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The Franz Boas Enigma

Foreword by Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt “… Franz Boas has remained an enigma, so misunderstood as a person and so often misrepresented as an anthropologist.” William S. Willis, Jr. How did Franz Boas become the central founder of anthropology and a driving force promoting science in public life in North America? To answer this question, linguistic… Read more »

Inuit and Whalers on Baffin Island through German Eyes

Wilhelm Weike, a 23-year old handyman from Minden/Germany, accidentally found himself spending the year of 1883-84 among Inuit and wintering with whalers on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic. The fledgling scientist Franz Boas (1858-1942), later the eminent cultural anthropologist, hired Weike to attend to and assist him in his geographical and ethnological research following… Read more »

Joseph Elzéar Bernier 1852-1934

One hundred years ago, on July 1, 1909, Captain Joseph-Elzear Bernier, his officers and crew erected a plaque on Melville Island in the Northwest Passage and laid claim to the entire Arctic Archipelago for Canada. It was the crowning moment in the life of a man identified as one of the 100 Great Canadian Achievers… Read more »