Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 553

  Briefing Note ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, INDIGENOUS GOVERNANCE, & ARCTIC SOVEREIGNTY Karen Everett & Heather Nicol There have been differing visions for the future of Canada’s north and the role of resource development in Canada’s nationbuilding project. While for some, resource extraction is the ‘magic bullet’, for others there is also the fear that rather than being the solution to economic development problems, resource extraction activities may prove detrimental to the economic health of many northern communities. Beginning with the 1970s, indigenous leaders have urged the federal government to increase cooperation with local populations, especially in terms of facilitating equitable benefits of economic development, social services, education, and health, environmental protection. But there is a continuing resistance of government agencies to facilitate northern indigenous populations’ control over their resources and a general failure of those who envision the future for Canadianists more generally to engage with economic development strategies. This paper assesses recent attempts towards co-management of resource development in the context of new rounds of development pressures on the Canadian North, situating part of the problem in the degree to which a scholarship in general has failed to move beyond the convenient but rather simplistic understanding of the North as ‘frontier/homeland’. Introduction In 2010, the Standing Committee on Arctic Defence released its statement on Canada’s Arctic Sovereignty. The Committee stated that “[e]xercising Arctic sovereignty is a pillar of the Northern Strategy and the number one priority set out in Statement on Canada’s Arctic foreign policy. Canada’s Arctic sovereignty is long-standing, well-established and based on historic title. Launched on August 20th 2010, the foreign policy statement is the international dimension of the Northern Strategy, and it provides the international platform from which to project our national interests in the world.” So the Northern Strategy is also key to understanding that there Karen Everett is a PhD s