Monday, July 16, 2012


This is a response to Rea Cris's article "THE NEW ARCTIC GOLD RUSH" on the Unite Society website (, because 140 characters is not enough to respond properly to such a complex issue.

An interesting article on a challenging topic, made all the more difficult by people's (including my own) inability to truly comprehend living or working in the arctic.   Even simple provisions like milk, fruit and vegetables must be flown hundreds of miles from the south.

Indigenous peoples, particularly in Greenland, Canada and Alaska, face difficult choices: to continue the traditional way of life, hunting with dogs (and rifles) or do they adopt more modern technology such as the skidoo, or do they go the whole way to modernity, invite the oil companies in and get paid employment. More traditional trade avenues,such as fur trading, have been closed off leaving little opportunity to barter for modern conveniences leaving a stark choice of living completely independent of the modern world or taking hand outs. Nothing is free so those giving expect something in return: access to mineral resources. And if they become isolationist, how will they survive as the pattern of seasons change and their prey (seals, walrus, polar bears) in turn struggles to survive?

Read more »

No comments:

Post a Comment