1928 - 2016
Dr. Ian Whitaker was educated at the Universities of St. Andrews (Scotland), Cambridge, and Oslo (Norway). He taught at the University of Edinburgh, Memorial University of Newfoundland, the Universities of Wales and York (England), before coming to SFU in 1972. He was the first chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology - his third chairmanship. Dr. Whitaker had a longterm affiliation with the Scott Polar Research Institute, where he was Senior Research Associate after retiring from SFU in 1993. He also served as a consultant sociologist to the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry, an important role of which he described as one of the highlights of his career. He was elected to the Royal Gustav Adolf Academy of Sweden in 1981.
Circumpolar ethnohistory and fieldwork; the creation of mythology in the modern world.
Reindeer-herding Sami (2 years), Scottish and Icelandic fishers (numerous visits); Albanophone shepherds (6 months); Inuit of Canadian Arctic (6 months); Chinese Evenki and Tajiks (4 months).