annual dog team race off and running
week, 15 eager dog teams were set to take off from Inukjuak, marking
the beginning of the Ivakkak, Nunavik's annual dog team race.
are now heading south, after a stop in Umiujaq, to the finish-line
in Kuujjuaraapik, a distance of more than 400 km along the eastern
Hudson Bay coastline.
may find themselves travelling through trees as they arrive closer
to Kuujjuaraapik where the treeline begins.
race is expected to last from eight to 20 days, depending on trail
conditions and the weather.
Corporation started the Ivakkak, which means "running at a
comfortable speed" in Inuttitut, to promote Inuit Husky dogs
and revive the Inuit tradition of dogsledding.
number of participants has almost doubled since the first year's
the 2004 Ivakkak winner there are a host of prizes. This year's
Grand Prize is a 24-foot freighter canoe from the federation of
cooperatives of northern Quebec, $3,500 from Makivik, a pair of
plane tickets to Montreal or anywhere in Nunavik from First Air
or Air Inuit, and two nights for two at the Dorval Airport Travelodge.
second prize is a 2005 Yamaha four-stroke 15 HP outboard motor from
Kuujjuaq Motosport and $2,500 from Makivik.
third, fourth and fifth places winners will also receive cash as
well as other prizes including a handheld GPS and accessories from
Umiak Builders, a down parka from Nunavik Creations and camping
gear from the Northern Stores.
Avataq Cultural Institute will award $500 to a young person for
keeping elders' tradition alive through his dog team's performance.
year's competitors, who come from eight of the 14 communities of
Nunavik, are: from Akulivik, Adamie Qumak and Nutaraaluk Iyaituk;
from Inukjuak, Adamie Inukpuk and Simeonie Elijassiapik; from Kangirsuk,
Masiu Nassak; from Kangiqsujuaq, Peter Kiatainaq and Jusipi Qisiiq;
from Kuujjuaq, Junior May and George Annanack; from Puvirnituq,
Tamusi Sivuaraapik, Bobby Novalinga and Aisara Kenuayuak; from Quaqtaq,
Harry Okpik and Willie Kulula Sr., and from Tasiujaq, Willie Cain
Air Inuit and the FCNQ are partners in organizing this event. Air
Inuit is transporting the dogs from the communities to the starting
point in Inukjuak and then back home at the end of the race, while
the FCNQ is providing dog food to all the teams as well as supplies
to the participants and support crew in the Co-op stores along the
sponsors include the Kativik Regional Government, Economic Development
Canada, Hydro-Québec, Bell Canada, the Nunavik Tourism Association
and Katujiniq Regional Development Council, as well as Raglan Mine,
Société Kuujjuammiut, Nunalituqait Ikajuqatigiitut,
Pratte Bélanger and Clearwater Fine Foods.
follow the race day by day, log on to the race's Web site at www.ivakkak.com.