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Canadian Explorers

Canada's greatest explorers 2015


James Raffan


Photo credit: James Raffan

World backcountry explorer

Expertise: Adventure, Society, Water travel, Environment

By Carys Mills

When people conjure up images of climate change in the North, they might only picture polar bears or melting ice and snow. Writer, geographer, paddler and world trekker James Raffan wanted to change that. “The North is very much a people place as well,” he says. “The human face of the Arctic is not one we see a lot.” To put that face on climate change, Raffan spent three years traversing more than 17,000 kilometres to write his 16th book, published in 2014, Circling the Midnight Sun: Culture and Change in the Invisible Arctic. As Raffan travelled and lived along the Arctic Circle — in Greenland, Iceland, Scandinavia, Russia, Alaska and Canada — he uncovered stories of changing societies and landscapes.


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