Since 1964, there have been four periods in which a northern university for the Canadian territories was proposed or attempted. The first, from 1964 to 1982, coincided with such motivating national forces as post-war expansion and renovation of the post-secondary sector with new universities and community colleges, northern development, and land claims. In the second stage, from 1983 to 2000, the territorial governments established Yukon and Arctic colleges, both institutions with some university-like features. During the third, “circumpolar,” period, from 2001 to 2011, the Arctic world opened up and the University of the Arctic network was established. The fourth, “academic,” phase began on October 14, 2014, when the Yukon Government and Yukon College Board of Governors jointly announced the college is developing a degree and a post-graduate certificate for launch in 2017. Northerners and others who have advocated for a northern university may now finally witness the emergence of such an institution, one that will meet the varied needs of residents of the North.
The Northern Review has a tradition of documenting and commenting on developments in the North, in the Yukon, and in Yukon College more specifically. For fifty-two years Yukon College has been a fixture of Yukon society, first as a vocational school and then as a community. Now poised to become the first university north of the sixtieth parallel, the Review commissioned a short retrospective as background to a summary of where the college is today. The authors reflect on the profound changes the Yukon and its college have witnessed. Various contemporary indicators show a clear demand for university-level and career programs delivered in the North, particularly for those programs that respond to the economic and social needs of northern communities. From this base, the college is, indeed, poised for the next big step: university.
Coates, Ken, and Amanda Graham. “3.1 Yukon.” In State of Rural Canada Report, edited by Breen Markey, Gibson Lauzon, and Mealy Ryser, 79-84. n.p.: Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation / Fondation canadienne pour la revitalisation rurale, 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract
This is the Yukon chapter of the State of Rural Canada report, which came about in order to draw attention to rural challenges and opportunities, and to provide a source of information and a platform for information sharing. The chapters of the report focus on the rural trends within each province and territory, ending with a summary discussion chapter that provides a series of recommendations for advancing rural development in Canada. The authors who volunteered were asked to share their provincial or territorial perspectives on core themes affecting rural Canada. Given limited space the chapters do not cover everything and do, in fact, contain conflicting opinions and perspectives, illustrating the breadth and depth of rural Canada. No report is capable of capturing every dimension and issue within rural Canada, however Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation hopes the report provides important context and nuance to our collective understanding of rural Canada, and that it serves to stimulate discussion and debate.
Today's North—the international Arctic—needs citizens with a broad grasp of the circumpolar picture, who understand its common problems and who share a basic orientation and vocabulary. The capable northern citizen is emerging from the region itself, from northern institutions that are self-consciously nurturing and educating their region's peoples for a life lived with choice and by choice in the region. Where northern institutions might have begun by external fiat as deliberate agents of development, northern institutions today have achieved a kind of devolution of their institutional world view and are more and more able to take their own region's pulse and respond to their own region's needs. Teaching Northern Studies may be a curious business. Northern Studies at Yukon College today are about us, but it's an "us" that lives in a wider region. My Northern Studies today are circumpolar, multinational, multilingual, multiethnic, and multidisciplinary. So are my students and so are their questions. My Northern Studies are Circumpolar Studies.
In February 2002, Yukon College lost a visionary founder. Aron Senkpiel had joined the new college in 1983 and devoted almost twenty years of his professional life to developing university-level programs at the college, to brokering professional degrees for delivery in the Yukon, and to laying the groundwork for the college's future evolution to granting its own degrees. Giving Yukoners an option to stay without compromise was his goal. The paper is a Festschrift contribution, a documentation and a celebration of Senkpiel's important work. It is the contribution of a former student and later a colleague who has been most fortunate to have worked with him and has been able to contribute in some small way to this important work.
The political mobilization of indigenous peoples in the North American North has resulted in new guidelines, statements of ethical principles, and consultative processes for the conduct of scientific research. This article explores the history of large-scale physical science in the North, the development of ethical principles for research conduct in Canada and the United States, and the potential difficulties of bridging the gaps between scientists and indigenous communities.
Key words: research conduct, participatory research, community consultation, research ethics, history of science, social studies of science, ethical practice, Canada, Alaska
This paper examines lists of northern studies courses of three academic years, 72 /73, 90/91 and 96/97 and concludes that northern studies courses at the undergraduate level are, in general, expanding both in the number of credits offered and in the number of disciplines represented.
Much of the Canadian North has existed, and still does to a degree, in a sort of historiographical dead zone. The paper reflects on multiple aspects of the writing of northern history in Canada and concludes that the problem of the limited production of academic northern history does not stem from any one condition or obstacle. Rather, a number of elements are at play, including tightly held mythologies and a tiny number of resident historians. The issue is complex, with tangled roots. The North, it believes, will be an excellent adventure for the right historians.
The creation, by federal letters patent, of The University of Canada North (UCN) in March 1971, is an important event in the history of education in the Canadian North. The brain-child of Richard Rohmer, a prominent Toronto lawyer, and some fifty-seven residents of the two northern territories, the UCN initiative was intended to be a grass-roots northern institution responsive to specific northern needs. The idea was good and the motives noble. Yet, practically from its inception, UCN was beset by problems serious enough to first stunt its growth and eventually to suffocate it entirely. Those problems were rooted in philosophical and conceptual differences about the kind of institution the new university and exacerbated by financial and administrative difficulties.
This paper won the Canadian Northern Studies Trust essay competition in 1990 and the accompanying Northern Studies Undergraduate Medal for Canada. At the time of writing, Northern Studies, as still a fairly new academic field, wrestled with the problem of definition. Where is "the North" that is the concern of this areal study. This paper aimed at summarizing the approaches that were being taken at establishing the border of the North. It presents three multi-factor or indexed methods of being precise about where the borders should be drawn. In the twenty years since this paper appeared, northernists are much less exercised by such matters, in part because actually looking into the North or studying the North around one is much more fun and certainly much more productive.