Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 558

558 Arctic Yearbook 2014 assessment that “large non-renewable resource-based projects and heavy infrastructure development” had failed “to create a dynamic regional wage economy” in the North (ibid.: 122). DiFrancesco suggested that the “panoply of economic development initiatives which had been implemented” in places such as Canada’s Northwest Territories would not have the intended developmental results (ibid.: 122), primarily because of the existing political context in which regional development models had been conceived and implemented. Over a decade later, large-scale resource extraction is still on the agenda in Canada’s northernmost regions, but the development context has changed. The development landscape has been supplemented by several major land claims agreements, like Nunavut and Nunatsiavut, as well as the establishment of Canada’s Northern Economic Strategy, its Northern Economic Development Agency and its roster of initiatives designed to encourage just such investment and development. Still, the problems are similar with respect to the potential economic and environmental legacy of extractive activities in the North, including the issue of oil and gas development in the Mackenzie Valley. Richard Caulfield (2004) has observed that since the 1970s the context of development has clearly changed, as have the management practices and overall assessment processes. The land claims have, by and large, been negotiated. Recent land claims settlements in North America, and specifically in the Canadian North, have now placed millions of square kilometres in the North, “in the hands of for-profit and non-profit entities controlled by indigenous peoples.” These corporations, Caulfield notes, “control vast resources, and they interact actively with both public and private resource governance institutions” (Caulfield 2004: 122). It is here, again, that a Canadian Studies approach to the North distinguishes itself. While IR literature is generally concerned with the relationship between states and corporate stakeholders in the Arctic (see Wegge 2011; Dodds 2010; Borgerson 2008), the Canadian literature is more strongly focused upon the constituent parts which contribute to the Canadian state’s position in the North (see White 2008