Historian Kenn Harper hosts book launch and conference in Iqaluit

Nunatsiaq News Contributor to Discuss Firth Thule Expedition at Public Events September 7-8

Writer and historian Kenn Harper prepares to launch his latest book, “Inuit and Explorers,” at a Sept. 8 book launch in Iqaluit. The day before, Harper will also give a lecture on the fifth Thule Expedition at the Nunavut Research Institute. (Photo by Madalyn Howitt)


madalyn howitt

To mark the centenary of the fifth Thule expedition, writer and historian Kenn Harper is traveling to Iqaluit for two events that will be open to the public.

Harper, a regular contributor to Nunatsiaq News with his Taissumani columns, will give an illustrated talk Sept. 7 on Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen and the fifth Thule expedition he led in the Arctic from 1921 to 1924.

The following evening, Harper will host a book launch in the North for Inuit and explorersthe fifth book of his At that time arctic history series. The book is a collection of his columns, updated with new information.

“I’ve been kind of a drummer to make sure the expedition is known in Canada, especially in northern Canada,” Harper said.

His current series for his Taissumani chronicles focuses on the expedition.

“Traditionally these stories of exploration always focused on the white man, and the Inuit, if they’re named at all, there aren’t many details about their contribution to the expedition,” Harper said. about what inspired him to write the book.

“The task I set myself in writing the columns that culminated in the book was to bring their names to the fore and to bring their contributions to various expeditions to the forefront of history.”

The events in Iqaluit will bring Harper back to Nunavut for the first time since February 2019. He has already lived in the territory for 50 years.

The September 7 event, open to the public, will take place at the Nunavut Research Institute (Building 959-A) at 7:00 p.m. in the Boardroom.

The Iqaluit book launch will take place at the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum from 6:30 to 8 p.m., sponsored by publisher Inhabit Media. The book was already launched in Ottawa in April.

Harper will also give a lecture on the Fifth Thule Expedition later this month in Ottawa at the Alex Trebek Theater in the Royal Canadian Geographical Society Building, 50 Sussex Drive.

Attendees can purchase tickets for the September 15 conference, which begins at 7 p.m., by visiting cangeo.ca/thule or on the rcgs.org website.

Angela C. Hale