Started in 2012 ・ Arctic Research Endowment ・ Ernest S. (Tiger) Burch
Following the passing of long-term ASC Research Associate, Ernest S. (‘Tiger’) Burch, Jr. (1938–2010), the ASC spearheaded efforts to commemorate his scholarly achievements. In spring 2013, the leading journal, Arctic Anthropology published proceedings of two earlier sessions honoring Burch’s 50-year career as its special issue (Vol. 47-2, 2012) under the guest editorship of Igor Krupnik and Ken Pratt. In 2012, the University of Alaska Press published Burch’s posthumous book, The Caribou Herds of Northwest Alaska: 1850–2000. Tiger had been working on that book for the past several years but did not live to see it completed and published. The unfinished manuscript was prepared for publication by Igor Krupnik (ASC) and biologist Jim Dau under the same format as Burch’s earlier seminal monographs on the Inupiaq Nations of Northwest Alaska (1998) and the Social Life of the Inupiat people (2006).
Burch’s name was featured prominently at one of the sessions during the 18th Inuit Studies Conference organized by ASC in October 2012. The panel titled “100 Years of Eskimology: From Boas to Burch” explored early research in Inuit/Eskimo history, archaeology, ethnology and linguistics between 1850 and 1980. Fifteen papers from the session written by scholars from the U.S., Canada, Denmark, and Russia will be published as a major book in 2014.
To honor Tiger’s contribution to Arctic science and to promote his legacy, the Burch family and the Smithsonian Institution have agreed in December 2012 to establish ‘The Ernest S. (‘Tiger’) Burch Endowment.’ The endowment will advance multi-disciplinary studies of Arctic peoples and their cultures, training of scholars, museum and collection work, and dissemination of science results to northern communities via ASC educational, outreach, and public programs. The endowment will provide the ASC with much needed funds to organize symposia, host visiting scholars, and assist students in Northern anthropology and indigenous experts in collaborative efforts with the ASC.