Synopses & Reviews
The history and development of The Alaskan Reindeer Experiment and the Canadian Reindeer Project.
An epic experiment of cultural evolution.
In the 1920s the traditional migration routes of wild caribou changed, making it difficult for native Inuit hunters. Faced with a crisis of Inuit survival and having observed the success of reindeer herding in Alaska, the Canadian government established the practice in the Mackenzie Delta area. To help the Inuit make the shift to the new economy, Scandinavian reindeer herders, the Sami, were brought to Canada. To bureaucrats, changing the Inuit from a hunting-gathering culture to a herding-nomadic culture appeared straightforward and simple. Reality proved otherwise.
The Reindeer Herders of the Mackenzie Delta is the fascinating true history of the Canadian Reindeer Experiment as experienced by Otto Binder, an Inuit herder, his Sami wife, Ellen Pulk Binder, and their son, Lloyd Binder, who continues to herd reindeer.
The book explores their struggles and ultimate survival. Their story is also an account of the survival of two circumpolar cultures -- Inuit and Sami -- in a global society.
With contemporary and archival photographs, The Reindeer Herders of the Mackenzie Delta recounts a true-life adventure with valuable insights for contemporary readers.