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Pictou County native wins Outstanding Northern Book award

Whit Fraser and longtime Inuit reporter and friend Jonah Kelly interviewing Prime Minister Chretien when Nunavut was created April 1999.
Whit Fraser and longtime Inuit reporter and friend Jonah Kelly interviewing Prime Minister Chretien when Nunavut was created April 1999. - Contributed

True North Rising, by Pictou County native Whit Fraser was awarded the North’s outstanding book for 2019 at the North Words Writer’s festival in Yellowknife NWT this past weekend.

Fraser said it always rewarding when the books is recognized, but this award is special because it comes from northerners themselves. Northern newspapers have been equally supportive calling it a ‘must read’ for anyone with an interest in Canada’s vast north.

True North rising recounts the most dramatic times across Northern Canada, when colonialism gave way to Indigenous rights and self determination.

Fraser, who was born in Merigomish and raised in Stellarton went to work for the CBC Northern Service in Iqaluit, then Frobisher Bay, in 1967.

His work as a journalist, and later founding Chairman of the Canadian Polar Commission and Executive Director of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, took him into every community in Canada’s three northern territories and much of the circumpolar world.

“Good luck put me in the front row for historic events that shaped today’s north and in fact Canada itself, including the McKenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry, Constitutional negotiations that enshrined aboriginal rights in the Canadian Constitution of Canada; Aboriginal Land Claims from initial concept and demands through to the final Agreements,” he said.

He describes the story of Canada’s new north as very much a human story.

“I wrote this book to pay tribute the amazing young aboriginal leaders, some self-described radicals, who spent their lifetime fighting politicians and bureaucrats to make the north what is today.  Nothing was given to them.”

The book is for sale at Coles in the Highland Mall.

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‘So many similarities’: Pictou County man shares unique perspective of Canada’s north in new book

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