This is a timely and well-researched treatment of the institutional, political, and personal conflicts that guided the process of Nunavut land claim negotiations. McPherson carefully considers the connection between resource development stemming from the days of oil and gas exploration in the late 1960s of Canada's Arctic and the Inuit's ensuing battle for self-determination. He outlines the federal government's 'business-as-usual' tactic in pushing exploration further north onto Inuit territory and sheds light on exactly how the precedent-settling agreement was achieved whereby the Inuit managed to become owners of the mineral claims on their own land. 'New Owners in Their Own Land' discusses the prolonged, historical dispute over the land selection process with respect to subsurface rights within Nunavut using existing research, interviews, and personal diaries. The author's personal account of his involvement as a mineral consultant for the Inuit negotiators provides a rare and unique perspective on Inuit self-determination and exploration history in the North.
Illustrated with a large selection of black and white photos covering the land claim negotiation period between 1980 and 1990, this is an important piece of Canadian history.
Robert McPherson is a research associate with the Arctic Institute of North America. His interest in education led him to a volunteer position at Calgary Science Network, where he is a liaison officer with Treaty Seven schools.