This article is over 5 years old and may contain outdated information.

People & Culture

Featured Fellow: Shelagh Grant

  • May 31, 2012
  • 262 words
  • 2 minutes
Expand Image

Shelagh Grant’s love for the Canadian outdoors started at the tender age of three, when she began hiking and canoeing with her father. Her fascination with the Canadian Arctic, however, grew over her lifetime. For the past 35 years, she has researched and taught others about the history and sovereignty of this often-overlooked frozen realm.

Expand Image

The author, historian and Royal Canadian Geographical Society Fellow has dedicated her career to Canadian and Arctic studies. In 1981, she completed a joint honours B.A. in history and Canadian studies at Trent University, in Peterborough, Ont. Two years later, she earned her master’s degree in history and went on to teach the subjects at her alma mater, where she is now an adjunct professor.

One of the highlights of her life’s work came in 2010 when her book Polar Imperative: A History of Arctic Sovereignty in North America was published. In 2011, that title won her the Lionel Gelber Prize, which recognizes non-fiction works on foreign affairs, making her the first Canadian woman — and the second Canadian ever — to win.

“I was never one to get excited about winning awards,” says Grant, “but this was different. I felt that I was accepting the award on behalf of all Canadians and that it would provide incentive for future authors writing on global affairs.”

Grant remains focused on furthering Arctic education with initiatives such as the Shelagh Grant Endowment Award, which offers funding for graduate students in Canadian studies and indigenous studies.

Find out more at


Are you passionate about Canadian geography?

You can support Canadian Geographic in 3 ways:

Related Content

People & Culture

Remembering internationally acclaimed researcher, RCGS Fellow Shelagh Dawn Grant

Grant was the first woman historian to receive the Northern Science Award

  • 351 words
  • 2 minutes
Wade Davis addresses the 2017 Royal Canadian Geographical Society College of Fellows Dinner

People & Culture

Eight big moments from the 2017 RCGS Fellows Dinner and AGM

Exploration, education, new Fellows and the launch of RCGS Resolute: here are some of the highlights from the 2017 RCGS Fellows Dinner and AGM

  • 1014 words
  • 5 minutes

People & Culture

Six Canadians receive grants for projects to get youth active in nature

The projects, all led by young women, range in theme from camping to climate change mitigation

  • 603 words
  • 3 minutes

People & Culture

10 highlights from the 2022 RCGS Fellows Dinner — plus photos!

Celebrating iconic collaborations, exciting partnerships, a new RCGS president and many more memorable moments from the 93rd College of Fellows Annual Dinner

  • 1828 words
  • 8 minutes