Nunavut Post

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Dog teamers in Nunavummiut are excited to see more youth try the sport

Dog teamers in Nunavummiut

Key Takeaways:

  • The Qikiqtani Inuit Association hosted the first-ever Qimuksiqtiit Regional Gathering in Iqaluit from November 16 to 18.
  • Bringing together dog teamers from across the Qikiqtani region to learn from one another.

A couple of dog teamers represents an opportunity to draw attention to the importance of getting more youth involved in dog teaming.

Beginning in the 1950s and continuing for decades, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) killed Inuit huskies to aid in the forced relocation of Inuit to Nunavut’s prevailing communities. For one musher, Qimuksiqtiit represents a way to take back the practice and culture surrounding it from those who tried to destroy it.

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“It’s going pretty well; it feels so short because of dog sledders, we want to encourage it going again,” said Denise Malliki, a 34-year-old dog musher from Naujaat and past Nunavut Quest champion.

One of the younger dog mushers seen at Qimuksiqtiit stated that he has seen the practice being picked up by other young people and is eager to assist.

“I have seen a lot of kids starting to (get into dog mushing), and I have given a lot of younger people dogs,” said Devon Manik, a 20-year-old Resolute dog musher. “I am so happy we can promote (dog teaming) more for Nunavut,” she said at the event. Manik noted in a presentation at the gathering that he started with a few huskies and now has a team of 15 and that he uses his team to go hunting instead of a snowmobile.

He describes being out on the land with his team as his “happy place,” saying, “I feel the happiest out there.” It’s so beautiful out there, and I enjoy spending time with the dogs.” “Try it out or ask people who know how to handle dog sledding about it.” “Get advice, and don’t be afraid to ask people who know how to sled,” Malliki advised.

Source: Nunavut News

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