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New Yukon story laureate unveiled

John Firth announced as the new Yukon story laureate on Jan. 4
John Firth is the new Yukon story laureate. (Screenshot/John Firth’s website)

John Firth has been announced as the new Yukon story laureate.

A Jan. 4 statement from the Yukon government described Firth as a “lifelong Yukoner, writer and storyteller whose many contributions to the community are diverse.”

For the next two years, he will act as a representative for the literary arts, storytelling and literacy, with a focus on the past and present condition and future prospects of the Yukon, the statement said.

The laureate will also attend Yukon events to publicly share works and create work that focuses on cultural, historical and heritage themes that are relevant to the people who live in the territory.

Firth is widely published. Some of his published works include The Caribou Hotel: Hauntings, Hospitality, a Hunter and the Parrot; One Mush: Jamaica’s Dogsled Team; Yukon Sport: An Illustrated Encyclopedia; River Time: Racing the Ghosts of the Klondike Rush; Better Than A Cure: One Man’s Journey to Free the World of Polio (with Ramesh Ferris) and Yukon Quest: The 1,000-mile Sled Dog Race between Fairbanks and Whitehorse.

Yukon commissioner Adeline Webber said in the statement that she looks forward to working with him and discussing opportunities to highlight his talents over the next two years.

Per the statement, Firth said he is “honoured to be privileged with the responsibility and challenge that comes with being the story laureate of the Yukon.”

He said as the territory’s literary arts ambassador on both the local and national stage, it will be “my place to raise the profile of the storytelling arts with all peoples — Indigenous, non-Indigenous, sourdoughs and chechakos, no matter their race, religion, gender or sexual expression in an inclusive way that encompasses traditional knowledge, contemporary stories and history.”

The position of story laureate of Yukon was established in 2021 and is a two-year commitment. A laureate is chosen by an independent selection jury made up of members of the literary arts community.

Contact Patrick Egwu at

Patrick Egwu

About the Author: Patrick Egwu

I’m one of the newest additions at Yukon News where I have been writing about a range of issues — politics, sports, health, environment and other developments in the territory.
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