The part of the plot that you are asking about is in part one of Jean Craighead George's story. At this point in the book, Julie is referred to by her Eskimo name, Miyax. She is completely lost, which is bad in normal situations, but Miyax's situation is not normal. She is on the North Slope of Alaska, which is about as barren of a wasteland as you can get.
The barren slope stretches for three hundred miles from the Brooks Range to the Arctic Ocean, and for more than eight hundred miles from the Chukchi to the Beaufort Sea. No roads cross it; ponds and laces freckle its immensity.
In addition to being a barren wasteland, it's full of wolves. That's scary, but Miyax is not scarred of the wolves . . . at all. In fact, she believes that the wolves can help her. She knows that the wolves are better hunters and killers than her, so Miyax is hoping to figure out a way to communicate with the wolves. She wants to tell the wolves that she is hungry and needs some of their food. The wolves will help Miyax (Julie) by supplying her with food.
Miyax stared hard at the regal black wolf, hoping to catch his eye. She must somehow tell him that she was starving and ask him for food. This could be done she knew, for her father, an Eskimo hunter, had done so. One year he had camped near a wolf den while on a hunt. When a month had passed and her father had seen no game, he told the leader of the wolves that he was hungry and needed food. The next night the wolf called him from far away and her father went to him and found a freshly killed caribou.