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News Release: Royal Society lauds Gerald Friesen

Prestigious national society recognizes professor emeritus

September 23, 2014 — 
Gerald Friesen

Gerald Friesen

University of Manitoba professor emeritus Dr. Gerald Friesen has been awarded the J.B. Tyrrell Historical Medal by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), the country’s most esteemed association of scholars, artists and scientists.

This peer-elected award is given to people who have made remarkable contributions to history and Canadian public life. The award is given every two years for outstanding work on the history of Canada.

“Professor Friesen’s outstanding contributions to Western Canada’s history make him well-deserving of this honour,” said Digvir Jayas, vice-president (research and international) at the University of Manitoba.

Friesen, the former president for the Canadian Historical Association, is a respected and accomplished historian who specializes in Western Canada and the role communication technology has played in shaping Canadian communities. He has also done notable work on Indigenous issues as well as immigration and labour topics. His most popular book, The Canadian Prairies: A History (1984) won the coveted John A. Macdonald Prize and a Clio Award from the Canadian Historical Association. Friesen’s other works include Citizens and Nations (2000), Immigrants in Prairie Cities (2009) and Canadians and Their Pasts (2013). Outside of research, Friesen has been a mentor to many students, an advisor on the CBC television series Canada, A People’s History, and a board member of the Friends of Upper Fort Garry.

New RSC fellows and award winners from across the country will be officially inducted and honoured at the RSC Annual General Meeting November 20-23, 2014, in Quebec City, Quebec.


Founded in 1882, the Royal Society’s mission is to recognize scholarly, research and artistic excellence, to advise governments and organizations, and to promote a culture of knowledge and innovation in Canada and with other national academies around the world.

For more information contact Tina Chen, head, department of history, at: 204-474-6386, or email: Tina [dot] Chen [at] umanitoba [dot] ca

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