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Sheila Watt-Cloutier is an environmental and human rights activist. In 2007, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy work in showing the impact global climate change has on human rights. She is a recipient of the Aboriginal Achievement Award, the UN Champion of the Earth Award, and the Norwegian Sophie Prize. She is also an Officer of the Order of Canada and past international chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council. The Right to Be Cold was a finalist for the BC National Award for Canadian Non-fiction. Watt-Cloutier lives in Iqaluit.


Sheila Watt-Cloutier on The Right to Be Cold

Award History

2015 Finalist

Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
for The Right to Be Cold: One Woman’s Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic, and the Whole Planet

Jury Citation

“Inuit culture and life is inextricably linked to ice, snow, and cold, and environmental change is an existential threat. In this intense and revealing memoir, Sheila Watt-Cloutier situates us in her Inuit culture, along with the challenges and joys of her youth. It was no easy thing to hold fast to the old ways in a century of modernization. But the more recent impact of environmental change has been fundamentally different, threatening a way of life and a people. Watt-Cloutier shows us how neglected voices can be heard and how non-governmental organizations can affect change, all within the delicate interplay between North and South, indigenous and settler societies, and development and sustainability.” – 2015 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing Jury (Tim Cook, Robyn Doolittle, and Antonia Maioni)