• David Morrison, Canadian Museum of History, Massey Medal, RCGS

    Dr. David Morrison, shown here in the Canadian Museum of History’s new History Hall, has been awarded The Royal Canadian Geographical Society's 2017 Massey Medal. (Photo: Canadian Museum of History)

The Society’s 2017 Massey Medal winner is one of the world’s foremost scholars in Arctic archaeology and a leader in the museum field. Much of what is known about the long-term history of Inuit and Inuvialuit culture across the Canadian Arctic results directly from his prolific fieldwork and ground-breaking publications. In his later work in museum governance, outreach and public programming, he has made enormous contributions to the promotion of archeology and geography in Canada.

For the Canadian Museum of History, he has been, among many other things, director of the Archaeology and History Division and co-lead curator on the First Peoples’ Hall, and not only led the museum’s work on repatriation of archaeological remains to Indigenous communities, but set standards in repatriation practices across North America. Most recently, he led the development of research and content for the Museum’s Canadian History Hall, presenting more than 15,000 years of archeology and history in the massive, nearly 2,800-square-metre space — without a doubt the largest and most ambitious exhibition on Canadian history ever developed.

“Dr. Morrison’s work on the new History Hall represents an enormous gift to all Canadians,” said RCGS President Gavin Fitch. “It’s hard to imagine a more compelling story better told.”

The RCGS Massey Medal, founded in 1959, recognizes outstanding lifetime achievements in the exploration, development or description of the geography of Canada. Past recipients have included Northwest Passage explorer Henry Larsen, anthropologist Diamond Jenness and geophysicist Fred Roots.