Jeff Dinsdale of Quesnel gave a talk at the Fort St. James National Historic Site on the history of dog mushing in central B.C. for the Fort St. James Sled Dog Association.

History for the dogs

Jeff Dinsdale of Quesnel visited Fort St. James to give a talk on the history of mushing in north-central B.C..

Jeff Dinsdale of Quesnel visited Fort St. James to give a talk on the history of  mushing in north-central B.C..

Dog mushing has been around in Canada for a long time, according to Dinsdale, with the Inuit in the north using sled dogs for over 4,000 years.

The Carrier peoples of New Caledonia and beyond, however, he does not believe were using sled dogs prior to their introduction by the fur traders, who brought them from northern Alberta to help carry furs and supplies across the north in the winter.

“As far as British Columbia is concerned, this is where it all started,” said Dinsdale.

Over the years, sled dogs and their sleds evolved. Early sleds were fairly rudimentary, beginning with toboggans made out of two eight-inch boards.

In the early years, the dog teams were small, usually as few as four dogs or less made a team.

Mushers had to run, walk or snowshoe alongside or behind the sleds, with nowhere to stand on the back of the sleds, and steering control was limited.

Sled dogs were instrumental in the fur trade, in the Collins Overland Telegraph Line, and the railway line. Surveyors of both line systems used sled dogs for their work.

The talk ended with a fantastic demonstration of the traditional clothing from the late days of the fur trade, with a coat made from a wool blanket, leggings, and traditional ties and wraps to keep the snow out and warmth in.

Over 30 people attended Dinsdale’s talk, put on by the Fort St. James Sled Dog Association. Entry was by donation, with proceeds going towards the association’s Caledonia Classic races set for February 22-24, 2013.

Just Posted

Couple selling fake jewelry in Fraser Lake, say RCMP

A man and woman have been defrauding local residents, offering fake jewelry for sale

Gitxsan forming cross-sector salmon management team

Nation again declares closure of fishery in territory for 2019

Editorial: The Speaker shouldn’t be an MLA

Time to re-evaluate the Speaker position

Column: condition of cows after winter feeding

The protein content of winter feed is important, says rancher David Zirnhelt

Concept designs for Vanderhoof’s new CNC campus unveiled

Community was invited to provide feedback at a public engagement session Dec. 6

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Most Read