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Charles S. Brant was born in Portland, Oregon in 1919. A life-long anthropologist, Brant began his academic career at Reed College where he obtained a B.A. 1941. In 1943, Brant completed his M.A. requirements at Yale University, where he was also University Scholar from 1941-1943. From 1943-1946 Brant served in the U.S. Army as part of the Medical Administration in India and China. With the support of Wenner-Gren and Fulbright awards, Brant undertook pre-doctoral research in the United States and Burma before completing his Ph.D. at Cornell University in 1951.
In the early years of his career, Brant taught at University of Michigan (1947-1948), Colgate University (1951-1952), University of California (1952-1953), and Sarah Lawrence College (1954-1956). Brant was also resident anthropologist at Albert Einstein College from 1956-1957. In 1957, Brant joined Portland State University as Assistant Professor. Brant moved to Canada in 1961 to take the position of Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta, and obtained Canadian citizenship six years later. Brant became head of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta in 1963, and also directed the University’s Boreal Institute for Northern Studies from 1964-1967. In 1970, Brant left Alberta for Montreal to join the faculty at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia) as professor. Brant spent the last 12 years of his career there, retiring from teaching in 1982.
Brant is best known for his work on the Kiowa Apache through his book Jim Whitewolf: The Life of a Kiowa Apache Indian, originally published in 1969. In addition to his work on North American Native peoples and cultures, Brant had research interests in social organization and change in India and China; social change in Arctic regions (especially as it applied to Canada and Greenland); and in the problems of developing countries. During his career, Brant completed fieldwork in Burma, Greenland, the Canadian Arctic, and in Native American communities in California and Oklahoma.
Brant and his wife Jane were both photographers and life-long social activists. They had two sons. After his retirement in 1982, Brant moved to Gabriola Island, British Columbia. Brant passed away in 1991 at age 71 in Nanaimo, British Columbia.