Monday, March 31st, 2003

Return from Nunavut.

Filed under: dogs,Notes from Nunavut — alison @ 08:17

My father arrived back from Nunavut on Friday bearing the following images.

Skidoo-driving mothers trailing kamatiks – [dog]sleds – ferry their children back and forth from school. Open vehicles like skidoos are much more popular than warrm, wind-sheltering ones like trucks.

Skidoos are used to hunt caribou. Dogs are used to hunt seals because they can sniff out breathing holes in the ice. By law, dogs must also be used when guides take southern white hunters to bag a polar bear.

Northerners don’t think much of southern white hunters. They skin their bear then have the pelt stretched so that a six-foot bear becomes a nine-foot trophy.

One of the ministry of education administrators, a southern white woman my father was consulting for, was recently widowed. Her husband was a prominent inuit hunter who died while stranded in a storm so severe that helicopters couldn’t go out to search for him for four days.

His brother explained that if he hadn’t become separated from his kamatik and his dogs, he would have been able to survive two weeks. As it was he was only able to hang on three days.

Only two of his five dogs survived the storm.

A northern dog will stand on top of its doghouse in minus forty weather and high winds simply for the sake of being top dog. (“What is a northern doghouse?” “I haven’t been inside one so I can’t really say, but from the outside it would appear to be a packing crate.”)

When leaving Arviat for Yellowknife he realised that Yellowknife was a southern city after all: it has trees.

[originally transmitted by e-mail March 31, 2003]

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress