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Dogs 2 (Relations between humans and dogs in Northern Canada: an interdisciplinary outlook)

2:30 PM, Saturday 5 Oct 2019 (1 hour 30 minutes)
Break   04:00 PM to 04:15 PM (15 minutes)
From the origins of dogsledding until well after Europeans established themselves in the North American Arctic, Inuit and their predecessors used dogs in their everyday life. Dogs pulled sleds, participated in hunting activities and, in many regions, were part of the kinship system, which made them the animal members of society. Yet, the creation of Arctic villages in the mid-20th century had radical implications on how Inuit and non-Inuit alike would relate to dogs in the following decades. This session proposes an interdisciplinary outlook at the complex relations between humans and dogs in Northern Canada. Following an exploration of the origins of dogsledding, it will propose a description of encounters between European explorers and RCMP members who visited or lived in the Arctic when dogs still played a central role in Inuit’s everyday life. After a discussion regarding the imposition of euro-centric dog management policies by territorial, provincial and local governments in the mid-20th century, the session will explore how northerners – Inuit and non-Inuit alike – currently represent dogs in four Canadian Arctic communities (Kuujjuaq, Cambridge Bay, Whapmagoostui-Kuujjuaraapik, and Iqaluit). These talks will show that different people have different expectations toward dogs and dog care, which affects animal and human health. The following talks will show what some of those impacts are and how our team in partnership with local actors sought to mitigate them in nuanced ways. The session will conclude with a roundtable that will focus on unmet challenges and ways forward.

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