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Found in Translation

Vol 5 No 3 (2018): Zoonosis: Prospects and challenges for medical anthropology

Sixty years of dog management in Nunavik

  • Francis Lévesque
October 13, 2017
June 25, 2018


For centuries, Inuit have used the qimmiq (commonly known as the Canadian Inuit Dog) for transportation and hunting. Since the 1950s, these dogs have been framed by the Canadian authorities as dogs that may potentially transmit rabies and may thus be killed to prevent contagions. It is not the killing of dogs itself that has shocked the Inuit, since they have several rituals where dogs can be killed when there are threats of disease, but rather the massive aspect of the killing, which relies on Western categories, such as the distinction between sedentary and roaming dogs. A collaboration between veterinarians and Inuit people is therefore necessary to bridge the gap between incompatible views of dogs with rabies.