• James Raffan (Photo: Lloyd Binder)

“Everyone who lives in the North can list off [climate] changes that are happening,” said James Raffan to a packed theatre at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum on April 15 during his Royal Canadian Geographical Society Speaker Series talk. But it’s the cultural change as a result of this, he noted, that is killing the northern people.

During his heartfelt presentation, Raffan, an author, Arctic explorer, geographer and community activist, recounted stories from his latest book, Circling the Midnight Sun: Culture and Change in the Invisible Arctic. The cultural explorer’s tales cast light on the modern experiences of many of the Arctic’s indigenous peoples and the related environmental shifts felt so keenly across the North.

Raffan is the executive director for the Canadian Canoe Museum and a Fellow and former governor of the RCGS. He was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, the Society’s Camsell Medal in 2009 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.