The Politics of Development in Nunavut: Land Claims, Arctic Urbanization, and Geopolitics

  • Author / Creator
    Weber, Barret
  • This thesis surveys the development of Nunavut as not only a governmental and institutional entity but as a territory that is a political and social space both in the tradition of the Territories of the Canadian State and of Westphalian territorial government generally. It relies on Inuit everyday life, knowledge and values in the Eastern and Central Canadian Arctic. Drawing on first hand ethnographic fieldwork conducted primarily in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada, from 2008–2011; interviews with key informants; archival research, and participant observation in local, national and international governmental forums; Iqaluit, capital of Nunavut, is presented as a major case study. Iqaluit carries important lessons for evaluating processes of Arctic urbanization, the centralization and formation of communities and it has been challenged as a meaningful site for Inuit dwelling, rather than purely a governmental place. The poor image of Iqaluit is also related to the differential experience of migrants from other parts of the Arctic and local families who are successful as established insiders. In addition, minor case studies of the human dimensions of climate change and the debate on the European Union seal ban are presented. Attitudes towards social science research illustrate disagreements and conflict between “northern” publics and Canadian and international “southern” values.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Sociology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Shields, Rob (Sociology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Peolzer, Greg (Political Studies)
    • Nuttall, Mark (Anthropology)
    • Szeman, Imre (English and Film Studies)
    • Caine, Ken (Sociology)