Dog team owners ask Iqaluit city council to help protect Inuit sled dog breed

“We have an opportunity to protect this very important breed in Nunavut”


An Iqaluit citizen wants the city to commit to working with dog team owners and dog drivers to develop an “agreement-in-principle,” which would see areas for dogs properly designated.

“This is coming to you from the people who own dog teams,” Iqaluit resident Andrew Maher told city council Oct. 9.

Maher said he wants to see the city work on a long-term plan with dog team owners. Dog teams are an important part of the community and Iqaluit’s culture and tourism industry, he said.

When asked about the specifics of his proposal by Coun. Stephen Mansell, Maher said it’s “to allow city staff to work with us in their roles [and] to work towards a plan.”

There are 10 to 12 dog teams in Iqaluit, Maher said.

Coun. Mary Wilman wanted to know what breed Maher was talking about, adding that she was quite fond of husky dogs.

“Most of the dog teams run Inuit sled dogs,” Maher said, adding that Iqaluit is well-known to have pure-bred Inuit sled dogs.

“We have an opportunity to protect this very important breed in Nunavut,” he said.

There are concerns of strays breeding with Inuit sled dogs, one reason that owners and city staff need to work together, he said.

Jimmy Kilabuk said he supported Maher’s position and will support dog team owners in the city.

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