Kenn Harper

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Kenn Harper (aka Ilisaijikutaaq, tall teacher[1]) is a Canadian writer, historian, and businessman. He is the author of Give Me My Father's Body, an account of Canadian Inuit Minik Wallace, and a regular column on Arctic history in Nunatsiaq News.

Early life[edit]

Harper relocated to the Arctic in 1967 as a teacher on Padloping Island.[2] He later lived in Qikiqtarjuaq and Greenland,[2] and worked at various times as a teacher, development officer, and entrepreneur.[3] He eventually settled in Iqaluit, Nunavut, where he started the Arctic Ventures grocery store. He sold the company to Arctic Co-operatives Ltd in 2012.[2][4][5][6]

Harper became known as a historian of the Arctic. He writes "Taissumanni", regular column on history in Nunatsiaq News.[7] He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.[2] In 2000 he published Give Me My Father's Body: The Story of Minik, the New York Eskimo, which tells the story of Minik Wallace, a member of the Inughuit or "Polar Eskimo" tribe who was among a group taken by Robert Peary from his home in northwest Greenland to New York City.[8]

In 2005, Harper was appointed Danish Honorary Consul, an unpaid posting in Iqaluit.[9] On 9 June 2014, Harper was recognised by the Government of Denmark for his work with the presentation of the Order of the Dannebrog. The appointment of Ridder (Knight) had been made in April and was approved by the Government of Canada.[1]

Harper is fluent in English, Inuktitut and conversational Danish.


  • Give Me My Father's Body: The Life of Minik, The New York Eskimo
  • In Those Days: Collected Writings on Arctic History. Book I: Inuit Lives Iqaluit: Inhabit Media, 2014. ISBN 978-1927095584