevin will pool their experiences and share their mentors’ wisdom as they look forward to nurturing new friendships and passing along to others all they have learned.
Wishing you smooth ice and narrow leads
Pauloosie and Kilabuck Koonaloosie Photo: Slater