Arctic Storm opens in far northeast Siberia for good reason.  I had to leave the Arctic West and Nome behind and travel back in time, across the Bering Sea to the Chukchi Peninsula in Russia, to trace the origins of the Siberian husky—known in history as the Chukchi dog.  Life in frontier Alaska was tough enough, where pioneers struggled to survive and carve out some kind of life in the frozen, unfriendly wild.  Take those same dangers and then add to them, when journeying across the Bering Sea to Siberia.  The hostile, inhospitable conditions of life are evident from the first step off ship and onto the land of the Chukchi people.  Temperatures can plummet to minus 100 F in winter and winds often exceed 100 miles per hour.  Blizzards can hit anywhere in the North, Alaska and Siberia included; but the unforgiving tundra, the never ending ice, and the unique isolation of far northeast Siberia creates a circumstance where most could not survive.  The indigenous Chukchi people not only found ways to survive throughout the centuries, but to thrive and to preserve their rich culture.  This came at a price, however; and earned them their reputation as the Apaches of the North.

It’s safe to say that from the 17th century on, the Chukchi had to fight off the Russian Empire in one way or the other.  Sometimes agreements were made, but most often the Empire wanted to conquer the people, take their land, and all their fur trade; not to mention bring the nomadic people to task.  More than once in history, genocide was the aim of the Czar, the Cossacks, and then the Soviets.  The brave Chukchi, both Anqallyt coastal hunters and Chawchu reindeer herders, could be fierce warriors when called upon to fight.  They stood their ground when they had to, and they ran when escape meant life.  Their dogs made escape possible.  The fast, strong, and enduring Chukchi dog could outrun Russian troops on reindeer, and later Russian trucks that broke down in the cold, rugged terrain.

The fact that the Chukchi dog gave life to the Apaches of the North is the primary reason the Russians wanted to hunt them all down.  To get to the dog was to get to the people.

Brace for the Arctic Storm coming … a part of Watch Eyes Trilogy



ARCTIC WILL yet determined


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