chapter  5
Northern relations
People, sled dogs and salmon in Kamchatka (Russian Far East)
ByLisa Strecker
Pages 26

In this chapter, the author reconstructs the history of sled dog husbandry in Kamchatka based on data retrieved from ethnographic and historical sources as well as from personal observations and anthropological fieldwork. In the early 1900s, half of the Koryak households in Kamchatka's northern Penzhina area had only two to eight sled dogs. There are very few published sources documenting anti-sled dog policies by the government and the replacement of sled dogs by snowmobiles in Northern Kamchatka. Non-native Russians, regardless of how many years or generations they reside in Northern Kamchatka, do not currently have subsistence access to salmon. The predominantly native sled dog owners in Northern Kamchatka who participate in the Beringia now own more dogs than would be necessary for mere transportation. Dogs in Northern Kamchatka are generally fed fish, meat, seal blubber, and kitchen scraps only. Sled dog husbandry in Kamchatka, as well as the sled dogs themselves, are changing at a very fast rate.