Saturday, August 1, 2009 – Globe and Mail
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY
Aaju Peter laughs when she recalls the sight confronting her when she moved to Iqaluit in 1981: Houses. A landing strip. A few stores. A school.
Then she pauses. Almost 30 years later, not much has changed.
“We have more houses and more stores. But I don’t think we have very much of a longer-term plan.”
There are inukshuks in Paris and Inuktitut script on federal government websites – once again, Canada’s northern residents are at the forefront of Ottawa’s Arctic sovereignty campaign.
But Canada’s final frontier is also its most development-starved: Between the contested underwater continental shelf and the Radarsat-2 satellite lie dozens of largely isolated communities that lack the transportation, housing and communication infrastructure needed to back up Ottawa’s claims of an inhabited Canadian Arctic.