Whose North?: Political Change, Political Development, and Self-Government in the Northwest Territories


233 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-7748-0414-9
DDC 971.9'03





Reviewed by Anthony G. Gulig

Anthony G. Gulig teaches history at the University of Saskatchewan.


Dickerson’s work summarizes the context in which the people of the
Northwest Territories have struggled for political and economic equality
over the last century. While Whose North? focuses on events of the last
25 years, the historic, economic, geographic, and demographic background
information contained in its first 30 pages is a valuable preface to the
more detailed analysis of contemporary issues that follows. Although few
accurate generalizations may be made about this vast area (approximately
one-third of Canada’s land mass), Dickerson’s introductory chapters
provide an adequate, if limited, overview of the region.

Perhaps Dickerson’s most significant generalization is that the
political and economic future of the Northwest Territories is integral
to the future of its Native inhabitants. As the federal government
gradually understands the need for people to define and direct their own
cultural existence, this book provides the political and historical
background necessary for a clearer understanding of the relationship
between self-government and the future of political self-determination
in the N.W.T. However, more attention could have been given to the
recent territorial discussions involving Nunavut and Inuvialuit. Of
course, very recent developments concerning Native sovereignty in the
N.W.T. suggest that this book was published too soon; surely the next
few years will answer many of the complex questions it so competently

More than 40 maps, figures, and charts greatly help to clarify the
complex questions of political development, change, and self-government
in this region. Detailed citations allow anyone interested in the
political development of the N.W.T. to use this well-written and
insightful book as a reference guide to the many primary and secondary
works on the subject.


Dickerson, Mark O., “Whose North?: Political Change, Political Development, and Self-Government in the Northwest Territories,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/12619.