Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavik March 15, 2017 - 11:45 am

Nunavik’s annual dog sled race set for March 27 start

"We believe we are reaching our ultimate goal, to ensure the return of the qimmituinnaq"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Ivakkak 2017 dog teams will leave Umiujaq March 27, en route to the race's finish line in Ivujivik. Thirteen teams will compete in this year's event. (PHOTO COURTESY OF MAKIVIK)
Ivakkak 2017 dog teams will leave Umiujaq March 27, en route to the race's finish line in Ivujivik. Thirteen teams will compete in this year's event. (PHOTO COURTESY OF MAKIVIK)
Mushers prepare a dog team outside the mission house in Kangiqsujuaq in 1959. (PHOTO BY MARY COWLEY/AVATAQ)
Mushers prepare a dog team outside the mission house in Kangiqsujuaq in 1959. (PHOTO BY MARY COWLEY/AVATAQ)

Thirteen dog teams will take off from Umiujaq March 27 as part of Nunavik’s 16th annual dog team race.

Ivakkak 2017 teams will navigate the Hudson coast this year, stopping in Inukjuak, Puvirnituq and Akulivik en route to the race’s finish line in Ivujivik.

Ivakkak has grown into a popular winter tradition throughout Nunavik in the 16 years since it first launched. Makivik Corp. created the event in 2011 to encourage Nunavimmiut to maintain the tradition of dog sledding, a practice that was nearly lost to the region following the killing of Inuit dogs in the 1950s and 1960s.

“We continue to see the youth and the elders active in this lifestyle and we believe we are reaching our ultimate goal, to ensure the return of the qimmituinnaq, the Inuit sled dog, which was vital to Inuit survival across the North,” said Andy Moorhouse, Makivik’s vice-president of economic development, in a March 14 release.

“We wish all participants a safe and successful participation to this year’s race.”

Ivakkak typically moves to a different region each year. Last year, the race participants departed from Quaqtaq and heading south down Ungava Bay to the finish line in Kuujjuaq.

Tasiujaq musher Willie Cain Jr.,running his 13th Ivakkak race, and his mushing partner Daniel Cain Annahatak won the 2016 edition of the race with a total time of 30 hours and 55 minutes.

This year’s 13 dog teams will be accompanied along the race trial by Ivakkak’s lead co-ordinator, the support crew and a veterinarian.

Stay tuned for race updates or follow the race online at the Ivakkak website or at the race’s Facebook page.

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(13) Comments:

#1. Posted by Uit Uit on March 15, 2017

Lets Go Kuujjuaq

#2. Posted by Fan on March 15, 2017

It’s nice to see an indigenous breed used instead of those ridiculous “alaskan huskies”. Keep up the good work!

#3. Posted by Beautiful dogs on March 15, 2017

First of all good luck everyone who will join Ivakkak race 2017 with their beautiful dogs.

How about the Women?, what can they compete annually just like the men.  Traditional and non traditional sewing competition? Throat singing competition? Fishing competition? hunting competition? What else?

What do you think?  Nunavik Women.

I bet it won’t happen you know why . . . Money matters.  But once in a our life time this could happen one time only.

#4. Posted by Knud on March 15, 2017

Women have participated as competitors in Ivakkak since the beginning.

This year’s route and distance is particularly challenging—nearly the entire length of the eastern coast of Hudson Bay.

This should prove to be a truly epic contest.

#5. Posted by kivalliq Inuk on March 16, 2017

How much does this race cost Makivik each year? Great project and I support it. Good to support dog teamer’s out there too.

But to be transparent what is the annual cost to Makivik for this race? Do Nunavik Inuit know?

#6. Posted by Compare on March 16, 2017

Compare the two photos, they speak of our situations, the bottom photo shows the team calm, well behaved, the top shows the teams not well behaved at all, anxious but not listening to the dog drivers/ owners. Inuit were well behaved as were their dog teams because the teams had a larger purpose than just being a pinguarutit, like now a days.

#7. Posted by Ivakkak folllower on March 16, 2017

#6, the bottom picture looks like that they’re only dogs around that area so that maybe they’re more calm than the top picture. Those dogs looks like that they’re more anxious to go since there were a lot more dogs around, so maybe that is why.
Good luck to all the participants!

#8. Posted by i'll keep an eye on the race on March 16, 2017

I wish I have dogs like the one on top,
I was just thinking of the same thing #7

#9. Posted by Dog years old on March 16, 2017

If more young people, men and women join it will be good.  Even if it is mostly a spectator sport.  We should have our own dog races as much as as inukshuk and qajaq zeal.  We hope one day dog teams will be common as bingo.

#10. Posted by working on comand on March 16, 2017

#6 animals are excited at using their power and strength when told to act on command.  The top photo are dogs revving up and the bottom photo are dogs sitting idle.  Both have the power and strength to work by command.

#11. Posted by Previous dog team owner on March 17, 2017

#‘s7 & 10, you’ve never seen a really disciplined dog team, really well trained dogs are rare to see these days, I’ve witness a crippled man who would go shopping at the HBC store, his two dogs would bring him right to the front steps where he’d crawl up the stairs to sell his carvings, the dogs would stay put till he crawled back to his short hamutik with his store bought goods. One to one understanding between the dog team & the owner takes many overnight trips hunting or trapping. Some of the participants never go on long trips. Sad

#12. Posted by Suggestion on March 17, 2017

One day it would be awesome to see in this Ivakkak race that, couples race. Back then, the couples used to travel when they moved to another area. Wouldn’t that be awesome to see???

#13. Posted by Why Ridiculous? on March 19, 2017

Hey “Fan”,  what is so “ridiculous” about “alaskan huskies”.

Should all the alaskan huskies be slaughtered because they are too ridiculous? Can dogs just be different without being inferior?  (Which culture of humans do you find “ridiculous” compared to another group?)

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