Circumpolar Reindeer Cooperation: beautiful fawning

by ABCCmain on September 30, 2012


Reindeer are not indigenous to Canada, they were brought here in 1935 and the last herd is cared for by The Reindeer People. Whales had been decimated from over-hunting and the idea to bring reindeer came from Alaska, a potential new meat industry. An early example of adaptation, innovation and to a degree, heartbreak and hope.
The Canadian Reindeer Project: Experimenting with Science & Development in Northern Environmental History
“In the early 1900s, the Inuvialuit of the Mackenzie Delta faced desperate times. Depended on caribou meat and fur for thousands of years, they found that herds no longer behaved in a predictable way. With the 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 Saami, a reindeer herding culture indigenous to Scandinavia, whose job was to teach the Inuvialuit their successful herding techniques. The Pulk family of Saapmi, 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 a new country. This is the history how it started.”

I wish I went to the 75th Anniversary party, that’d be a fantastic political and cultural history and cookbook.

75th Anniversary of Herd Establishment, 2010: ”Crossing the River Event”

The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) and Canadian Reindeer will jointly celebrate the successful 1935 arrival of the reindeer herd to the Mackenzie Delta with a festive day event at Swimming Point on Richards Island.

An open invitation is extended for visitors to drive the ice road on April 6th to Swimming Point to observe the noon herd crossing of the ice road to the summer range on Richards Island. Traditional foods will be available at a festive meal in Inuvik later in the evening…

The herd migration and river crossing normally occurs before April 9th, when the pregnant females usually begin to give birth to their young.

From Maisonneuve story, The Curse of the Deer in 2009. “Reindeer are not indigenous to Canada but thrive wherever caribou do. They belong to the same deer species but form a different subspecies, distinguishable by shorter legs, heavier rumps and white spots. Reindeer are more sedentary and can become quite comfortable around people, making them ideal candidates for animal husbandry – which the Sami have practiced for centuries. In the circumpolar Arctic there are an estimated 1.4-million domesticated reindeer, the majority of which range in Russia. In Alaska, their numbers once hit 640,000 but now have shrunk to 30,000, with 20 dedicated herders.”

Thanks to Cold United for the story tip.

Secret art in the archive

by ABCCmain on September 26, 2012

David Kennedy-Cutler, whose Antarctic art will also appear in our nearly-finished work-in-progress book, told us about a cool thing at The Explorers Club New York – someone secretly planted contemporary art into the archive, including some of his Antarctic soap images. I can find nothing more about the show but love the new+old. That’s where David had to go get some of his work from recently to be shot to include in The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning.

Please check out our forthcoming book to see his work. But for fun now, here was another show at The Explorer’s Club this summer. This clever exhibition pertains to explorers, science and discovery in another part of the world, a country that also has an Antarctic research station. There, Wendy learned to make dumplings.

Mark Dion Project Considers Sterling Clark’s 1908-09 Expedition to China

May 7, 2012, Williamstown, MA–The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute presents a new installation by artist Mark Dion, Phantoms of the Clark Expedition, reflecting on the history of exploration and on an expedition to North China that the Institute’s founder Sterling Clark undertook in 1908.  On view May 9 to August 3, 2012, the installation consists of a series of dioramas and sculptures representing objects and specimens that would have been used or collected during expeditions that occurred in that era. The installation is being presented at The Explorers Club at 46 East 70th Street in New York.

The Clark commissioned Dion to create the new work as part of the Institute’s commemoration of the centennial of the 1912 publication of Through Shên-kan: The Account of the Clark Expedition in North China, 1908–9, written by Sterling Clark and naturalist Arthur deCarle Sowerby.  The Explorers Club site was selected both for its connections to the history of exploration and for its links to the Clark family’s history. The brick townhouse was the former home of Sterling Clark’s brother Stephen, and is the current site of the Clark’s New York office.

“Mark has created a provocative project with compelling connections to the idea of exploration and to early interest in northwest China,” said Michael Conforti, director of the Clark. “Mark’s work adds a fresh, contemporary dimension to our founder’s previously overlooked contribution to science and learning.”

Read more on Hyperallergic: Sensitive to Art & its Discontents site, “The Ambition and Arrogance of Exploration”

Installation view of Phantoms of the Clark Expedition (image -the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute)


Mark Dion, "Provisions & Equipment-Clark Expedition" (2012) (photo by the author for Hyperallergic