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Books on the North

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tagged: northern
Books from the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and the Arctic.
Far Off Metal River

Far Off Metal River

Inuit Lands, Settler Stories, and the Making of the Contemporary Arctic
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook Paperback

Drawing on Samuel Hearne’s gruesome account of an alleged massacre at Bloody Falls in 1771, Emilie Cameron reveals how Qablunaat (non-Inuit, non-Indigenous people) have used stories about the Arctic for over two centuries as a tool to justify ongoing colonization and economic exploitation of the North. Rather than expecting Inuit to counter these narratives with their own stories about their homeland, Cameron argues that it is the responsibility of Qablunaat to develop new relationships with n …

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An Intimate Wilderness

An Intimate Wilderness

Arctic Voices in a Land of Vast Horizons
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook

An unforgettable and beautifully illustrated memoir of one man’s journeys in the eastern Arctic over 50 years, and a revealing look into the world of the Inuit.

 

Arctic researcher, author, and photographer Norman Hallendy’s journey to the far north began in 1958, when many Inuit, who traditionally lived on the land, were moving to permanent settlements created by the Canadian government. In this unique memoir, Hallendy writes of his adventures, experiences with strange Arctic phenomena, enco …

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Lesser Blessed

Lesser Blessed

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

A powerful coming-of-age story -- edgy, stark, and at times, darkly funny that centers around Larry, a Native teenager trying to cope with a painful past and find his place in a confusing and stressful modern world.

 

Larry is a Dogrib Indian growing up in the small northern town of Fort Simmer. His tongue, his hallucinations and his fantasies are hotter than the centre of the sun. At sixteen, he loves Iron Maiden, the North and Juliet Hope, the high school ìtramp.î

 

In this powerful and very fun …

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Nunavut

Nunavut

Rethinking Political Culture
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook Paperback

Political culture in Nunavut has long been characterized by different approaches to political life: traditional Inuit attitudes toward governance, federal aspirations for the political integration of Inuit, and territorial strategies for institutional development. Ailsa Henderson links these features to contemporary political attitudes and behaviour, concluding that a distinctive political culture is emerging in Nunavut. Drawing upon extensive fieldwork and quantitative analysis, this book provi …

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Made in Nunavut

Made in Nunavut

An Experiment in Decentralized Government
edition:eBook
also available: Hardcover Paperback

After years of negotiation, the territory of Nunavut was established in Canada’s Eastern and Central Arctic on April 1, 1999. Made in Nunavut provides the first behind-the-scenes account of the planning that led to this remarkable achievement. The authors, leading authorities on the politics of the Canadian Arctic, pay particular attention to the Government of Nunavut’s innovative organizational design – especially the decentralization of offices and functions to communities across the ter …

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Ramshackle

Ramshackle

A Yellowknife Story
by (artist) Alison McCreesh
edition:Paperback

Over the past decade, the North, or at least the idea of it, has slowly made its way back to our consciousness, a notion that the North is synonymous with a lawless, rugged freedom. But at first glance Yellowknife, NWT is actually a somewhat disappointing modern capital city. There are tall buildings, yoga pants, a Walmart and a lot of government jobs. None the less, if you dig a little deeper, you do find that alternative off-grid reality. Barely five minutes from the downtown core, wedged betw …

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The Right to Be Cold

The Right to Be Cold

One Woman's Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback

SHORTLISTED FOR CANADA READS 2017
NATIONAL BESTSELLER
The Right to Be Cold is a human story of resilience, commitment, and survival told from the unique vantage point of an Inuk woman who, in spite of many obstacles, rose from humble beginnings in the Arctic community of Kuujjuaq, Quebec—where she was raised by a single parent and grandmother and travelled by dog team in a traditional, ice-based Inuit hunting culture—to become one of the most influential and decorated environmental, cultura …

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Excerpt

The world I was born into has changed forever.
     For the first ten years of my life, I travelled only by dog team. As the youngest child of four on our family hunting and ice fishing trips, I would be snuggled into warm blankets and fur in a box tied safely on top of the qamutiik, the dogsled. I would view the vast expanses of Arctic sky and feel the crunching of the snow and the ice below me as our dogs, led by my brothers, Charlie and Elijah, carried us safely across the frozen land. I remember just as vividly the Arctic summer scenes that slipped by as I sat in the canoe on the way to our hunting and fishing grounds.The world was blue and white and rocky, and defined by the things that had an immediate bearing on us—the people who helped and cared for us, the dogs that gave us their strength, the water and land that nurtured us. The Arctic may seem cold and dark to those who don’t know it well, but for us a day of hunting or fishing brought the most succulent, nutritious food. Then there would be the intense joy as we gathered together as family and friends, sharing and partaking of the same animal in a communal meal. To live in a boundless landscape and a close-knit culture in which everything matters and everything is connected is a kind of magic. Like generations of Inuit, I bonded with the ice and snow.
     Those idyllic moments of my childhood seem very far away these days. Today, while dog teams, qajaqs (kayaks) and canoes are at times still used to move out onto the Arctic land and water, snow machines are more common than dogs, and the hum of fast-moving powerboats is now heard on Arctic waters. All of our communities now have airports, medical clinics and schools, with some having hospitals, television stations, daycares and colleges. Our people still hunt and fish, sew and bead, but they are also nurses, lawyers, teachers, business people and politicians. The Arctic is a different place than it was when I was a child. And while many of the changes are positive, the journey into the modern world was not an easy one—and it has left its scars.
     In a sense, Inuit of my generation have lived in both the ice age and the space age. The modern world arrived slowly in some places in the world, and quickly in others. But in the Arctic, it appeared in a single generation. Like everyone I grew up with, I have seen ancient traditions give way to southern habits. I have seen communities broken apart or transformed dramatically by government policies. I have seen Inuit traditional wisdom supplanted by southern programs and institutions. And most shockingly, like all my fellow Inuit, I have seen what seemed permanent begin to melt away.
     The Arctic ice and snow, the frozen terrain that Inuit life has depended on for millennia, is now diminishing in front of our eyes.

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Here Is Where We Disembark

Here Is Where We Disembark

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

With her remarkable debut collection, Yukon poet Clea Roberts proffers a perceptive & ecological reading of the Canadian North's past & present.

Roberts deftly draws out the moments that comprise a cycle of seasons, paying as much attention to the natural--the winter moon's second-hand light that pools in the tracks of tree squirrels & loose threads of migrating birds--as she does to the manufactured--the peripheral percussion of J-brakes & half-melted ice lanterns. She also casts her gaze back t …

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