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We are delighted to be combining this year’s Mushing History Conference with the Willow Dog Mushers Association’s K9 Athletes Symposium in Willow, Alaska. For your information here is a preliminary breakdown of the weekend schedule (subject to change) and ticket prices are below:

Click here for registration form
and complete information!

WDMA K9 Athletes Symposium
Saturday, September 25, 2010

ALL DAY – Gear Swap

Bring your unwanted dog gear and other miscellaneous items to sale, but please NO live animals for sale or trade. Bring photos and pedigrees instead. Gear Swap will take place in parking lot near Old Community Center next to the Willow Community Center starting at 10 am until whenever.

ALL DAY – Mushing History Museum

Sleds, gear, photos, posters, books and more – and lots of mushers talking about the colorful and important history of mushing, located in the Old Community Center log cabin next to the Willow Community Center starting at 10 am until everyone gets tired of talking about mushing! Special Presentation by Thomas Swan on “Dog Mushing in the Historical Northwestern Fur Trade.” Time TBA.

ALL DAY – Vendor Fair

Come and check out a variety of vendors. The vendor fair is open to the public free of charge from 10 am until 1 pm.

10:00 am – 12:15 pm – Hands-On Seminars

Hands-On Seminars will run TWICE for one hour so that you can take part in at least two different seminars. You can learn more about: How to Use a GPS – Vic Stanculescu, No Snow? No Problem! “Dirt Dogs”Alaska Skijor Club, Nose Work Demo / Weight Pull – Claudia Sihler / Judy Carrick, Canine Massage & Acupressure – Susan Whiton, Extreme Weather Outdoor Survival – Kent Kantowski, John Wilber and Debbie Moderow and Trap Release – Dave Korpi. These events will take place in different areas at the Willow Community Center.

• 1:00 pm- 2:00 pm –
Official Start of Sled-Dog Mini Symposium & Mushing History Conference

Keynote Speaker, Mary Shields

• 2:30 pm – 3:15 pm –

Program #1: Tips & Hints for Stretching Your Kennel Dollar
Greg Sellentin, Gayle Wood, Perry Solomonson, Erin McLarnon

Program #2: Police K9 Unit Demo

• 3:30 pm – 4:15 pm –

Program #1: Mental Toughness – The Human / Canine Connection with Jim Lanier, Claudia Sihler, Ellen Halvorson

Program #2: Frisbee Dogs

• 4:30 pm – 5:15 pm –

Program #1: Developing Leaders – with
Ed Wood, Greg Sellentin, Roxy Wright, others TBA

Program #2: Gun Dog / Retriever Demo – Baron Rae of Wetland Retrievers

• 5:30 pm – 6:15 pm –

Program: Pioneering Women Mushers & Their K9 Athletes:
Mary Shields, Roxy Wright, Rose Albert, Sue Firmin, others

• 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm – (separate ticket required)

Fundraising Dinner / Silent Auction / Film: Mary Shields, “Season of the Sleddog,” in the Willow Community Center

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Mushing History Conference

Sunday, September 26, 2010

ALL DAY – Gear Swap

Bring your unwanted dog gear and other miscellaneous items to sale, but please NO live animals for sale or trade. Bring photos and pedigrees instead. Gear Swap will take place in the parking lot near Old Community Center next to WCC starting at 10 am.

ALL DAY – Vendor Fair

Come and check out a variety of vendors.

ALL DAY – Mushing History Museum

Sleds, gear, photos, posters, books and more – and lots of mushers talking about the colorful and important history of mushing, relocated from Saturday to the new Willow Community Center, starting at 10 am.

ALL DAY – Mushing History Conference Schedule:

9:30 – 10:00 – Doors open, set-up displays, book tables, etc.
10:00 to 10:25 – Welcome, introductions, opening comments, etc.
10:30 to 11:25 – Dog Mushing in the Northwestern Fur Trade – Thomas Swan
11:30 to 12:25 – Mushing the Mail on the Iditarod Trail – Linda Chamberlain
12:30 to 1:25 – Lunch, viewing displays, visiting
1:30 to 2:25 – Women Mushers Panel – Roxy Wright, Rose Albert, Dee Dee Jonrowe, Sue Firmin, Kari Skogen
2:30 to 3:25 – Denali Park Kennels – Jennifer Raffaeli
3:30 to 3:45 – Break for 15 minutes
4:00 to 4:55 – Serum Run History – Erin McLarnon
5:00 to 5:55 – Iditarod Stories – Rod Perry
6:00 to 6:55 – Iditarod Trail History – Chas St. George
7:00 – Closing, breakdown, clean-up, visiting, etc.

Advance Registration (Saves you money! Respond before Sept. 10)

1 Day Pass: WDMA members: $20.00 (Juniors/under 18: $5.00)
non-members: $35.00 (Juniors/under 18: $5.00)

2 Day Pass: WDMA members: $30.00 (Juniors/under 18: $5.00)
non-members: $50.00 (Juniors/under 18: $5.00)

Fundraising Dinner/Movie/Silent Auction Saturday Nite $10.00
(not included with either 1 day or 2 day passes)

Click here for registration form
and complete information!

