Activity: Talks and presentations › Conference presentations
For generations Canadians have been exposed to narratives that have cultivated the idea that Canadians are a northern people and Canada is an Arctic nation. Today, however, Canada is an increasingly diverse society compared to its earlier history within the British Empire. Most notably, Canadian society has seen radical changes in how its indigenous people are empowered, perceived and incorporated with its national political, legal and identity frameworks. These societal and structural changes have implications of the inclusivity of Canada’s national identification with the Arctic region. In reflection of the evolution of Canada, there is a noticeable increase in the Government of Canada’s recognition of Canada’s northern indigenous peoples. What is less clear is what exactly is motivating the government’s gradual shift in its approach toward trying to incorporate northern indigenous Canadians into the national narratives about the Arctic region. As such, this paper explores three possible reasons behind why the Government of Canada has been actively trying to incorporate associations between Canadian Arctic identification and Canada’s northern indigenous people. The reasons explored in this article are: (1) political pressure from indigenous peoples in Canada; (2) benefits for Canada’s international political agendas; and (3) changes in the demographics of Canadian society.