His Excellency Whit Grant Fraser is the spouse of Mary May Simon, Canada’s first Indigenous governor general and the 30th governor general since Confederation. He was born in Merigomish, Pictou County, Nova Scotia on November 26, 1942.
Mr. Fraser is an author and a storyteller who has had a front seat to many of the historic events in the last half century in the Canadian Arctic.
His passion for the Arctic and its peoples began more than five decades ago when he relocated from Nova Scotia to the Canadian Arctic to work as a journalist with CBC North. From his base in Iqaluit (then called Frobisher Bay) and later Yellowknife, Mr. Fraser travelled to the far corners of the Canadian North, as well as to Alaska and Greenland, to share important stories for Indigenous peoples and other northerners on TV and radio. His coverage included the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry, the negotiations leading to the signing of comprehensive Inuit land claims agreements, and the historic First Ministers' meetings in the 1980s where Indigenous rights were affirmed in Canada’s constitution. In all, Mr. Fraser spent 25 years with the CBC, including 8 years as a national Parliamentary reporter in Ottawa.
In the years following his extensive journalistic career, Mr. Fraser remained closely connected to the North. He was the founding chair of the Canadian Polar Commission from 1991 to 1997, working with the board of directors on a series of recommendations and measures aimed at enhancing science policy in the polar regions and improving human health and social issues in the North.
As the executive director of the national Inuit organization, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, from 2001 to 2006, he coordinated the Inuit-specific agenda presented to the Kelowna First Ministers’ meeting on Aboriginal issues in 2005.
Mr. Fraser enjoys discussions, the outdoors, fishing and walks with the family dog, Neva.
Their Excellencies were married in 1994. Mr. Fraser has three children, three stepchildren and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.