Reindeer Herders from Norway and Russia Visit Inuvik for Celebration of 80th Anniversary of Canadian Reindeer Husbandry

March 27, 2015 • Alena GerasimovaBlog, ICR/WRH, Reindeer, Reindeer Herders
Herders in Canada

Photo by Vince Sharpe

Reindeer herders were invited to Inuvik by Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of Canadian Reindeer Husbandry, where they can also share their experience in reindeer herding and food culture, and present exhibition in traditional handicraft.The delegation of reindeer herders from Norway and Russia included the head of office of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry (ICR) Mikkel Anders Kemi, ICR information manager Elna Sara, ICR project manager Alena Gerasimova and other reindeer herders – Johan Daniel Turi and Inga Biret Maria Triumf. This anniversary is a historic event, since the original reindeer herd of 3000 which were brought from Alaska to Canada in 1935, came from reindeer purchased from the Even and Chukchi region of Russia in the 1880s. With the reindeer came the Sami, whose job was to teach the Inuvialuit their successful herding techniques. The Pulk family and the Binder family of the Canadian Arctic were joined together in both marriage and in the difficult task of introducing reindeer husbandry to Canada.

Mayor Roland

With the mayor of Inuvik Floyd Roland. Photo by Vince Sharpe

IRC is part-owner of the original reindeer herd in Canada. Established in 1984 to manage the settlement outlined in the Inuviluit Final Agreement, IRC represents the collective Inuvialuit interests. The goal is to continually improve Inuvialuit economic, social and cultural well-being.

On Monday March 23, reindeer herders had a meeting with the Chair of IRC Nellie Cournoyea and other representatives of IRC. On Tuesday reindeer herders had a presentation at the Aurora Research Institute (Aurora College), the next day the delegation arrived to Reindeer Station, which is appr. 20 km away from Inuvik, where they had demonstrations with the students of East 3 Secondary School. Reindeer herders also had a chance to herd reindeer and help the only reindeer herder in Canada, who is also known as Tundra Cowboy, – Henrik Seva, a Sami reindeer herder from Finland who came to Canada in 1999 and is still working here at the private company called “Canadian Reindeer”.

with henrik seva

Young reindeer herders Johan Daniel Turi, Alena Gerasimova and Inga Biret Maria Triumf with Henrik Seva, the only reindeer herder in Canada

The 80th anniversary of reindeer husbandry in Canada is a part of 58th Annual Muskrat Jamboree Festival, which will be held from March 27-10, 2015. The Muskrat Jamboree festival will include many different activities, such as dog racing, skidoo races, a community feast and other.

Find more information about Muskat Jamboree Festival here

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