In 1880, Britain transferred jurisdiction over islands in the Arctic Ocean to Canada. As was the case in other such transactions, the Native peoples concerned were neither consulted nor informed. The change had little immediate or practical effect on the indigenous inhabitants because the European presence in the North, apart from the Yukon, was minimal to non-existent. Limited contact continued to be commercial or economic in form, tied to whaling, the fur trade, and fishing. Government interest in the region grew only in the twentieth century, when mineral and oil discoveries made lands and waters there more valuable and attracted a non-Native population that threatened public order and peace.

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