On the land

Young people in Pulaarvik Kablu’s Makkuktut Sangiktilirput (Youth Getting Stronger) program get involved in helping with dog races in Rankin. Their help is especially appreciated in the long distance races, which might be 518 km (200 mile) races, along the Hudson Bay coast from Arviat to Rankin. The teens travel by skidoo, helping the mushers set up camp and stake out and feed their dogs each day of the race. This is more than a service project; the youth learn a lot about handling dogs, and interact with their elders in a way closely related to life as it used to be.

Some of the younger kids in the Makkuktut Sangitiktilirput program help with a local dog team owned by John Hickes of Nanuk Enterprises. They learn how to feed, care for, harness and drive the dogs. Through this, they come to understand the value of proper and humane care of dogs. On a beautiful spring Saturday, some 15-20 kids from age 10 – 16 may show up at the dog lot, scrambling to help with cleanup, shovelling snow, and socializing puppies, then going out with a team for a couple of hours.