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Louie Kamookak Medal

2018 Recipients - Josephine Kamookak, Michael Palin, Gregory Copley, Jared Harris, Anne Kari Hansen Ovind and Kim Wallace

Josephine Kamookak

With her husband Louie Kamookak at her side, Josephine Kamookak is front and centre on the Malerualik Expedition (Photo: Jason Fulford/ Canadian Geographic)

For her exceptional contributions to preserving and teaching Inuit traditional knowledge, the Society is awarding Josephine Kamookak the Louie Kamookak Medal.

Josephine Kamookak is an educator whose appreciation for the value of Inuit traditional knowledge was shared by her partner and ally, celebrated historian Louie Kamookak.

Josephine accompanied her late husband on his lifelong journey to seek out and verify Inuit knowledge, especially as it pertained to the fate of Sir John Franklin, which eventually led to the successful discovery of his ships, the Terror and the Erebus.

Michael Palin

The Louie Kamookak Medal is awarded for a noteworthy deed that has served to advance the discipline of geography. For his achievement of his brilliant book, Erebus, and for the many gifts he has given to geography, Michael Palin was the first ever recipient of the Louie Kamookak Medal. 

Palin is a great ambassador for geography, and his book Erebus is a rollicking account, filled with derring-do, at times funny at times harrowing and tragic. But it is a story for the ages. These are explorations that should be known, particularly the achievements of Sir James Clark Ross, far better than they have been – until now. And the places where this story is set also need to be far better known than they have been – until now. By Michael Palin’s decision to tell this story, the story of Erebus, he has shared with his immense audience his own fascination with these remote places of the Earth. He has made the names of long-forgotten figures front of mind for readers around the world. The triumphant expeditions of Sir James Clark Ross and the tragic failure of Sir John Franklin are today better known than they ever have been, thanks to Palin’s writing, scholarship, and frankly the humanity of his retelling of these stories. 

Gregory Copley

Gregory Copley, historian, author, editor, strategic analyst, and president of the International Strategic Studies Association, is a long-standing supporter of and staunch advocate for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. In 2014, for example, he offered his guidance and expertise as a member of the Victoria Strait Expedition Advisory Committee. And as a Fellow, Copley has introduced the Society to major financial supporters and helped forge new connections with the wider world.

Jared Harris

For making Canada’s geography better known to Canadians and to the world, The Royal Canadian Geographical Society has awarded Jared Harris the Louie Kamookak Medal. Harris is a celebrated English actor best known for his brilliant work both in film and television. His spell-binding portrayal of Captain Francis Crozier in the AMC series The Terror brought the story of Sir John Franklin’s tragic British Arctic expedition of 1845-48 to a wider audience. Few drama series have done more to draw attention to Canada’s northern geography than this critically acclaimed production.

Anne Kari Ovind

Her Excellency, Anne Kari Ovind, was prior to her posting as Norway’s Ambassador to Canada, Director of the Section for the High North, Polar Affairs and Marine Resources in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. With extensive multilateral experience on issues such as climate change and sustainable development, Ambassador Ovind is a persuasive diplomat knowledgeable in the geographical and historical perspectives shared by Canada and Norway.

A Fellow and a friend of the Society, Ambassador Ovind has been instrumental in developing joint programming between the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Society. The most recent collaboration was the Norwegian exhibit Lessons from the Arctic: How Roald Amundsen Won the Race to the South Pole that was featured in Canada’s Centre of Geography and Exploration in the summer of 2018.

Kim Wallace

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society is awarding Kim Wallace the inaugural Louie Kamookak Medal in recognition of her support for the Society’s educational mission to strengthen geographic education in the classroom and to increase public awareness of the importance of geographical literacy.

Kim Wallace is a teacher, author, mentor and leader in geographic education in Canada. As a Fellow of the Society, Kim has worked tirelessly to successfully develop and implement a forward-looking geography curriculum for Ontario. And as a member of the Canadian Geographic Education executive committee, she has influenced policy and programs nationwide.

Kim Wallace is passionate, persuasive, and deeply committed to the value of geographic education in the shaping of Canadian society.

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