Aupaluk, Nunavik – March 27, 2023 – After racing a total distance of over 427km, six teams have successfully completed Ivakkak 2023, the annual dog sled race organized by Makivvik. The race began in Kangiqsujuaq and concluded in Aupaluk, with the three podium positions being taken by Team 6 – Willie Cain and Itsaja Arnatuk, with a total time of 38:38:20, Team 2 – Carlos Surusila and Paul Amarualik, with a total time of 39:00:20, and Team 5 – Aloupa Kauki and Sheldon Whiteley with a total time of 44:18:19.
The determination and dedication of the mushers and their teams were on full display during the race, showcasing the importance of preserving traditional Inuit practices. The hard work and commitment required to raise Inuit dog sled teams are a testament to the deep-rooted cultural significance of the event.
Pita Aatami, President of Makivvik, praised the efforts of the mushers and their teams, stating, “Ivakkak was created over 20 years ago, and the first race was held in 2001, marking the start of Makivvik’s Inuit Sled dog revitalization initiative. We are proud of the work that has gone into bringing the Inuit Sled dog back to Nunavik, despite the tragic dog slaughters carried out by past governments from the mid-1950s until the late 1960s.”
Makivvik would like to express our gratitude to the Economic Development Department staff for their hard work in organizing the event and to the generous sponsors who contributed to this years edition.
The mushers participating in Ivakkak today are following in the footsteps of the early teams that participated over 20 years ago, and even more importantly, they are following and traveling the trails of their ancestors, using the same method of transportation that they would have used.
The Ivakkak 2023 race was not just a test of the mushers’ physical and mental endurance. It was also an affirmation of the importance of preserving traditional Inuit practices, including the art of raising and caring for dog sled teams.
Makivvik congratulates all six teams and support staff who completed this year’s race. Your dedication to this important traditional practice is an inspiration to us all. The final standings and prizes can be found on the Official Ivakkak website at Ivakkak.com
Director of Communications
Makivvik is the land claims organization mandated to manage the heritage funds of the Inuit of Nunavik provided for under the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement. Makivvik’s role includes the administration and investment of these funds and the promotion of economic growth by providing assistance for the creation of Inuit-operated businesses
Photos Coursey of the Ivakkak 2023 Photographer – Lucasi Kiatainaq