OCTOBER 18, 1924

INUPIAQ WHALER & CONSERVATIONIST HARRY “KUPAAQ” BROWER JR BORN

Harry, born in Barrow, Alaska, learned to hunt, trap, and fish at an early age from his Inupiaq uncles. An expert harpooner for various whaling crews, he captained his own whaling crew from the mid-1940s to 1957 when an ice break-up took all his gear. Finally obtaining means to again captain a crew in 1972, Brower led a successful crew. He served in the Alaska Territorial Guard and U.S. Army, worked for the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory in Barrow as a carpenter, and assisted scientific researchers studying arctic animals and their environment. Harry also was influential in the establishment of the North Slope Borough’s bowhead whale research program when in the 1970s the International Whaling Commission wanted to abolish Native subsistence whaling. In 1988, he received a certificate of recognition from the Sigma XI Scientific Research Society for nonprofessional scientists who have made significant efforts in promoting scientific research. Brower died on April 22, 1992.

Source:  “Harry “Kupaaq” Brower, Sr., Project Jukebox, Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  Retrieved 6/30/2020, https://jukebox.uaf.edu/site7/
Photo:  S. R. Bernardi, circa 1910. Inupiaq umiak oars whaling crew Bering Strait. Public Domain.  Source: McBride Collection; Anchorage Museum, B96.9.14. alaska.si.edu.

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