Stephen Bown wins 2016 William Mills Prize for Knud Rasmussen biography

Bown's biography, White Eskimo, explores the life of Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen, known for his detailed chronicling of Inuit life in the 1920s.

Stephen Bown won the 2016 William Mills Prize for Non-Fiction Polar Books for his biography, White Eskimo: Knud Rasmussen's Fearless Journey into the Heart of the Arctic.

Knud Rasmussen, who was part Inuk and spoke Inuktitut, is considered the first European to travel the Northwest Passage by dog team. The 32,186 km journey from Greenland to Alaska took three years - 1921 and 1924 - over which time Rasmussen recorded traditions and ancestral knowledge from Inuit communities he encountered.

White Eskimo is the first full-length biography on the Arctic explorer and ethnographer. It is Bown's ninth book. He lives in Canmore, Alta.

The William Mills Prize comes with a $300 U.S. ($389.25 CAD) prize. It is administered by the Polar Libraries Colloquy, an international organization of librarians with a special interest in preserving and distributing information about the world's polar regions.


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