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Shelagh D.

Award History

2010 Finalist

Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
for Polar Imperative: A History of Arctic Sovereignty in North America

Jury Citation

“Arctic scholar Shelagh Grant's sweeping history is important and timely. Climate change is opening northern shipping passages, and circumpolar nations and powerful corporations are scrambling to claim the enormous resource wealth made more accessible by the melting of our fragile northern frontier. Using written sources and Inuit oral history, she traces five millennia of discovery, reminding us throughout that the Arctic is not owned by explorers and developers but is the ancestral homeland of its indigenous peoples. Grant warns: that profiteers will hold sway unless the Inuit are full participants in setting policies to ensure political stability in the Arctic; that climate change mitigation measures are vital to slow the rate of now-inevitable melting; and that exploratory drilling offshore be deferred until international environmental protocols are in place. Her lucid and well illustrated history is aimed at a wide audience but makes essential reading for politicians and the media newly alive to the potential of Canada's Arctic Archipelago.” – 2010 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing Jury (L. Ian MacDonald, Rosemary Speirs, and Paul Wells)