Farley McGill Mowat, OC, DLitt (May 12, 1921 – May 6, 2014) was a Canadian writer and tireless defender of nature. During his lifetime, he sold in excess of 17 million copies of his more than 40 books and memoirs. For more than 40 years, Farley and his wife Claire spent their summers in River Bourgeois, and in 1996, Farley received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Cape Breton University. The Mowats’ substantial property has since been donated to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust as conservation lands, and Farley’s ashes are scattered there. Funds from the estate of Farley Mowat were donated by Claire to create the Farley Mowat Chair at Cape Breton University.
Given Mowat’s connection to Cape Breton Island and his desire to protect the natural world, it is fitting that Silver Donald Cameron, a long-standing friend of both Farley and Claire, be the first holder of the Chair. Silver Donald Cameron, CM, ONS, PhD, DLitt, is a journalist, author, playwright and university teacher who has also served as dean at Cape Breton University. Silver Donald’s work has focused on issues of social justice, nature and the environment. His 19th book, a Cape Breton true crime story, will be published in 2020. Part of his current work includes a subscription-based website established in 2009 called The Green Interview, which contains a series of interviews with green thought leaders from around the world, including Farley Mowat. Silver Donald is currently teaching a 3C course at Cape Breton University titled Green Rights: The Human Right to a Healthy World.