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ABOUT THE BOOK
Hunting the Northern Character (2017) UBC Press, Purich Books
Canadian politicians, like many of their circumpolar counterparts, brag about their country’s “Arctic identity” or “northern character,” but what do they mean, exactly? Stereotypes abound, from Dudley Do-Right to Northern Exposure, but these southern perspectives fail to capture northern realities. In this passionate, deeply personal account of modern developments in the Canadian North, Tony Penikett corrects confused and outdated notions of a region he became fascinated with as a child and for many years called home.
During decades of service as a legislator, mediator, and negotiator, Penikett bore witness to the advent of a new northern consciousness. Out of sight of New Yorkers, and far from the minds of Copenhagen’s citizens, Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders came together to forge new Arctic realities as they dealt with the challenges of the Cold War, climate change, land rights struggles, and the boom and bust of resource megaprojects.
This lively account of their struggles and accommodations not only retraces the footsteps of Penikett’s personal hunt for a northern identity but also tells the story of an Arctic that the world does not yet know.
This book will appeal to anyone interested in the North, whether student or scholar, northern or southerner, concerned citizen or policy maker.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tony Penikett spent twenty-five years in public life, including two years in the House of Commons as chief of staff to federal NDP leader Ed Broadbent, five terms in the Yukon Legislative Assembly, and two terms as premier of Yukon Territory. His government negotiated settlements of Yukon First Nation land claims and passed pioneering legislation in the areas of education, health, and language. It also organized Yukon 2000, a unique bottom-up economic-planning process. Between 1997 and 2001, he served as deputy minister of negotiations and, later, as deputy minister of labour for the BC government. He is the author of one book, Reconciliation: First Nations Treaty Making in British Columbia, and two films, The Mad Trapper and La Patrouille Perdue.