Gordon W. Smith, PhD, dedicated much of his life to researching Canada’s sovereignty in the Arctic. A historian by training, his 1952 dissertation from Columbia University on “The Historical and Legal Background of Canada’s Arctic Claims” remains a foundational work on the topic, as does his 1966 chapter “Sovereignty in the North: The Canadian Aspect of an International Problem,” in R. St. J. Macdonald’s The Arctic Frontier. This work is the first in a project to edit and publish Smith’s unpublished opus - a manuscript on “A Historical and Legal Study of Sovereignty in the Canadian North and Related Law of the Sea Problems.” Written over three decades (yet incomplete at the time of his death in 2000), this work may well be the most comprehensive study on the nature and importance of the Canadian North in existence.
Volume 1: Terrestrial Sovereignty provides the most comprehensive documentation yet available on the post-Confederation history of Canadian sovereignty in the north. As Arctic sovereignty and security issues return to the forefront of public debate, this invaluable resource provides the foundation upon which we may expand our understanding of Canada’s claims from the original transfers of the northern territories in 1870 and 1880 through to the late twentieth century. The book provides a wealth of detail, ranging from administrative formation and delineation of the northern territories through to other activities including government expeditions to northern waters, foreign whaling, the Alaska boundary dispute, northern exploration between 1870 and 1918, the background of Canada’s sector claim, the question concerning Danish sovereignty over Greenland and its relation to Canadian interests, the Ellesmere Island affair, the activities of American explorers in the Canadian North, and the Eastern Arctic Patrol. The final chapter examines the Eastern Greenland case and its implications for Canada.
About the authors
DR. GORDON W. SMITH (1918-2000) was a historian who spent his early career as a professor in Canada, the West Indies, and Africa. He devoted the last twenty-five years of his life to researching and writing the international history of the Canadian Arctic.
P. Whitney Lackenbauer is associate professor and chair of the Department of History at St. Jerome's University in the University of Waterloo, and a faculty associate with the LCMSDS.
Peter Kikkert recently completed his M.A. at the University of Waterloo and is a Ph.D. student in history at the University of Western Ontario.
“The book is a significant contribution to the field of Arctic studies whether those studies involve history, law, political science or other cognate areas where questions of Canadian sovereignty over the Arctic lands are mooted. It is a critical part of Canadian history and while there have been recent books on some of the contents of the manuscript, none approach the depth of what Smith accomplished. This is a major and brilliant piece of work on a subject of high interest and importance nationally and globally.” - Ted L. McDorman, Professor of Law and of Geography, University of Victoria
Other titles by P. Whitney Lackenbauer
North America's Arctic Borders
A World of Change
Understanding Sovereignty and Security in the Circumpolar Arctic
Canada’s Founding Debates, 1864-1999
Roots of Entanglement
Essays in the History of Native-Newcomer Relations
China's Arctic Ambitions and What They Mean for Canada
Navigating Northern Environmental History
Blockades or Breakthroughs?
Aboriginal Peoples Confront the Canadian State
The Dundurn Arctic Culture and Sovereignty Library
Pike's Portage/Death Wins in the Arctic/Arctic Naturalist/Arctic Obsession/Arctic Twilight/Arctic Front/Canoeing North Into the Unknown/Arctic Revolution/In the Shadow of the Pole/Voices From the Odeyak
The Canadian Rangers
A Living History
In the National Interest
Canadian Foreign Policy and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, 1909-2009