Sled dog culture in Greenland is more than 4000 years old. Without the dog it would not have been possible neither to colonize the Arctic region in the old times, nor conquer the Poles.
Greenlandic sled dog (Kalaallit Qimmiat) is one of the purest in the world. The decline in the number of dogs recorded in the past decades, has many reasons and a snowmobile use is definitely one of them.
In our school in Tiillerilaaq we developed a project, where pupils were involved in building their own sledges.
A group of five grade 6-7 pupils was involved. Work started in early January 2019 and was carried out outside teaching hours. From the design, cutting and bending of wood, to painting and having fun with the sledges on snow, children were learning the art of making the sledge and appreciation of dog sledging. For them it was the first time to work on such a long-term project, with wood and tools. With the generous support from the Robin Hood Animal Welfare Society in Austria, it was possible to involve the local hunters in the project, who shared their knowledge and interesting stories with us – this helped the children to stay motivated.
This project was successful to emphasize the importance of a good care for the sled dogs in our village and to instil in the young generation the value of consistent work, and to sustain interest and pride in the sled dogs and the sled dog culture for the future. The fate of the Greenlandic sled dog will ultimately be in the hands of today’s children.
Article in Witness the Arctic about our sledge project.
Robin Hood Animal Welfare involvement in East Greenland.
We are looking for further support to maintain and expand this project. If you can help to spread the word about this project and introduce it in other schools in Greenland, please contact me.
We are working on a brochure/workbook for children to use in schools about the importance of a good care for the sled dogs. With the involvement of local teachers and dedicated people, and financial help from Robin Hood, we are reaching out to other settlements in East Greenland.
These activities are mostly supported by donations and are funded privately.
We welcome contact with other people who are engaged in the work to improve the plight of the Greenlandic sled dog. Feel free to contact me.
Watch this space for updates!
Building skin-on-frame kayak, to be used by the pupils in Tiilerilaaq. Check out the blog about our build here!
Many thanks to Brian Schulz, founder of Oregon’s Cape Falcon Kayaks for all support and assistance.
With encouragement and support in activities such as painting, drawing, etc., Greenlandic children can find their artistic voice, that is unique to them. Evening classes are offered on a voluntary basis outside teaching hours.
Check out my Blog.