The Royal Canadian Geographical Society has chosen to award Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, with an Honorary Fellowship for his passionate commitment to our environment, including his government’s leadership on climate change, its historic investments in Indigenous-led nature conservation and Indigenous Guardians programs, and its action on ocean conservation and protection, including its leadership in reducing plastic waste.

Canada itself, diverse in geographical regions and communities, is reflected in the Society’s College of Fellows.

The first Fellows were named in the years after the organization’s founding in 1929, and included such luminaries as Nobel Prize-winner Frederick G. Banting, the co-discoverer of insulin; pioneering anthropologist and explorer Diamond Jenness, who for a time lived with Copper Inuit in the Northwest Territories; and artist A.Y. Jackson, a leading member of the renowned Group of Seven.

Trudeau, an avid outdoor enthusiast, has connected with the Society’s Westaway Explorer-in-Residence Adam Shoalts, and joined the late Alex Trebek at the opening of the Society’s headquarters,Canada’s Centre for Geography and Exploration, at 50 Sussex Drive in Ottawa. Trudeau also started a master's degree in environmental geography at Montreal’s McGill University before withdrawing to pursue public office.

In accepting the Honorary Fellowship during the 2020 Fellows Show, Trudeau said “I share this with Indigenous communities, young Canadians, activists, and all Canadians who are helping to protect our land and oceans and who are partnering with us in the fight against climate change.”

Other Honorary Fellows include Princess Anne, Sheila Copps and Béatrice Martin (also known as Cœur de pirate)