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James Raffan

Photo: Gail C. Simmons 1995

James Raffan was born in a canoe on the Speed River in the summer of 1955. At J. F. Ross Collegiate, in Guelph, Ontario, he majored in music and extracurricular sports. Years at Queen's University focussed largely on northern adventure and music. To his parents' surprise and delight, degrees were eventually conferred in biology and education. In later years he earned a doctorate in cultural geography. Day jobs have included canoe guide, youth leader, high school teacher and, for 18 years, professor of outdoor and experiential education at Queen's University. Since 1999, JR has been a full-time writer, speaker and educational consultant, working from his home on Cranberry Lake, north of Kingston, Ontario.

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Deep Waters: Courage, Character and the Lake Timiskaming Canoeing Tragedy. HarperCollins, 2002.
Tumblehome: Meditations and Lore from a Canoeist's Life. HarperCollins, 2001.
Bark, Skin, & Cedar: Exploring the Canoe in Canadian Experience. HarperCollins, 1999.
Fire in the Bones: Bill Mason and the Canadian Canoeing Tradition. HarperCollins, 1996.
Wild Waters: Exploring North America's Wilderness Rivers. Firefly, 1996.
Emperor of the North: Sir George Simpson and the Remarkable Story of the Hudson's Bay Company. HarperCollins Canada, 2007


Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, 2002.
Chair, Arctic Institute of North America Board of Directors, 1999-2001.
Fellow, Royal Canadian Geographical Society, 1988.
Governor General's Award for Gallantry, 1968.
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :


Northern OAC WITS:
GST not applicable