Subsistence and the Social Economy of Canada's Aboriginal North


  • David C. Natcher University of Saskatchewan


This article explores the complex social, economic, and political interplay that takes place between subsistence and wage economies, sharing and reciprocity, and regulatory regimes that now mediate Aboriginal community access to wildlife resources. By focusing on subsistence, with its equally important social and economic attributes, this article argues that the harvesting, processing, and distribution of wild foods and resources continues to be a central component of Canada's northern social economy. This article concludes by arguing that any attempt to develop effective northern policy in the future must account for the complexity and heterogeneity of northern subsistence economies, and remain open to the plurality of forms they may take.

Author Biography

David C. Natcher, University of Saskatchewan

David Natcher is an anthropologist and associate professor in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan.






Special Collection Articles