Discussions relating to Frank Speck's contributions to anthropology during the early twentieth century mainly focus on his representations of aboriginal territoriality in eastern Canada. This essay situates Speck and his contributions to anthropology within the larger context of aboriginal issues in Canada during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I examine the practical conditions and working assumptions connected to his role as an anthropologist and argue that Speck was a participant in a much larger political struggle that included the active engagement of aboriginal peoples. A particular examination of Speck's attempts to help resolve the longstanding struggles of the Six Nations of Grand River during the early 1900s provides a more detailed context to the practical and applied nature of his work. This further strengthens an understanding of Speck as an educator and an advocate who worked to raise both political and administrative awareness regarding the enduring presence of aboriginal peoples in Canada and acceptance of aboriginal cultures by mainstream nonaboriginal society.

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