Editorial: Number 54


  • Ken Coates Yukon University




The Northern Review was established in 1988 to bring new and more northern voices to the academic understanding of the Canadian North. This volume, an assembly of individual papers that demonstrates the breadth and diversity of the Northern Review’s reach, demonstrates the degree to which this journal has remained true to its roots. The papers here cover a variety of academic and professional disciplines. While a few established scholars are included in these pages, the Northern Review’s determination to support new and younger voices remains very much in evidence. We continue, as well, to broaden the definition of the North, maintaining our Arctic and territorial emphasis while including circumpolar perspectives and original research on the Provincial North. 

It is impossible not to be impressed by the emergence of new and diverse northern scholars in the academy. Several Yukon and Northwest Territories First Nations have more than twenty people in Master’s and PhD programs, most outside the North. The same is true of Alaska and, even more, northern Scandinavia.  This is a remarkable development. When the Northern Review was founded, the number of such scholars was extremely small.
Emerging scholars bring a variety of conceptual and methodological perspectives to bear on northern issues. They are highly motivated, to be sure, often verging on the distressed and even the angry. This is not an aloof and arm’s-length scholarship; instead, the projects and research are typically co-developed with communities and reveal the passions and urgency of contemporary social, economic, and environmental issues. 
The North-centric approach that is the central and proud defining characteristic of the Northern Review continues to demonstrate the foundational importance of independent, creative social science and humanities scholarship targeted at the Circumpolar World. The journal is eager to receive more provocative and innovative submissions. While there is much to admire in the contemporary North, major challenges remain. More engaged scholarship is required if the collective efforts to create a “new” North that supports the aspirations of Indigenous and other northerners are to be realized.

Author Biography

Ken Coates, Yukon University

Ken Coates is a founding and senior editor of the Northern Review; currently professor and Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan (to June 2023); and is the incoming chair, Indigenous Governance, Yukon University (from July 2023). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.