Regna Darnell                                                                   The University of Western Ontario
Department of Anthropology

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AAA Franz Boas Award 2005

Regna Darnell, professor of anthropology and co-director of the First Nations Studies Program at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada, was named winner of the 2005 American Anthropological Association’s Franz Boas Award for Exemplary Service to Anthropology during the association’s annual meeting earlier this month.

The Franz Boas Award is given annually to recognize AAA members’ career achievements in a science or in service to anthropology. This award is the association’s highest honor.

Darnell was recognized for the many ways in which she has served the profession over the years. From 1999 to 2002, she served as chairwoman of the associations Centennial Executive and Advisory commissions. She also has been a member of AAA’s Executive Boards and the Society for Linguistic Anthropology; is a former president of the Society for Humanistic Anthropology and the North American Association for the History of the Language Sciences; and has served on the editorial boards of many professional journals, including American Anthropologist, AAA’s flagship journal.

Beyond this service, Darnell is committed to scholarship, having published several books and contributed to other works on the history of anthropology. Her anthropological research focuses on linguistic interactions in Native American communities.

Founded in 1902, the American Anthropological Association is the world’s largest professional organization of anthropologists and others interested in anthropology, with an average annual membership of more than 10,000. The Arlington, Va.-based association represents all specialties within anthropology - cultural anthropology, biological (or physical) anthropology, archaeology, linguistics and applied anthropology.


Distinguished University Professor Award 2005


Link to Article

American Philosophical Society 2005



Comments from APS:

Regna Darnell is today the leading historian of North American linguistics and anthropology, from its founding by pioneers like Daniel Brinton and Franz Boas, to Edward Sapir, and the modern field of ethnographic linguistics.  She is one of Canada's most widely published authorities on First Nations languages and cultures, having conducted fieldwork across the continent with speakers of Algonkian, Athabascan, and Iroquoian languages.  Her work represents a unique synthesis of hardminded ethnographic and linguistic description with the sensitivity of the humanistic tradition, bridging the gap between a postmodernist appreciation of cultural uniqueness and a scientific insistence on verifiable observation.


Regna Darnell is the First Recipient

of the the Gene Weltfish Award in 2004,

for her service and contributions to the discipline of anthropology



Dr. Regna Darnell was the year 2000 recipient of the Hellmuth Prize

( the first woman to ever be awarded this achievement)


The Hellmuth Prizes for achievement in research were established by the University to provide a way for all members of the Western community to appreciate and celebrate the research achievement of our most distinguished faculty members. They are named in honour of Bishop Isaac Hellmuth (1817-1901), who can be regarded as the founder of The University of Western Ontario. Working with Bishop Benjamin Cronyn, Hellmuth founded Huron College in 1863, and his personal foresight and dedication led to the granting of the charter for 'The Western University of London, Ontario" in 1878. Hellmuth later served as Western's first Chancellor from 1878 to 1884.