Access to all articles, new health classes, discounts in our store, and more!
A Canadian of Icelandic parentage, Vilhjálmur Stefánsson (1879-1962) was a famed (and by some accounts, infamous) Arctic explorer purported to be quite possibly the first person of European descent to come into contact with native peoples of the North American Arctic. During the winter of 1906-1907, he was separated from the other members of his expedition, as well as his supplies. As fortune would have it, he was taken in by a group of Inuit he encountered on the Canadian Arctic coast. By the following spring, he had fully adopted their way of life, even having begun speaking their language, and he even fancied himself as being one of them. He traveled extensively throughout the Arctic during the better part of the next decade, remaining away from European settlements and outposts for what he reported to be 18 months at a time. He wrote extensively about his experiences in a great number of books, as well as in the scientific literature of the period.