Experiences of Opportunity in the Northern Resource Frontier

  • Cynthia Amati University of Alberta
  • Brenda Parlee University of Alberta
  • Naomi Krogman University of Alberta

Abstract

The Northern Review 41 (2015): 181–206

Resource booms, including those currently occurring in northern Canada, are anchored in narratives of economic opportunity. As a consequence, the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut are currently seeing an increase in immigration from some non-traditional source countries of the global South. Those who arrive in Yellowknife and Whitehorse have different expectations of experiences of the North. Relatively little literature has explored the ways in which place is being constructed by such new Canadians. Where do these notions of place and place identity in northern communities fit within broader and dichotomous discourses of the North as ”hinterland or homeland”? This article examines how transnational labour migrants position their life experiences in relation to dominant discourses of neoliberalism and resource frontier values—historically sites of economic opportunity that have valorized characteristics such as masculinity and individualism that have come to ideologically define resource-based communities. Data for this article is drawn from thirty-five narrative interviews with new Canadians who had resided in Whitehorse or Yellowknife for between three and six years on average. The results suggest that transnational newcomers into the North negotiate multiple socio-economic challenges as they engage in place making within a rapidly changing northern economy.

Author Biographies

Cynthia Amati, University of Alberta
PhD Candidate, Department of Resource Economics
and Environmental Sociology
Brenda Parlee, University of Alberta
Associate Professor, Faculty of Native Studies and Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology, Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences
Naomi Krogman, University of Alberta
Professor, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology, Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences
Published
2015-09-25
How to Cite
AMATI, Cynthia; PARLEE, Brenda; KROGMAN, Naomi. Experiences of Opportunity in the Northern Resource Frontier. Northern Review, [S.l.], n. 41, p. 181–206, sep. 2015. ISSN 1929-6657. Available at: <https://thenorthernreview.ca/index.php/nr/article/view/467>. Date accessed: 17 aug. 2019. doi: https://doi.org/10.22584/nr41.2015.008.
Section
Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic

Keywords

Canadian North; Yukon; Northwest Territories