The industrialization of Canada's Subarctic relied upon the region's large northwestern lakes: Winnipeg, Athabasca, Great Slave, and Great Bear. Between 1921 and 1960, these lakes comprised a seam in the Canadian interior where industrial economies took root, transgressing political geographies and superseding the historically dominant fur trade. The state and private enterprise imported southern scientists and sojourning labourers to work the Northwest, and its industrial history bears these newcomers’ imprint. The Industrial Transformation of Subarctic Canada reveals the history of human impact upon the North. It provides a baseline, grounded in historical and scientific evidence, for measuring environmental change in the Subarctic.
Liza Piper examines the sustainability of industrial economies, the value of resource exploitation in volatile ecosystems, and the human consequences of northern environmental change. She also addresses northern communities’ historical resistance to external resource development and their fight for survival in the face of intensifying environmental and economic pressures. This rich environmental history will appeal to historians, geographers, and environmentalists interested in industrialization, resource management, and the Canadian North.
This award-winning history of how industrial economies have come to dominate the North provides revealing context on today's environmental changes.