Hi, I'm Joe G Henderson-38-year veteran Alaskan Arctic explorer and author.
There is an ancient culture that very little was known about until recently.
In the last two years, archeological sites in Siberia and Alaska have uncovered evidence of an ancient Inuit civilization. Also, excavations in these sites have uncovered remains of dogs that are around 9,500 years old.
After DNA testing, it's evident that these ancient dogs are linked to both Greenland and Alaskan malamutes. It is possible that ancient Inuit crossed the land-bridge from Siberia to Alaska with dogs, the ancestors of the present-day Alaskan malamutes and Greenland dog breeds. It is clear, for thousands of years, Alaskan Malamutes and ancient civilizations of Arctic Alaska were intertwined like fabric. One couldn’t survive without the other. The people relied on their dogs and the dogs depended on the people. They were one cohesive unit that worked toward the same goal to survive in one of the most brutal Arctic environments on earth.
In most remote river valleys of Arctic Alaska, ancient people coexisted with their dogs, insomuch, and according to new archeological evidence, their dogs lived in their homes and were buried beside their “owners”. Their dogs were family members.
Yet nowadays, there aren’t malamutes breaking the nights' silence with exuberant howls as they had a century ago. Alaskan malamutes have nearly disappeared from Arctic Alaska.
I believe it’s important to preserve these ancient dog breeds and the attributes that allow them to live and work in the Arctic. Today, many working dog breeds have deteriorated from breeders not knowing the environment in which they lived and their original work or function.
I have been documenting the essential traits for dogs to live and work in Arctic Alaska for several decades. I have endured the Arctic’s brutal environment for 38 years and have made enormous sacrifices including spending large amounts of time and resources in this endeavor. Even though I do not expect a return on my “investments”, I feel it is important to continue this arduous work so we avoid the unfortunate plight that many dog breeds have been taken to.
To protect ancient dog-breeds, particularly the Alaskan malamute, we must understand their “home” environment. This is the purpose of my Arctic expedition. However, my work is a “silent” work. It doesn’t have bright lights of Hollywood glittering behind it or reality show drama. Knowing that my contributions have inspired people around the world and have enlightened people about the preservation of our pristine Arctic wildernesses, cultures and to explore and appreciate all of God's amazing creation including Alaskan malamutes is enough for me.
By preserving the Alaskan malamute, we preserve the ancient culture they represent. It’s believed that dog/wolf domestication occurred 33,000 years ago. Dogs are part of human history. And to lose a dog-breed is like losing a part of our history and our heritage.
In February my dog team of Alaskan malamutes and I are heading out on a six-week, solo, unsupported (without resupply) expedition to the regions where the first existence of ancient Inuit resided with their dogs. There haven't been any dog teams in these regions, according to historic records, in a century. The only means of communication is a satellite phone. And I will not receive any resupply whatsoever. Everything is hauled on the dogsleds, except me of course. I will ski or snowshoe for the entire duration of the expedition
The expedition will “close the loop” or take the Alaskan malamute home where they originated. During the expedition, I will record snow and weather conditions, and how it correlates directly to the necessary traits for malamutes to live and work in the Arctic. This data will solidify or add more information, and a better description to the Alaskan malamute breed standard, thereby preventing the breed from deteriorating as many dog breeds have. Essentially, it will help preserve the breed for future generations. Additionally, because of the remoteness of this particular region, the weather data that I will collect will be useful for the USGS in climate research. I will be sending real-time data to the climate scientists working on a new study about Arctic permafrost levels.
Overall, and to be blunt, my expenses are enormous. Any donation regardless of the amount is greatly appreciated. Your contributions will directly serve the expedition with high-quality dog food and fish oil for three months, a total of 3,465lbs that will cost $4,950, satellite phone minutes for providing updates that cost approximately $1 a minute and usually average $250 per week ($3,000 total), logistics and personal gear $3,500 and book editing for the upcoming book that will be written about the expedition; approximately $2,500. These are only a few simple yet necessary items that will help launch the expedition and make it a success!
Please join us!! To all contributing members you will be given access to our sponsor Facebook page; Team Malamute, where you will receive expedition updates, a special THANKS on our website’s sponsor’s page, and receive a signed foam core print, ready to hang, of the 2022 Alaskan malamute team. If you are a business and or gear manufacturer, and donate $250 or more I will promote your business and product in magazine articles, public speaking engagements, and an upcoming book about the expedition. All-in-all you will have the satisfaction of knowing you have helped in this historic and worthy cause.
Thank you for your support!!