McGill student wins Taylor Award for Canadian Arctic research

October 19, 2010

Posted on: 18/10/2010

McGill student wins Taylor Award for Canadian Arctic research

Gatineau, Quebec, October 19, 2010 — A doctoral student at McGill University who left his Florida home to conduct research in the Canadian Arctic is the 2010 recipient of the William E. Taylor Research Award. The annual prize is presented by the Canadian Museum of Civilization to recognize and encourage excellence in human history research in the Far North.

The recipient is Sean Desjardins, a PhD candidate in McGill’s Department of Anthropology. Desjardins is studying the social and cultural impacts of the walrus hunt on early Inuit (Thule) populations. His research is centred on ancient hunting camps in the vicinity of today’s communities of Igloolik and Hall Beach, Nunavut, where walrus hunting has been at the heart of human life and culture for at least 4,000 years.
The William E. Taylor Research Award is open exclusively to young or new scholars. It includes a cash prize of $5,000. The award is named in memory of William E. Taylor, Jr., a renowned archaeologist and Arctic scholar who had a long and distinguished career with the National Museum of Man, a forerunner of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Dr. Taylor died in 1994. The award was first presented in 1999.

“This award is a huge honour,” said Desjardins. “William Taylor is a giant in the field of Arctic archaeology and his work has directly influenced my own in many ways. I’m also very grateful to the Canadian Museum of Civilization for recognizing the value of my research.”

Desjardins was an undergraduate in his home state of Florida when the Arctic first piqued his interest. To pursue his northern studies, he completed a master’s degree in anthropology at the University of Toronto before continuing at McGill. His award-winning project will involve documentary research, interviews with hunters and elders, and archaeological excavations.  

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