The Canadian Inuit Dog
About the Author
Short & Simple Title
Hi, welcome to my site.
My name is Kim Han. I am a wife, mother, grandmother and retired librarian who has never lived in the Arctic. So, why write a book about an Arctic Dog? My daughter, Siu-Ling, used to live in Iqaluit, on Baffin Island, where she owned a team of traditional Inuit Dogs. When I visited her, I met her team of Inuit Dogs and two ten week old puppies. When I saw them, I could not help falling in love with those beautiful dogs and their captivating personalities. Because Inuit Dogs are rarely seen and not well-known south of the Arctic, I decided to write a book about these dogs.
I started my research in 2009 and visited Baffin Island on numerous occasions. I met Siu-Ling's highly-respected dog-teaming friends, visited the dog yard, helped feed and brush the dogs, and walked them in the tundra in the summer. I also went on a wild ride on a qamutiik (Inuit sled) with Siu-Ling and her dogs in the winter, when the temperature was -30 degrees.
As I learned more about these dogs, I became fascinated with these stunning creatures. Siu-Ling had a litter of puppies, every couple of years, and brought them to our home in Ottawa to be socialized until they were old enough to travel back to Iqaluit to join the team. That's how I learned to get to know these amazing little animals and their characteristics up close. I also adopted and took care of several Inuit Dogs in their retirement and marvelled at how affectionate they were, and how well they adapted to living in a house with people instead of out in the dog yard with other dogs where they had no shelter.
In 2o14, Siu-Ling arranged for me to fly to Kimmirut, a hamlet on the southwest seaside of Baffin Island, where we spent a weekend with Elijah and Jeannie Padluq, two Inuit Elders who used to travel, hunt, and trap with their team of Inuit Dogs. Elijah took us to his hunting cabin in Qakuqtajaa where I was able to interview him with help from his daughter, Kathy Martha, who translated and transcribed the interview for me. It was a great honour to be able to interview this well-respected Elder in person. The introduction to my book is a first-hand account of Elijah's life and times with his team of Inuit Dogs, while the Preface is about Siu-Ling's life and times with her team of dogs.
This book is written in loving memory of Siu-Ling who used to breed, raise, and travel with her team of "qimmimariit" which means real Inuit Dogs, for almost two decades. Siu-Ling and her Inuit Dogs were the inspiration for this book. It’s a book about the love we shared for these amazing creatures without whom Inuit’s ancestors would not have survived life in one of the harshest environments on earth. It has taken many years of writing, rewriting, and in-depth research, from its first inception in 2010 through Siu-Ling’s cancer journey until her untimely passing in August 2016.