Ice Blink

Northern Canada's distinctive landscapes, its complex social relations and the contested place of the North in contemporary political, military, scientific and economic affairs have fueled recent scholarly discussion. At the same time, both the media and the wider public have shown increasing interest in the region. This timely volume extends our understanding of the environmental history of northern Canada - clarifying both its practice and promise, and providing critical perspectives on current public debates.

Ice Blink provides opportunities to consider critical issues in other disciplines and geographic contexts. Contributors also examine whether distinctive approaches to environmental history are required when studying the Canadian North, and consider a range of broader questions. What, if anything, sets the study of environmental history in particular regions apart from its study elsewhere? Do environmental historians require regionally-specific research practices? How can the study of environmental history take into consideration the relations between Indigenous peoples, the environment, and the state? How can the history of regions be placed most effectively within transnational and circumpolar contexts? How relevant are historical approaches to contemporary environmental issues?

Scholars from universities in Canada, the United States and Britain contribute to this examination of the relevance of historical study for contemporary arctic and sub-arctic issues, especially environmental challenges, security and sovereignty, indigenous politics and the place of science in northern affairs. By asking such questions, the volume offers lessons about the general practice of environmental history and engages an international body of scholarship that addresses the value of regional and interdisciplinary approaches. Crucially, however, it makes a distinctive contribution to the field of Canadian environmental history by identifying new areas of research and exploring how international scholarly developments might play out in the Canadian context.

With contributions by: Tina Adcock, Stephen Bocking, Emilie Cameron, Hans M. Carlson, Marionne Cronin, Matthew Farish, Arn Keeling, P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Tina Loo, Paul Nadasdy, Jonathan Peyton, Liza Piper, John Sandlos, Andrew Stuhl

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Cover 1
Series Page 3
Full Title Page 4
Copyright Page 5
Table of Contents 6
Introduction 8
1: Navigating Northern Environmental History 10
Part 1: Forming Northern Colonial Environments 40
2: Moving through the Margins:The “All-Canadian” Route tothe Klondike and the StrangeExperience of the Teslin Trail 42
3: The Experimental State of Nature: Science and the Canadian Reindeer Project in the Interwar North 70
4: Shaped by the Land: An Envirotechnical History of a Canadian Bush Plane 110
5: Many Tiny Traces: Antimodernism and Northern Exploration Between the Wars 138
Part 2: Transformations and the Modern North 186
6: From Subsistence to Nutrition: The Canadian State’s Involvement in Food and Diet in the North,1900–1970 188
7: Hope in the Barrenlands: Northern Development and Sustainability’s Canadian History 230
8: Western Electric Turns North: Technicians and the Transformation of the Cold War Arctic 268
Part 3: Environmental History and the Contemporary North 300
9: “That’s the Place Where I Was Born”: History, Narrative Ecology, and Politics in Canada’s North 302
10: Imposing Territoriality: First Nation Land Claims and the Transformation of Human-Environment Relations in the Yukon 340
11: Ghost Towns and Zombie Mines: The Historical Dimensions of Mine Abandonment, Reclamation, and Redevelopment in the Canadian North 384
12: Toxic Surprises: Contaminants and Knowledgein the Northern Environment 428
13: Climate Anti-Politics: Scale, Locality, and Arctic Climate Change 472
Conclusion 504
14: Encounters in Northern Environmental History 506
Contributors 522
Index 526