Esri Canada K-12 Program receives Alex Trebek Medal for Geographic Literacy


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TORONTO, ON—November 16, 2023Esri Canada, the country's leading provider of geographic information system (GIS) solutions, today announced that its K-12 Education Program has been awarded the prestigious Alex Trebek Medal for Geographic Literacy by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS). The Alex Trebek Medal is presented to a group or individual significantly contributing to advancing geographic literacy in Canada—creating a brighter future for young Canadians. The medal was presented by RCGS in Ottawa on GIS day. 

Esri Canada's K-12 Education Program has profoundly impacted Canadian classrooms in geographic literacy. The program, which was initiated in 1987, has transformed how geography is taught by raising awareness of GIS as a powerful problem-solving tool for students and teachers. Through this initiative, teachers nationwide gain access to a real-world tool that provides students with skills they can use throughout their lives. The program, with the help of GIS, strongly supports inquiry-based learning, helping students develop essential skills such as geographic literacy, spatial awareness, critical thinking and analytical reasoning. 

“At Esri Canada, we believe that geographic education is the key to equipping students with the skills they need to navigate an increasingly complex world,” says Jon Salter, Director of Education and Research, Esri Canada. “Through our K-12 Education Program, we aim to inspire the next generation of geospatial thinkers and problem solvers, and we are honoured to have our efforts recognized by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society." 

Two exceptional leaders from the company, Angela Alexander, K-12 education specialist, and Mathieu Primeau, program consultant, were also inducted into the distinguished RCGS College of Fellows. This fellowship comprises remarkable Canadians, including renowned geographers, artists, business leaders and educators. Its esteemed members include author Margaret Atwood, astronaut Roberta Bondar, Nobel Laureate John Polanyi, Governor General of Canada Mary Simon and ethnobotanist Wade Davis.  

Ms. Alexander and Mr. Primeau were recognized for their commitment to promoting RCGS's objectives and interests. They will continue to advance RCGS’s mission of "making Canada better known to Canadians and the world" and serve as esteemed ambassadors for the RCGS and Esri Canada.  

Paul VanZant, chair of Canadian Geographic Education and Fellow at RCGS, shares, “Working closely with Esri Canada’s K-12 Education Group, has been an absolute pleasure. It's been truly remarkable to witness the significant benefits that students and educators have had from the guidance of Susie Saliola, Angela Alexander, Arabellé Sauve, and Jean Tong. Acknowledging the exceptional efforts of the K-12 group by highlighting their individual and distinctive contributions is a crucial tribute to their remarkable achievements, which is why I am thrilled to recognize each member of the group individually." 

For more information on Esri Canada's K-12 Education Program, please visit  

Photo Credit: Esri Canada (From left: Arabellé Sauve, Angela Alexander, Jean Tong and Susie Saliola )

About Esri Canada 

Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower people in business, government and education to make informed and timely decisions by leveraging the power of mapping and spatial analytics. These solutions enable organizations to better manage their resources, plan their future and collaborate within and beyond their organization. Esri Canada’s products and services help advance successful digital transformation. The company serves more than 14,000 organizations from 15 offices across Canada and is based in Toronto. Esri Canada has been recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for 11 consecutive years. More information can be found at Follow Esri Canada on X (Twitter)FacebookYouTubeInstagram and LinkedIn

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