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February 2012 - Kangiqsujuaq, Canada. Peter Kaitainak, 5 times champion of the Ivakkak dog race, train his dog team and teaches to youth the art of traditional dog sledding. At the end of the last century, the pure-breed Husky dog was nearly extinct in Nunavik. Nowadays, Inuit people mostly travel by snowmobile. Yet, the memories of another time when dogs were man?s most reliable partners are not so far behind. Long known to be man?s best friend, dogs were once essential to the survival of Inuit in the merciless arctic environment. In fact, only a few decades ago, sled dogs were a foundation of the Inuit nomadic way of life. These brave allies were central to seasonal Inuit movements, especially in the winter. Although snowmobiles now make it possible to cover greater distances in less time than it takes by dog sled, they are not as reliable as a hardy team of huskies, which are also valuable guides, able to find their way better than any GPS, even in a complete whiteout..In a desire to bring back the dogs to Nunavik, Makivik, a corporation representing the Inuit of Nunavik, therefore decided in 2000 to organize Nunavik?s own dog team race, one that would pass through various communities. With the support of other northern organizations, in 2001, Ivakkak was born.
- © 2014 Marc-Andre Pauze - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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