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Photo: Carsten Egevang

Photo: Carsten Egevang


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.

The six most important goals of the Qimmeq Project

  • Collect and research knowledge about the Greenland sled dog, its genetics and culture history
  • Encourage, create and sustain interest and pride in the sled dogs and the surrounding culture and thus help sustain a viable sled dog culture for the future.
  • Help secure a genetically healthy dog population.
  • Share knowledge and research results, develop communication tools, and disseminate results within the Greenlandic and the arctic community, and globally.
  • Full fill the goals of Greenland Perspective.
  • Be a role model for future research projects beyond the Qimmeq project.

A Greenland Perspective project

QIMMEQ - Greenland’s Sled Dog is a Greenland Perspective project under the aegis of the University of Greenland, the Natural History Museum of Denmark and the University of Copenhagen.

Greenland Perspective is an multi-disciplinary, multi-national research initiative, which works on the basis of a set of precepts aimed at the activation of the initiative’s research projects into Greenlandic society. Greenland Perspective works according to three precepts, which projects, to the greatest extent possible, should live up to:

  • UNIQUE RESOURCES: Based on a number of academic viewpoints, the research project should help identify Greenland’s special characteristics and explore how these special human, natural or societal characteristics can support harmonious development in Greenland.
  • GLOBAL CHALLENGES: The research project should help reveal how the uniqueness of Greenland could help solve some of the world’s global challenges, such as the destruction of ecosystems and increasing pressure on food safety.
  • COLLABORATION: The research project should collaborate with the education system, public authorities, business and civil society to ensure that the research is activated into, and experienced as relevant to Greenlandic society.

Supported by

THE VELUX FOUNDATION and the Aage and Johanne Louis-Hansen Foundation are supporting the project to the tune of DKK 4.5 million and DKK 2.1 million respectively.