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The 2010 Mushing History Conference, presented by Northern Light Media, will be held in Willow, Alaska, on September 25 and 26, in conjunction with the Willow Dog Mushers Association’s third annual Canine Athletes Symposium. The location is the beautiful lakeside Willow Community Center, in the heart of downtown Willow, Alaska.

Award-winning Talkeetna artist David Totten contributed artwork for a limited edition poster, which will be available for purchase.

David Totten

Totten, who has designed the official poster for multiple years of the Yukon Quest, and designed the poster for the 2010 Jr. Iditarod, has often used his own team of sled dogs as models for his artwork.

Mary Shields

The WDMA Symposium will hold center stage in the Willow Community Center on Saturday, September 25, with keynote speaker Mary Shields, the first woman to run and finish the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 1974. Opening her kennel near Fairbanks to visitors, Mary has been sharing her 41 years of adventures in mushing, and her love of living in Alaska with her family of sled dogs, since 1984.

Complementing Ms. Shields’ address will be a panel of veteran women mushers, and attendees will also experience a wealth of canine athlete related activities, including hands-on seminars, workshops, demonstrations and more. There will also be a new and used gear swap, a vendor fair, and a fundraising dinner with a silent auction and a showing of Mary Shield’s PBS documentary, Season of the Sled Dog.

The 2010 Mushing History Conference is sponsoring a display of historical mushing items such as freighting sleds, antique harnesses, gear, posters, photos, books and more, and there will be a comfortable place for ongoing informal discussions about the history of sled dog travel in the north. On Sunday, September 26 the Mushing History Conference gets underway in earnest, with a program which includes The All Alaska Sweepstakes, the Serum Run, Dog Mushing in the Northwestern Fur Trade, Iditarod Mail Carriers, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, the history of women in racing, and more.

• For information about the 2010 Willow Dog Mushers Association Canine Athletes Symposium and Mushing History Conference contact the Willow Dog Mushers Association, P.O. Box 858, Willow, Alaska 99688; 907-495-0671; http://www.willowdogmushers.com

• For information specifically about the 2010 Mushing History Conference, contact Northern Light Media, P.O. Box 759, Palmer, Alaska 99645; 907-354-3510; https://mushinghistory.wordpress.com

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Indian dog sled near Fort Clark. Watercolor by Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied, 1833

The 2010 Mushing History Conference will be held in Willow, Alaska, on September 25 and 26, in conjunction with the 2010 Willow Dog Mushers Association’s Third Annual Symposium. The WDMA Symposium will include a broad range of canine athlete-related programs, and the Symposium’s Keynote Speaker will be Mary Shields, the first woman to run the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, in 1974.

The 2010 Mushing History Conference is still in the early planning stages, but the first Mushing History Conference, held in November, 2009, in Anchorage and Wasilla, Alaska, brought together many veteran mushers and a broad assortment of authors, historians, researchers, storytellers, writers and photographers for a wonder-filled weekend of exploring the colorful history of man’s travel via dogteam. Presentations traced the evolution of man’s relationship with working sled dogs, including trapline use of sled dogs in the North American fur trade, historic and present-day sled dog races, delivering the U.S. mail by dogteam, sled dog use in polar expeditions, the Centennial of the Iditarod National Historic Trail, Joe Redington’s work with dogteams for the U.S. Army, the evolution of sled dog nutrition and diets, the Iditarod Trail Committee’s historic documentary about the race, and much, much more.

The friendly, happy group which closed the 2009 Mushing History Conference, photo by June Price

The speakers and presenters at the first conference included Jane Haigh, Kenai, Alaska, author of Gold Rush Dogs, and Assistant Professor of History, Kenai Peninsula College; Joe Redington, Jr., Manley, Alaska, champion musher and son of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race founder; Jeff Dinsdale, Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada, a historian and researcher who’s been working with sled dogs for almost 40 years; Kevin Keeler, Anchorage, Alaska, Iditarod National Historic Trail Administrator; Dr. Linda Chamberlain, Homer, Alaska, scientist, author, professor, historian and dog musher; Rod Perry, Chugiak, Alaska, author and veteran of the first Iditarod in 1973; Chas St. George, Wasilla, Alaska, Public Relations Manager for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race; Carol Beck, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, musher, co-chair of the 2008 Arctic Winter Games Dog Sledding Committee; and Tim White, Grand Marais, Minnesota, inventor of the Quick Change Runner (QCR) System, winner of multiple championship sled dog races, and a Mush with PRIDE Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Historic photographs, books, maps, pamphlets, posters, slide shows, mushing films, videos, short subjects, documentaries and more were also presented.

Information updates about the 2010 Mushing History Conference will be shared via this website and the Mushing History Discussion Group, and at the Mushing History Facebook page.

