|About the Book|
The Northwest Territories, which comprises one-third of Canadas land mass, is in many ways a distinct region -- more than just a vast storehouse of resources, the territories are home to a diverse population, the majority Natives who possessMoreThe Northwest Territories, which comprises one-third of Canadas land mass, is in many ways a distinct region -- more than just a vast storehouse of resources, the territories are home to a diverse population, the majority Natives who possess deep-seated cultures which have endured despite the pervasive influence of the dominant culture to the south.Residents of the Northwest Territories today face a number of difficult political issues: land claims, division of the territories, constitutional development, self-government, an accord for sharing resource revenues, and the establishment of their place within the Canadian federation. Whose North? provides the context for a better understanding of these issues and traces the evolution of an innovative, increasingly indigenous, governmental process. Today, eighteen of the twenty-four legislators are Native and the non-partisan, consensus style of government is unique in Canada.Mark Dickerson points out that within the NWT there is no unanimity on the nature of the system of government. He addresses the political tension between those advocating the continuation of a centralized government and those preferring a more decentralized form, particularly self-government, which many northerners view as the only way of preserving their culture.In many ways, the Northwest Territories is a test case and one of the most important social issues to be faced by Canadians in the twenty-first century. For Natives, it may determine whether they can indeed live in two cultures. Dickersons depiction of the development of the territorial government and his discussion of the tension surrounding the choice of government will provide Canadians with an opportunity to begin to understand just what is at stake in this critical process.