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GG354 Lesson notes 5 -11.docx

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Katherine Mc Leod

GG354 – Lesson notes Lesson 5 - Social History and Cultural Background Early Settlement: Arrival Routes and Timing - Ice-Free Corridor: Theory that explains the path by which the first Americans took to reach the mid-latitudes of North America between the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets. Excavation revealed finely crafted thin, leaf-shaped stone projectile points imbedded in the bones of large bison. - Coastal Migration Route: Clovis Theory: some 12,000 years ago, Old World hunters from Alaska and Yukon found an ice- free corridor through the vast ice sheet to the unglaciated areas of the New World. Armed with spears that had a distinctive fluted projectile point, these Paleo-Indians quickly spread across North and South America. Archaeological evidence clearly demonstrates that Paleo-Indians were hunting the woolly mammoth and other big-game animals in the Great Plains and the Southwest of what is today the United States as early as 11,000 years ago. At the same time, primitive hunters had reached the southern tip of South America. The empirical support for the Clovis theory is based on archaeological finds of flaked-stone projectile points. These distinctive spear points were first unearthed in 1932 at a New Mexico mammoth kill site near Clovis, New Mexico. Since then, similar finds dated to the same early period have been made in other parts of North America. However, more recent arch findings, especially the Monte Verde site in Chile, which apparently dates to 12, 500 years ago, suggest that Old World hunters reached South America well before the Clovis people. Early Cultures: Time Location Social System Resource Reasons for Period Dependence Change Paleo- 11,000 – Southwest Woolly Indians 6000 US to ice-free mammoth, Pre- years ago corridor sea-based Dorset between the hunting Cordillera economy Dorset - 5000 – Western Maritime Displaced Tuuniit 1000 Arctic, hunting of sea by Thule years ago Nunavut, & mammals due to coasts of major Greenland & climatic Labrador changes Thule 1000 Northern -constructed winter camp Maritime Arctic years ago coast of dwellings from blocks of hunting of sea regions and ice, providing shelter for Alaska, one, two, or perhaps threeammals – were eastwards extended families. A central whaling (large abandoned across fire and animal hides insulatbowhead and the dwelling against the harsh Canadian cold winter. Summer coastal whale) whaling Arctic and camp dwellings were was given constructed from whalebone Greenland and wood, which was covered up with whale baleen and sod. As the hunting technology developed, the amount of food gathered increased. The seasonal occupation sites became larger and more permanent. Overland transportation between seasonal camps utilised sleds constructed from animal bones and hides. Domesticated dogs were harnessed to the sled and pulled up to sixty-six kilograms of supplies. Three main native groups occupying northern lands at the time of European contact: - Inuit or Thule (Arctic Canada) - Athapaskan (Northern plains/ Yukon territory) - Algonquin (W,S, E of lower Hudson Bay) Lesson 6 – Population Patterns Main geographical and environmental limitations that will control population size in the North: 1. A short growing season prohibits commercial agriculture 2. The frozen Arctic Ocean cannot serve as a main transportation artery 3. The cold environment makes the cost of construction and the operation of businesses much high in the North, but especially in the Arctic, than in more temperate areas of Canada 4. The great distance to markets means that its export-oriented resource industry has very high transport costs. Similarly, the cost of importing building materials, food-stuffs, and diesel fuel for community power and heating is extremely expensive and greatly increases cost of living Four phases in population change: - Phase 1 (1871-1941): in 1871, population of the North was approx. 60,000. Over the next 20 years, the settlement of the southern fringe of the Subarctic by non-Aboriginal Canadians plus the slow but steady increase in the Aboriginal population accounted for population growth. By 1901 the North’s population had reached 100,000, and by 1931 it had more than doubled to 250,000. - Phase 2 (1941-1981): during this period the population in Canada’s North jumped from 350,000 to nearly 1.5 million. Four main factors accounting for the enormous increase were: 1) a resource boom that began in the late 1940s and triggered a massive in- migration of southern Canadians and the creation of new resource towns, 2) a high rate of natural increase among the Aboriginal population that saw it more than triple, 3) a policy change in Ottawa that began in 1957 with Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s ‘Northern Vision’ promoting development in the North, and 4) increased public spending by both the provinces and Ottawa that led to a northern bureaucracy and facilitated the relocation of government officials to the North through a series of northern benefits. - Phase 3 (1981-2006): the North’s population remained relatively stable at just under 1.5 million. Since the 1980s, annual out-migration has sometimes exceeded in-migration. In 1981 the North had a population of 1.47 million. 25 years later, that figure was unchanged. The reasons for this demographic reversal from the fast-growth phase prior to the 1980s are complex, but they are related to a net out-migration and a high rate of natural increase of Aboriginal peoples. - Phase 4 (2006-2011): could continue into near future with changes in two demographic factors – a falling rate of natural increase among Aboriginal population and a decrease in net migration – could lead to a slow but steady downward slide in the North’s population size. The collapse of the forest industry was and remains a primary economic reason for the population decline in the Provincial North (as well as failure of new resource projects and slowdown of older mining operations). There are also extremely limited economic opportunities in Native communities and very high unemployment rates may cause greater numbers of younger Aboriginal adults to relocate to southern cities. This potential decline represents a variation of the ‘push-pull hypothesis”, in this case a struggle between culture (pull to stay in the north) and economy (push to find employment in southern Canada). Population Distribution Arctic and subarctic - Arctic has a population of approx. 