28 October 2016

Qimmeq - The Greenland Sled Dog

QIMMEQ is a research project about the sled dog culture and the origin and genetic history of the sled dog. 

The Greenlandic sled dog culture and technology has a history that reaches more than 4000 years back in time. It is iconic and references to it are numerous. Without it the Thule People from which modern Greenlanders descend, would have had a hard time colonizing the New World´s arctic areas and without these dogs polar explorers like Roald Amundsen and Robert Peary would never have reached the Poles.

Today, Greenland holds the Arctic’s largest remaining sled dog population and a globally unique traditional dog sled culture. But both the sled dog and the culture that goes with it are threatened by extinction.

Even though sled dogs are iconic and dog sled culture plays an essential role in Greenland and despite the subject holding great scientific interest only limited systematic work has previously been done on these matters.

Our four main goals:

  • To investigate the cultural history and importance of the sled dog through time.
  • To investigate the origin and genomic history of the sled dog.
  • To use sled dog research to develop citizen science and outreach in a collaborative effort between museums and universities.
  • To help secure a sustainable future for the Greenlandic sled dog and dog sled culture.