Reindeer herder job vacancy in Canada – NRK Sápmi

– There must be someone who can fend for himself in the wilderness and who can slaughter reindeer, said Lloyd Binder.

He lives in


, located in the Northwest Territories, in northern Canada. Binder is a descendant of the Pulk and Utsi families of Finnmark.

From the early 20th century until the mid-1930s, several attempts were made to introduce Sámi reindeer herding to the Northwest Territories, Baffin Island, and Newfoundland in Canada. Reindeer from Finnmark have also been transported to Greenland and Alaska in the United States, with varying degrees of success.


Canadian reindeer


The number of reindeer in Canada and the United States is increasing

Butcher for three months

Binder’s Sami ancestors arrived in the Northwest Territories in the 1930s, and he herded reindeer all his life. This operation cannot be compared to the way the Sámi practice reindeer herding in the Nordic region.

Binder’s reindeer are also not as tame as their counterparts in the Nordic region. All year round, he and two boys look after the herd. From December to March, they slaughter 4 to 8 reindeer daily.

“This is the method that suits us best, because there are only a handful of people working on it, and at the same time we guarantee a constant supply of fresh meat to our customers,” explains Lloyd Binder.

It is Binder himself who takes care of the sale of the meat, thus ensuring an income for him and the boys. In addition to producing fresh meat, they also dry meat for sale.

Wants relief

Binder is nearing retirement age and is a little worried about whether this reindeer herding in Inuvik, in Canada’s far north, will disappear with him. He has three children of his own, but none of them want to make a living from reindeer herding. Other family members also do not want to take over Binder’s reindeer herding.

The two reindeer herders he has today will only be involved in this work for a shorter period. He therefore went through, among other things, a

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I started looking for a reindeer herder, who could possibly take over the farm.

– The plan is to use the next ten years to train a person to master this task, at the same time it would have been nice to have a colleague for a longer period, who also shares the same passion for nature and work with reindeer, Binding said.

Johan Mathis Turi.

Photo: SAra

– An exciting challenge

Johan Mathis Turi, President of the International Professional and Dissemination Center for Reindeer Herding and Secretary General of the World Reindeer Herders Federation, visited Lloyd Binder. He is impressed by Binder’s success in herding reindeer in Canada. Turi hopes Binder will find someone willing to continue this tradition.

– This is an important part of the history of Sami-Inuit reindeer herding, which I hope to preserve, says Turi.

It is curious to know if there are young Sami ready to take up this challenge launched by Binder.

– This is a unique opportunity for young Sami people who enjoy walking in the Arctic wilderness and would like to invest in reindeer herding, says Turi.

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Guldal radioášši servant Marja-Elina Ballovara Varsi doaimmahii 05.12.11 iđitsáddagii.

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Alice Williamson

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