Taamusi Qumaq, an elder from Puvirnituq, discusses dogsleds of the past and snowmobiles today:

“Long ago, our dogs were very useful since they were the only means of transportation that allowed us to find food in the winter when we had to travel for extended periods of time… Some dogs knew the territory very well and didn’t get lost in storms or in foggy weather, when even I couldn’t find my way. My dogs helped me a lot.”

My two sons have dogs, still today, and they travel by dogsled during the winter.  They also have snowmobiles, but gas is very expensive, and, nowadays, money for gas is sometimes difficult to come by. This is why, during certain times of the year, we only use dogsleds to travel… ”

 

Note:  Taamusi’s story was adapted by Jacques Maurais, Director of Les langues autochtones du Québec- Conseil de la langue française, in 1992!  The reality he describes may not be typical in Nunavik today, where dogsled use for hunting is even less common. Today racing teams keep the tradition alive.

Author:  Based on texts from the Récit de l’univers social.  Adapted and updated by LEARN.