Julie Cruikshank, Ph.D. (Northern Science Award 2019, Anthropology)

Julie Cruikshank, Ph.D. (Northern Science Award 2019, Anthropology)

Julie Cruikshank

Julie Cruikshank, Professor Emerita of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, has a long and distinguished record of documenting the oral histories and life stories of Athapaskan and Tlingit elders, and exploring Yukon First Nations’ systems of narrative and knowledge.

Dr. Cruikshank has built a lifetime of research on a foundation of respectful relationships with First Nation elders, developed and nurtured over many years. Her groundbreaking work to document and publish their knowledge has made a wealth of historical information, stories, and perspectives publicly available. Her work helps Yukon First Nations recognize and honour the strengths of their cultural traditions and achieve a full understanding of their identity and place in the world. Dr. Cruikshank’s books, treasured in many Yukon homes, are found in all community libraries in the territory, and are part of lesson plans in every Yukon school. Her work has advanced scholarly understanding of Athapaskan and Tlingit knowledge traditions and has brought new insight into the nature of history and the interplay of different knowledge systems.

Yukon Indigenous governments regularly draw on Dr. Cruikshank’s work and her knowledge. She is for them, as she is for her academic colleagues and students, a valued source of inspiration, support, and wisdom.

Through the Northern Science Award and Centenary Medal, Polar Knowledge Canada recognizes the outstanding merit of Julie Cruikshank’s contributions to Yukon and Canada.

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