Atlin's most famous citizen, Frank Calder, was born born in 1915 in the small northern village of Nass Harbour. After attending residential school, Frank Calder became the first Canadian Aboriginal admitted to UBC and also the first to graduate from a university. Elected as NDP MLA for Atlin, he served in the BC legislature for twenty-six years. He became the first Canadian aboriginal to become a minister of the Crown (a Cabinent minister). His greatest achievement was the "Calder Case,"; which he pursued to the Supreme Court of Canada, making it the blueprint for aboriginal land claims around the world. Joan Harper's biography of Frank Calder is He Moved a Mountain (Ronsdale $21.95). 978-1-55380-227-3

Frank Calder founded the Nisga'a Tribal Council in 1955 and served for 20 years as its president. In 2005, four separate clans of the Nisga'a named Frank Calder their Chief of Chiefs. When he received the Order of British Columbia, the citation stated that he had "made an enormous contribution, as a peaceful warrior, as Chief of Chiefs, to the noble purpose of creating a society made up of peoples who have chosen freely to live and work together in a new relationship based on trust, respect of the land and its creatures, justice, and the rule of the law." His other awards include the Aboriginal Order of Canada (1985), Officer in the Order of Canada (1988) and National Aboriginal Achievement award (1996). In 1967 he was inducted into Canada's First Nations Hall of Fame.

Joan Harper's career began in library education at the Vancouver School Board and the University of BC. A long-time admirer of the work of Frank Calder, Joan met Frank's wife shortly after Frank's death and gained access to much private material, augmenting it with extensive research through interviews and in the archives. Joan is a longtime member of the Canadian Federation of University Women.

Reviews of the author's work by BC Studies:
He Moved a Mountain: The Life of Frank Calder and the Nisga'a Land Claims Award


He Moved a Mountain: The Life of Frank Calder and the Nisga'a Land Claims Accord (Ronsdale Press 2013) $21.95 978-1-55380-227-3

[BCBW 2013]