There, the Canadian Lloyd Norman Binder promised a large herd of reindeer, good grazing conditions and few predators to anyone who eventually wanted to buy back his herd.
– I plan ahead so that I can find someone to take over as head shepherd when the current one retires, says reindeer herder operator Lloyd Norman Binder.
He has been and is in contact with several stakeholders interested in observing the herd of 4,500 reindeer and discussing options. Binder also made the same offer in 2011.
Adventurer and girl from Trondheim Tonje Blomseth and reindeer herding lover Per Anders Eira were in contact with Binder, and there was discussion about whether they should try their luck.
– We emailed him to say we were interested, but at the time we didn’t know he was interested in us taking over the operation. We thought it was only for a while, but when we heard there was a buyout, we pulled out.
Lloyd Norman Binder lives in Inuvik, located in the Northwest Territories, in northern Canada. Binder is a descendant of the Pulk and Utsi families of Finnmark. Binder’s Sami ancestors arrived in the Northwest Territories in the 1930s, and he herded reindeer all his life.
His offer went viral on social media, where many were attracted by this exclusive opportunity.
Large areas and few predators are a reindeer herding Sami’s pure dream, especially for someone living in Finnmark, where they have to be forcibly slaughtered for conditions to be good enough.
Many reindeer herders might have thought about working for Binder, but what he wants is for him to move to Canada full time.
– I don’t really have a problem finding shepherds. But I think this person also wants more than a job, so it seems logical that they would be willing to become a key shareholder in the company. It really means becoming Canadian and living here, Binder says.
It shouldn’t be about experience and adventure for Tonje and Per Anders, but leaving everything in Norway to build a new life in Canada is out of the question.
– We have far too many people we are happy with here in Norway and many things prevent us from being able to move and live there for the rest of our lives.
I think there is room for 20,000 reindeer
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.
Binder has built up the herd so that there are now 4,500 reindeer, but he estimates the vegetation is good enough that there is room for 20,000 reindeer if the descendant wants to increase the population.
Even if one could become the richest reindeer herder in the world, money is not something that either Tonje or Per Anders seek.
– Money is not everything. If you are moving to the other side of the world against your will just for money, then I think you are doing it on the wrong footing. It’s possible to make money other than getting to the other side, she says.
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