Inuvialuit / Sámi

In the early 1900s, the Inuvialuit of the Mackenzie Delta faced desperate times. Dependent on caribou meat and fur for thousands of years, they found that herds no longer behaved in a
predictable way. With a change in climate, hunters were forced to travel several miles east in search of caribou.

In order to stave off famine, the United States and Canadian governments joined together to launch the Alaskan Reindeer Experiment and the Canadian Reindeer project.
These programs sought to mitigate the food shortage by importing and herding reindeer from Scandinavia.

With the reindeer came the Sami, whose job was to teach the Inuvialuit their successful herding techniques.

The Pulk family of Norway 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.

To this day, Inuvialuit and Sámi descendents of the Reindeer Project, herd approximately 3-4000 reindeer near Inuvik locally owned and managed by the a private company called ‘Canadian Reindeer‘.

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