Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 559

559 Arctic Yearbook 2014 understand that indigenous land claims – and specifically those which lead to self-governance, accompanied by more explicit control of rights to land ownership or use – are central to the new landscape of mega-project development within the Canadian North. While the long term sustainability of a wage economy linked to resource extraction for local communities is often uncertain (i.e. boom and bust cycles), the question of how revenues are shared, how investment is designated, and how control over resource extraction is regulated rests upon the success of indigenous self-governance and the consultative process it has encouraged. It is the management of the latter which, to a larger degree, influences the success of the former. As such, a new and distinctive concern with co-management of resources has complemented the rise of an indigenous studies component in Canadian Studies which is distinctively focused upon development and the North (see Campbell 1996; White 2008; Natcher and Davis 2003; Natcher 2013), of which there are approximately 34 in all of Nunavut, the NWT and the Yukon (Natcher 2013). But, as Campbell, Fenge & Hanson (2011) remind us, there seems to be a false consensus that if the problem of frontier/homeland has been assessed politically, the problem of economic development impacts and benefits is under control. Nunavut’s creation did not end the problem of self-governance in the North, nor the sharing of development benefits. Instead, there is a new complexity and intertwining of issues which is as yet, poorly addressed. This relates not just to the idea that development is inherently ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for indigenous communities and environments, depending upon whether land claims are in place, but rather how developmental frameworks continue to be manipulated in ways which lessen their potential ability to resolve the crisis of underdevelopment within First Nation communities in the Canadian North. To better appreciate this claim, which is that the Canadian Studies literature has remained rather simplistic in its analysis of Northern development issues and focused upon seminal research in need of reassessment in contemporary terms, we need to think about three important issues. The first is whether there is any evidence to support the idea that a lens on economic development has not developed in the Canadian Studies literature. This is the case – only about two per cent of articles in the three flagship journals which reflect the state of Canadian studies both at home and abroad discuss the Canadian North, and of these, only two articles explicitly examine economic development issues. These are the Journal of Canadian Studies, The American Review of Canadian Studies, and the Intentional Journal of Canadian Studies. Approximately 600 articles have appeared over the past ten years which reference the Arctic, and while next to none deal specifically with economic development, there is limited concern, more generally, for environment and governance issues. In general, while there are several other important journals which are directed specifically to the study of the Canadian and International North which do contain more explicit discussion of economic development issues, as well as single discipline publications which discuss development issues, in general Canadian Studies literature as a interdisciplinary field have avoided the topic. The second issue to think about is how development is now being promoted in context of existing arrangements for self-determination within the North. Much of the literature on development is actually embedded in articles which define identity, political developments. This is true even within the Canadian studies journals explored, where land claims and sovereignty arrangements were the venue for explaining economic development issues. But even so, and this speaks to the last point, even where political discussions address development issues, there is little discussion of the economic context in type of decisions which are being made, specifically Economic Development, Indigenous Governance, & Arctic Sovereignty