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Stefansson's Lost Children

Updated: Dec 1, 2021

Icelandic Roots is delighted to announce that Gísli Pálsson (anthropologist) and Hákon Már Oddsson (film maker) have given us permission to promote and host their touching documentary, "Stefansson's Lost Children".

This documentary focuses on the Inuit descendants of the famous Canadian-Icelandic anthropologist-explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson (1879-1962), a family in Inuvik in the Northwest Territories of Canada. During his expeditions among Inuit in Alaska and Canada, Stefansson lived with an Inuit “seamstress”, a local wife named Pannigabluk. They had a son, Alex, who became an avid hunter and guide. Alex and his Inuit wife, Mabel Okpik, had six children, all of whom carried the name “Stefansson”.

While the existence of the Stefansson grandchildren was common knowledge in Inuvik, it was silenced in the larger world, a common pattern in colonial times. Stefansson had virtually no connection with the Inuit family and did not mention them in his extensive Arctic writings. The documentary is based on interviews filmed in 2000 in Inuvik with four of Stefansson's grandchildren - Frank, Georgina, Rosie and Shirley - and a visit by Georgina to Iceland at Christmas in 2003. The documentary was a joint teamwork of anthropologist Gísli Pálsson and filmmaker Hákon Már Oddsson.

Watch the film below and find it linked to Vilhjálmur Stefansson's page in the database, IR#185068.


Email us your questions or join the conversation on our Facebook Group.

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