Conference Director:
Helen Hegener
• Mail: P.O. Box 759, Palmer, Alaska 99645
• Phone: 907-354-3510
• Email: helen@northernlightmedia.com
Northern Light Media

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The 2009 Mushing History Conference is bringing together an unprecedented gathering of authors, historians, researchers, writers, veteran mushers and supporters of the colorful history of sled dog travel. Presentations will cover the evolution of man’s relationship with working sled dogs, including delivering the U.S. mail by dogteam, sled dog use in polar expeditions, the Centennial of the Iditarod National Historic Trail, Joe Redington’s work with dogteams for the U.S. Army, trapline use of sled dogs in the North American fur trade, historic and present-day sled dog races, the early Nome author Esther Birdsall Darling, the evolution of sled dog nutrition and diets, the Iditarod Trail Committee’s historical documentary about the race, and much more.

Among the speakers and presenters will be Jane Haigh, Kenai, Alaska, author of Gold Rush Dogs, Assistant Professor of History, Kenai Peninsula College; Joe Redington, Jr., Manley, Alaska, veteran musher and son of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race founder; Jeff Dinsdale, Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada, writer involved in breeding and working with sled dogs for almost 40 years; Kevin Keeler, Anchorage, Alaska, Iditarod National Historic Trail Administrator; Dr. Linda Chamberlain, Homer, Alaska, scientist, author, professor, historian and dog musher; Rod Perry, Chugiak, Alaska, author of Trailbreakers and veteran of the first Iditarod in 1973; Carol Beck, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, musher, co-chair of the 2008 Arctic Winter Games Dog Sledding Committee; and Tim White, Grand Marais, Minnesota, inventor of the Quick Change Runner (QCR) System, winner of multiple championship sled dog races, and a Mush with PRIDE Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.

Among the presentations and media will be Alan Stewart’s half hour slide show on Scotty Allan with many pictures and details of his life from his early years in Scotland as recounted by his relatives there and more; A reissued DVD of the first Iditarod movie, 1974, with additional footage in a new prologue and following segment on Joe Redington’s legacy; and a presentation which was prepared by Thomas Swan, Two Rivers, Alaska, Stardancer Freight Dogs, on Dog Mushing in the North American Fur Trade, 1763 to 1821.

Also presented will be historic photographs, books, maps, pamphlets, posters, slide shows, mushing films, videos, short subjects, documentaries and more.

The Conference will open with an informal gathering for the presenters on Friday, November 6, from 5 to 7 pm, at the Iditarod Trail Headquarters in Wasilla, mile 2, Knik-Goose Bay Road, and the public is invited to meet the conference presenters at that time.

The Conference will begin at the University of Alaska Anchorage on Saturday, November 7, at the Commons Conference Room 107A, 3700 Sharon Gagnon Lane, from 9 am to 5 pm. The Conference will reconvene at the Grand View Hotel in Wasilla on Sunday, November 8, from 9 am to 3 pm. Both events are free to the public, donations appreciated but not necessary, and families are encouraged to attend. Maps and directions to both venues can be found at the Conference website, https://mushinghistory.wordpress.com or call the Conference Coordinator, Helen Hegener, at 907-354-3510 for information.

Conference Director Tim White, 881 County Road 14, Grand Marais, MN; email: twhite@boreal.org; or Conference Coordinator: Helen Hegener, Northern Light Media, P.O. Box 759, Palmer, Alaska 99645; (907) 354-3510; email: helen@northernlightmedia.com

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Dog-Sled-TeamThe Mushing History Conference is coming together nicely in these final weeks, as we work toward bringing together authors, historians, researchers, writers, advocates and supporters of the colorful history of sled dog travel.

The conference is scheduled for the first weekend in November, with a gathering for the presenters planned for Friday, November 6th, and the conference to be held on Saturday and Sunday, November 7th and 8th. A sampling of the confirmed speakers to date:

• Iditarod National Historic Trail, by Kevin Keeler

• Mushing the Mail on the Iditarod Trail, by Linda Chamberlain

• Esther Birdsall Darling, by Jane Haigh

• Trapline to Finish Line, by Carol Beck

• The Disney movie, Nikki: Wild Dog of the North, and mushing history, by Jeff Dinsdale

• Mushing in Alaska during the ’50’s and ’60’s, Joe Redington, early Iditarod, by Joee Redington, Jr.

• Pioneering Alaska’s Iditarod, by Rod Perry

• Stories and History of the Taltson River Trappers, by Scott McQueen

• Evolution of Working Sled Dog Nutrition and Diets From Prehistory to Present, by Tim White

Also presented will be photographs, books, maps, pamphlets, posters, slide shows, mushing films, videos, short subjects, documentaries and more. For information about the conference, and if you’d like to bring materials or make a presentation, contact:

Conference Director: Tim White, 881 County Road 14, Grand Marais, MN; email: twhite@boreal.org

Coordinator: Helen Hegener, Northern Light Media, P.O. Box 759, Palmer, Alaska 99645; (907) 354-3510; email: helen@northernlightmedia.com

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