Inuvik: the Canadian Arctic

Tumblr_mpnk0g8hqr1szyi36o1_1280Audrea Lim at n+1:

But in the Mackenzie Delta, the relationship between indigenous communities and the oil industry is complicated. In the popular imagination, oil usually appears as a Manichean fight between indigenous communities and oil companies, but it was the promise of oil that produced Inuvik. The history of modern development in the Delta—large-scale infrastructure development, the shift to settlement living and survival through the wage-economy, and integration into global economic networks—cannot be separated from the history of oil and gas. Unlike in Alberta, where agriculture spurred the development of infrastructure long before the oil industry swooped in, resource exploitation has been the single largest factor spurring development in the Delta, and thereby integrating it with the global economy and providing cheaper and better access to resources and amenities. At the same time, Canada’s treaties and land agreements with the Inuit and First Nations have laid the groundwork for an aboriginal ownership stake in the Mackenzie Gas Project, that some residents of the Delta hope will fund improvements to their communities.

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