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Lecture 10

GEOG 162 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Norman Wells, Klondike Gold Rush, Ecumene

Course Code
GEOG 162
Michele Wiens

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Territorial North
Territorial North within Canada
- Consists of Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon
- Largest (in area) but least populated region in Canada
- Small population
o Limited capacity of land to support people
- Aboriginal population
o High birth rate and low death rate account for population growth in region
- Out-Migration
o Non-aboriginal population finds job opportunities elsewhere when economy stalls
- Challenges of resource-based economy
o Reliance on global markets (vulnerable to boom-and-bust cycles)
o Instability due to finite nature of non-renewable resources
o Megaprojects
o Disturb natural environment
o Provide few jobs for local workers who lack education/experience
- Two vision of Territorial North
o Northern Frontier
With resources available for exploitation
o Homeland
Aboriginal language & culture, fostered by “sense of place”
- Visions not always compatible
o Multinational companies concerned with profitability of untapped natural wealth
o Populace concerned with long-term environmental and social well-being of communities
- Political power transferred from federal government to territorial governments
- Challenges ahead
o Generate sufficient economic growth
o Overcome mismatch between education/job experience of aboriginal peoples and employment needs of
Physical Geography
- Four physiographic regions
o Canadian shield
o Interior plains
o Cordillera
o Arctic lowlands
- Unique feature of northern skies: aurora borealis
- Natural Vegetation Zones
o Boreal forest
o Tundra
o Polar desert
- Air masses originating over Arctic Ocean dominate weather patterns
- Two climate zones:
o Arctic
Extremely cold and dry
Long winters, brief summers
High latitudes, lower levels of solar energy
o Subarctic
Longer summer that lasts at least a month
- Arctic Ocean
o Called “frozen sea” by early explorers due to arctic ice pack
o Few ships can navigate without assistance of icebreakers
o If impact of global warming continues, more open water will soon appear during short summer
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