Date Published:Winter 2013
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.