Monday, March 17

Dogsledding Interpretation Gets Creative at RCMP Heritage Centre

Brad Muir (l) and Joel Potié of Sundogs Sled Excursions introduce of of their star Alaskan Huskies.

One would think the RCMP Heritage Centre might face significant hurdles in bringing to life the role dogsledding played historically, as a means of transportation in its more remote detachments. Let's face it, kennels are quite a different matter to manage onsite in a museum setting. Who would prepare the food, feed the dogs and pick all that smelly stuff that comes out the other end? Call it a stroke of genius or just plain common sense, for Sundogs Sled Excursions' and veteran Parks Canada interpreter Brad Muir, developing a game to convey to kids what the amount of work keeping sled dogs really is like, is nothing short of brilliant.

Brad and his guide partner Joel Potié had kids racing around the room with magnum-sized "pooper-scoopers" recently at the RCMP Heritage Centre, as part of the Journées du Patrimoine that was put on for francophone and French immersion students from around Regina. This certainly was a cool way to introduce these young budding adventure travellers to what it's like to drive a dog team. Joel explained to everyone in French what different parts of the sled were from harness configuration to breaking systems, so passengers, guide and dog team get to travel safely along snowy northern trails. That is where these would-be mushers would have to normally go to meet Brad and Joel in action on their staging grounds in Christopher Lake, just north of Prince-Albert. 

Until the time comes, let's just settle in earnest for one of Brad's favourite sayings: "Long may you run!"