The Base Requirements, Community, and Regional Levels of Northern Development


  • Lee A. Swanson University of Saskatchewan
  • David D. Zhang University of Saskatchewan


Many of Canada’s remote northern communities, including those in the Provincial Norths, are severely disadvantaged as compared to their southern counterparts. Despite the wealth extracted from the abundance of natural resources like uranium, diamonds, and oil in their regions, some of these communities are among the most socio-economically challenged in all of Canada. In many cases, a trivial amount of the significant wealth generated in these Provincial North regions has been retained to benefit the local communities that have been the stewards of that land for generations. This article applies a meta-narrative method to examine the extant literature relevant to Provincial North communities in Canada. Some of this relevant literature includes studies conducted in Northern Scandinavia, which shares many of the same attributes as Canada’s Provincial Norths. The purpose of this research was to identify the pre-conditions for effective Provincial North development leading to improved economic and social welfare for the communities in that part of Canada. Our result was a three-level model showing the base requirements, community, and regional levels of northern development. These three levels focus on implementing effective local governance and securing the resources needed for development, building community capacity, and working collaboratively with neighbouring communities toward regional self-reliance to ensure regional sustainability and security.

Author Biographies

Lee A. Swanson, University of Saskatchewan

Associate Professor, Edwards School of Business

David D. Zhang, University of Saskatchewan

Associate Professor, Edwards School of Business






Political and Economic Change in Canada's Provincial Norths