Re-appraising Canada's Northern "Internal Colonies"


  • Andrew P. Hodgkins PhD candidate, University of Alberta


This article examines application of the term "internal colonialism" to Canada's northern territories by comparing two general theories commonly used in the development literature: dependency theories of development and post-developmentalism. These theories employ different assumptions regarding causes for regional underdevelopment, and consequently arrive at different conclusions. While the former takes trade as its starting point of analysis, the latter has been used to focus on local forms of development, culture, and identity. The article begins by outlining both theories in relation to internal colonialism and follows the paradigmatic shift from the Marxian employment of the term to the postmodern turn in the social sciences. Drawing upon historical and contemporary events occurring in the North, the comparison provides an opportunity to make conjectures that class divisions are forming in the post-colonial aftermath of land claims, self-government, and devolution of power and control over resource revenues generated from megaproject developments.

Author Biography

Andrew P. Hodgkins, PhD candidate, University of Alberta

Originally from the Northwest Territories, Andrew Hodgkins now lives in Edmonton where he is completing a PhD in educational policy studies at the University of Alberta.






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