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Archaeologies of Listening$
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Peter R. Schmidt and Alice B. Kehoe

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056241

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056241.001.0001

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Colonial Encounters of First Peoples and First Anthropologists in British Columbia, Canada

Colonial Encounters of First Peoples and First Anthropologists in British Columbia, Canada

Listening to the Late Nineteenth-Century Voices of the Jesup North Pacific Expedition

Chapter:
(p.272) 13 Colonial Encounters of First Peoples and First Anthropologists in British Columbia, Canada
Source:
Archaeologies of Listening
Author(s):

Catherine C. Carlson

Alice B. Kehoe

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813056241.003.0013

The earliest professional anthropological fieldwork undertaken within the Canadian province of British Columbia was by Harlan Smith, 1897-1899, sponsored by Franz Boas’ Jesup North Pacific Expedition. Smith’s professional publications from this work, prepared in the “objective scientific” mode of discourse of the time, contrast with his unpublished personal letters and notes that preserve names, personalities, and communications with First Nations people assisting his research. A controversial part of Smith’s assignment was to collect human skulls from graves, over objections from families, because measuring skulls was a rewarded part of anthropological science at the time. These plundered skulls alienated First Nations from anthropology, an attitude persisting today.

Keywords:   Jesup North Pacific Expedition, British Columbia, First Nations, Franz Boas, Harlan Smith, Plundered Skulls

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