Simon Anaviapik (1913[1915?]-1992)

  • Hermann A.R. Steltner
  • Sophie D. Steltner
Keywords: Acculturation, Anaviapik, Simon, 1913 or 15-1992, Arctic Research Establishment, Culture (Anthropology), Government relations, Inuit, Inuit languages, Research, Self-determination, Pond Inlet (Hamlet), Nunavut

Abstract

Simon Anaviapik lived in Pond Inlet on Baffin Island, Northwest Territories. A description of Anaviapik's personality does not fit into any of the accepted levels of recognition for an individual. There is no list of accomplishments and there are no citations of his works, his words or phrases. He wrote some stories from his life for those who did not know him, his people or his land. He was of very slight stature and had small, soft hands that firmly and warmly shook your hand. His beaming eyes were alert and penetrating, showing experience in probing the unknown and revealing his great understanding of people. His speech was clear and well pronounced and he knew his native language, Inuktitut, second to none of his contemporaries. Most valuable of all was his ability to explain fully all of its nuances. He often sadly remarked on the gradual deterioration of Inuktitut. He spoke no English, but we observed that he understood the language quite well without any help or translators. ... Anaviapik was the key motivator for local Inuit to participate in a multidisciplinary, international scientific research project known as the EOS Routing Study, conceived and coordinated by Hermann Steltner in 1971. ... Seventeen Inuit from Pond Inlet assisted with the Routing Study, together with researchers from Brock University, Canada, and several European institutions. At the end of that study Anaviapik succeeded in convincing us to continue with engaging Inuit in science-supporting data collection, measurements and observations. This led to our founding of the Arctic Research Establishment (ARE) in Pond Inlet in 1973. ...
Published
1993-01-01
Section
Arctic Profiles