Emilie Cameron, associate professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, has had her latest book Far Off Metal River: Inuit Lands, Settler Stories, and the Making of the Contemporary Arctic nominated as a finalist for the Canada Prize, awarded by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.
The Canada Prize recognizes books that “make an exceptional contribution to scholarship, are engagingly written, and enrich the social, cultural and intellectual life of Canada.” The two annual prizes of $5,000 are awarded to a French and English book each year.
Far Off Metal River uses a 1771 account from Hudson’s Bay Company employee Samuel Hearne about an attack on an Inuit camp to examine how non-Indigenous stories of the Arctic have played a central role in shaping the colonization and economic exploitation of the region. The book explores how stories of the Arctic have been written to suit the interests of the non-Indigenous explorers, missionaries, resource companies and others. Far Off Metal River proposes that non-Indigenous people have a responsibility to critically question stories about the North and develop a new understanding that reflects the political, cultural, economic, environmental and social realities of the Arctic.
Cameron’s academic research interests are primarily focused on critical northern geographies, and recently on examining mineral exploration and mine development in the Canadian Arctic. Cameron explores how mining interweaves with comprehensive land claim agreements, environmental assessment institutions, self-determination movements and histories of colonial knowledge production. Far Off Metal River is informed by Cameron’s doctoral research.
The book will be competing with four others for the annual top prize. The English and French winners of the 2017 Canada Prizes will be announced on April 10, 2017 and will be awarded during the 2017 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Toronto.
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