on January 5, 2011
First of all, I'd like to say that there are well-discussed ideas and facts in this book such the economic development strategies advocated by the government and the aboriginal people, the issue of determination of need in CED, the aboriginal concept of enoughness, why aboriginal businesses fail and how agencies contribute, etc. I read the book, because I work in CED in the actual north of Canada and thought it would allow me to do my job better, BUT:
Readers should be cautioned that the book contains essays and not well- researched text as the product description gives impression to. Even the author confesses to this by starting the introduction with "[t]he essays in this collection represent reflections [...]"
Aboriginal in the title of the book subsumes only First Nations people living in southern Canada. There is nothing about other Aboriginals (Inuit and Metis) living in the north of Canada, which constitute more than half of Canada's land and water mass. Even though a lot less people live up in the three territories of Canada not writing about them at all in this book warrants not giving the book its current title. The title is greatly misleading as the north the author uses is the north of the southern provinces in Canada that is nothing like the north of Canada.
The product description of the book claims that the author was at one point a practitioner of CED. I looked through appendix II of the book that shows a list of the author's practical involvements and found not one position that tells me he practiced CED. Being a secretary, advisor, consultant or a chairman to a CED fund/planning commission/committee does not make one a practitioner. A practitioner of CED in the real north is the economic development officer (EDO) and the author has never filled such position.
Last but not least, most of the chapters of this book are from works published in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. These are then commented on in what the author calls "retrospective on ..." A lot has changed in the past three decades and the author should know better.