Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 555

Arctic Yearbook 2014 555 dilemma, we conclude, that challenges us to undertake a more critical read of recent events, including where does the current interest in ‘Arctic sovereignty’ leave us with respect to resource development and local governance? Where is the Canadian Studies literature positioning this issue as economic development in the Arctic unfolds? Canadian Studies Perspectives on the North Northern imagery is fluid, embodies Canadian identity, and represents the changes in the larger political and social contexts of both Canada and the world. While perspectives on the North have changed quite considerably over time and remain different for different groups of people, however, there are also some foundational beliefs. Canadian literature and historical analysis reflects this variety. Early literary works, for example, were largely responsible for creating and perpetuating the imagery of an empty space through representations of a landscape that could only be conquered by overcoming adversity and by conquering the harsh environment (Berger 1966; Grant 2010; Page 1986). The effects of this imagery were twofold: first, a clear distinction was made between those who lived in the North as uncivilized in comparison to European settlers. This perspective was reinforced by a scholarship which reinforced the concept of the ‘other’ through the lenses of modernity. Second, treks to the North eventually turned from being an adventure to a mission to protect sovereignty claims as explorers from other nations made their way into the North in the 20th century in particular (Grant 2010; Page 1986). Such perspectives fit well with the fact that well into the late twentieth century, the Canadian North was still greatly affected by structures and relationships which had their origins in an earlier era of colonialism; colonialism being defined as the “dominance over a separate group of people, who are viewed as subordinate, and their territories, which are presumed to be available f