50,000, 3% of North’s total population. Home for the Inuit and their Thule ancestors for over a thousand years, provided a most challenging environment for a hunting economy and, its carrying capacity under that economic system could only support a small number of people (half the size of the current population). Defined by 4 Inuit land claim regions – Nunatsiavut (northern Labrador), Nunavik (northern Quebec), Nunavut, and Inuvialuit settlement area in the western arctic – plus fewer than 10,000 non-Inuit, the Arctic is the most sparsely populated natural region in Canada. - Subarctic has over 1.4 million people, 97% of northern population. The vast majority of people residing in the Subarctic are Canadians who relocated from southern Canada largely because of economic opportunities related to the resource economy and the public service sector. Political Norths - Territorial North (Yukon, NWT, Nunavut): 101, 310 people or 6.9% of the North’s population lived in the three territories - Provincial North: the northern areas of eastern Canada (Ontario and Quebec) account for bulk (65.2%) of population. These same areas suffered a decline of 21,000 people from 2001 to 2006. The population of the provincial north was 1, 368, 204 in 2006. Nordicity Zones - Near North: most southerly area of the Canadian North, where approx. 1 million people are located mostly in cities and towns. Thunder Bay is an important gateway city for northern Ontario. - Middle North: population of 400,000, most of the towns are involved in resource industries; Fort McMurray fastest growing city in the middle north. - Far North: lies in the arctic biome, containing approx 50,000 inhabitants. Most are Inuit. Iqaluit, capital of Nunavut, largest centre in the far north with population of 6,184 in 2006 - Extreme North: limited to the northernmost islands of the arctic archipelago, with less than 300 people living here. Resolute is the largest centre, with a population of 226 in 2006. Population growth: The Territorial North, especially Northern Alberta, where oil sands development projects continue to attract workers from across Canada. Nunavut is experiencing a rapidly expanding population fuelled by its high fertility rates, which is more than double its national average. From 1996 to 2006, the population increased by just over 19%. Population decline: Political North, mainly Northern Ontario and Quebec’s forest industry, caused massive out- migration due to the drop in demand for softwood lumber and pulp from the US. This pattern emerges due to the resource availability and demand in particular regions of the North. Regional Service Centres:  Range from small service centres to capital cities  Are the source of certain goods and services for those living in that area  Central place theory: seeks to explain the relative size and geographic spacing of urban centres as a function of shopping behaviour o Central argument: basic or lower goods and services are found in all urban centres while specialized or higher order ones are found only in larger urban centres Resource Towns:  Single industry towns – products of the resource economy  Created during the resource boom during 50s to 80s  Vulnerable to the alternating circumstances of global demand for their natural resources Native Settlements:  Product of post colonial era in Canada  Fewer than 1000 inhabitants – most are situated in remote locations, access to some only by air or water transportation  Cost of living extremely high since food and other goods are imported from southern cities  Represent small piece of their traditional homeland Lesson 7 Community Barriers Five barriers identified as main issues in improving education enrolment - Historical Barriers o Prior to late 1960s, because of government policies, the schooling of Aboriginals was oriented toward assimilation into mainstream European-Canadian society  The residential school system – formed negative experiences and distrust of Aboriginal students in schools forbidding them of their language and cultural practices  Assimilative nature of postsecondary education – Aboriginal people who attained higher education to relinquish their Indian status, a process called enfranchisement. Since WW11, when enfranchisement was no longer a consequence of attending university, the intensity of the assimilative forces of public and higher education tended to alienate educated Aboriginals from their families, communities, and origins. - Social Barriers o Poverty of aboriginal communities – lack of academic preparation o Reserve and remote schools typically do not offer academic preparation – required in successful transition to postsecondary studies o Discrimination – university represents impersonal, intimidating and hostile environment, core values are not recognized – aboriginals expected to leave cultural assimilations upon entrance to their new reality, which is often substantially different from their own - Cultural Barriers o very little of what most Aboriginal students bring in the way of cultural knowledge, traditions, and core values is recognized or respected in the postsecondary system. The reality of the “university world” is substantially different than the Aboriginal personal and community reality. o Universities typically have long-established practices, norms, and policies seen as serving the values and cultural norms of the dominant non-Aboriginal society. - Family-related Barriers o Family responsibilities are often barriers to retention for the Aboriginal population.  More likely to be married, a couple, older than general population and have children  Day care requirements  Additional costs - Individual/Personal Barriers o sense of powerlessness, poor self-concept, apathy, poor mental health, poor physical health, anger, and frustration. o These can in turn lead to alcohol and substance abuse, petty thievery, physical and sexual abuse, and for some to incarceration and a further cycle of despair. o These manifestations impact on many Aboriginal students. o Often there isn’t adequate family support or institutional support in their home communities to assist them in the development of a healthy mind and body. Strengths, Weaknesses and Recommendations of Northern Aboriginal Communities Strengths:  Aboriginal communities have a profound social, cultural and spiritual attachment to the land.  Aboriginal people see their traditional culture, languages and way of life as unique and valuable.  The Northwest Territories government is committed to working in partnership with Aboriginal groups, industry and other governments and business.  The cultural identity of Aboriginal people is closely connected to the land. Weaknesses: Social Development  Capacity building is the most important challenge facing northern communities.  There is inadequate funding for various social problems.  Past approaches to community development have encouraged dependency and powerlessness.  Addictions, health problems and rotational work are factors that may conspire to undermine community viability.  There is a lack of recognition and respect for Aboriginal northerners, their culture and their language. Education and Employment  There is a lack of jobs in the small communities.  There is a glaring mismatch between the skills and education levels of Northerners and the demands of the labour market.  Unemployment is high, particularly among young people, and income levels are correspondingly low.  NWT's current labour supply needs improvements in their education levels in order to take full advantage of the employment opportunities that may come available in the next decade.  The value of formal education and training remains under-appreciated in many Aboriginal communities and among some Aboriginal leaders.  A large proportion of the adult Aboriginal population lacks the basic literacy and education to compete effective
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