Inuk climate change advocate and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Sheila Watt-Cloutier will be a visiting scholar this year at Mount Allison University.
Over the year, Watt-Cloutier will be working with the campus community on various projects and towards completion of her forthcoming book The Right To Be Cold.
She will also deliver a public lecture, timed with the international COP-17 climate change negotiations being held in late fall in South Africa.
"I am thrilled to be at Mount Allison as a visiting scholar. Working with students and the campus community is a real pleasure and is an extension of my life's work - creating a better understanding of Inuit culture and the Arctic environment for the world. The supportive energy here will lend itself to the successful completion of my book The Right to Be Cold. For all of this I am truly grateful," says Watt-Cloutier.
Watt-Cloutier is a leading environmental, cultural and human rights defender. She has been an elected Inuit leader. She is well known for her work combating persistent organic pollutants and is largely credited with helping to negotiate the UN's Stockholm Convention that prohibits the use of this class of toxic chemicals.
Watt-Cloutier was also amongst the first to link climate change within a human rights framework and, as a result, was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
"Sheila Watt-Cloutier has much to offer students, faculty and the general public. I am excited that we at Mount Allison and in the region will have the opportunity to hear her enlightened, holistic and inspired message. We are most honoured that she has agreed to come to Mount Allison," says Berkeley Fleming, Mount Allison's vice-president of reesearch and academic. Watt-Cloutier has won many awards and been featured in numerous documentaries and news media. She has a number of honorary doctorates, is part of the Order of Canada, has won the Governor General's Northern Medal, and was voted Nation Builder of the Year (2010) and One of Canada's Top 25 Transformational Canadians (2011) by The Globe and Mail. Watt-Cloutier will also be featured on a series of 2012 Canadian stamps as one of four selected Canadians Who Make A Difference.
This is Watt-Cloutier's first visiting scholar position at a Canadian university. Over the year, she will be collaborating with Ian J. Mauro, Canada Research Chair in Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and geography and environment professor, and they will be developing multi-media materials and tools that support Watt-Cloutier's book project and communicate her voice to the world.