The growth of anti-harvesting movements ”” particu larly with respect to trapping, sealing and logging ”” illustrates changing values, attitudes to authority, and accepted behaviours in Canada as well as other indus- trial states. The impact of these movements, particularly on aboriginal and northern resource-based communities, has resulted in serious consequences for their standards of living and ways of life.

The persistence of campaigning organizations and the constant intensification of demands suggest that these organizations will be a continuing influence in internation al relations as well as in domestic politics, though their preferred modes of action suggest they will be focusing their influence in the future not on states, but on citizens and corporations.

The nature of the campaigns raises serious questions about the representation of public values as well as co-optation of public policy processes. While the cases against government and corporate involvement in resource use and decision- making have frequently been made, our intent here is to cri- tique the growing role of environmental interest groups in public decision-making and the way they claim to represent the greater public good ”” often with- out fair inclusion of stakeholders who are impacted directly by the decisions.

We use the term anti-use cam- paigns (AUCs), to characterize anti- harvesting/trapping/sealing/logging groups and their activities. We do not use this term interchangeably with environmental groups because we think that there is an important dichotomy to be made between a nar- row focus on one issue and a more bal- anced, broader view that encompasses the larger picture of multiple parts and processes in an ecosystem, as well as the related human communities and their economies ”” that is, the essence of sus- tainable development (see figure 1).

Sustainable development compris- es the three legs of ecology, society and economy, and it is recognized that without each of those legs being strong, the ”œstool” will fall. If people are removed from a viable living, how can they maintain their social commu- nity, and how can they protect the environment? AUCs ignore the con- cept of sustainable development, introduced by Gro Harlem Brundtland in her landmark 1987 report and incorporated into all facets of states’ policies since then. We both believe strongly in environmental protection but we do not believe that this can be achieved by a process that excludes the economy and community.

We use ”œcommunity” rather than ”œsociety” because, as we illustrate throughout this paper, society’s values can sometimes reflect a tyranny of the majority and not a fair representation of those excluded from the political process.

In the late 1960s and the 1970s, Greenpeace and the International Fund for Animal Welfare opposed the Newfoundland seal hunt on the grounds of cruelty and ecological/over- harvesting arguments. Greenpeace claimed in 1977 that unless the seal quota was reduced, the seals would be extinct in five years. When it was proven that there was no population threat, and the management system was actually effective, Greenpeace then moved to an animal rights position that the hunt was cruel and that seals should not be hunted at all. Thus, the issue evolved as conditions demanded. Cruelty had emerged upon the field of public discourse, becoming a very important part of the seal hunt issue ”” and a powerfully emotional one.

Tactics used in the protests includ- ed spray-painting seal pups with green dye to ruin the value of the pelts, or covering them with protesters’ bodies (a healthy experience for the animal?); bringing Brigitte Bardot and other stars onto the ice floes; extensive media campaigns; postcard/letter campaigns; information packets containing pic- tures of the hunt, sent to British households; scientific and other reports. A gruesome film of the seal hunt was widely shown to great effect; this was later proven to have been staged ”” the Newfoundland ”œsealer” was paid by photographers to torture a seal, ignoring the usual practice of killing the seal before skinning it.

In the NWT and Nunavut, where the Inuit had a thriving and very sustainable economy based upon the use of seals for food, oil and skins, adult seals were hunt- ed differently ”” by rifle and harpoon, tak- ing great skill and patience. Nonetheless, The Inuit sealskin economy was gutted by the anti-sealing campaign that destroyed the markets for all seal products. The seal hunt revenues of $13 million per year in 1981 (roughly split between Inuit hunt- ing adult seals and Newfoundlanders hunting pups) dropped to less than $3 million in 1983. Self-supporting commu- nities were reduced to welfare dependen- cy, with a staggering suicide rate, as people seriously questioned themselves and their culture in the face of condem- nation by a modern, dominant, more powerful society in southern North Amer- ica and Europe.

It is important to understand the nature of the northern resource-based economy. Canada’s northern aborigi- nal communities have always had an economy, whether measured in dollars or in food and materials produced, consumed and traded, that depended upon the wildlife, fish and other resources of the land. Even today, most northern aboriginal households have at least one harvester, who produces an estimated replacement value of $20,000 in food and materials used by their households, or traded for cash. The cash income earned from the har- vest normally subsidizes the domestic production of food and materials. According to territorial government statistics, in the NWT and Nunavut, the value of country food alone, con- sumed by aboriginal households, was well over a hundred million dollars in the late 1990s. Domestic production can account for 30 to 60 percent of all income in aboriginal communities, and up to 80 percent of food consumed in some aboriginal communities.

Beyond this economic value, the aboriginal cultures are intensely inter- twined with their lands and the resources of their lands. These are not just cultural practices that are extrane- ous pleasantries in the lives of Northerners; they are central to the lives and health of northern peoples. Furthermore, they provide what is often the only economic opportunity in communities which are thousands of miles from urban Canada.

The next target, some years later, was the trapping industry, and again the issue was nominally ecologi- cal (though no species of furbearer in Canada is currently threatened or endangered) but mainly about percep- tions of cruelty. Much larger than the sealskin issue, the anti-trapping issue affected more than 100,000 aboriginal and non-aboriginal wild-fur trappers and their families across Canada, not to mention thousands more in secondary and tertiary sectors. In 1978, the wild-fur harvest in Canada was worth $82 million (the US produced $268 million ”” Alan Herscovici speculated that the US and USSR were not targeted by the anti-trapping campaign because they were much larger than Canada, and the latter made an easier target). The value of fur garments produced then was about $260 million, employing mostly small-scale artisanal producers. In 1993, the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs reported that 75 per- cent of this was traditionally exported to Europe as raw pelts or finished goods. It should be noted that Europe also produces a large part of the fur har- vest, but this is mainly from fur farms, because wild fur bearers there have been rare for centuries.

A key tactic of the anti-sealing and anti-trapping efforts was to portray resource harvesters as brutal and savage, unsuited to the modern world. Fur use was portrayed as cruel, vain, archaic and grotesque. The anti-fur campaigns’ tar- gets evolved over time, as well, to include fur-wearers: Lynx’s billboards said ”œIt takes up to 40 dumb animals to make a fur coat. But only one to wear it.”

This issue has cycled, recurring periodically over the years. In the most recent round of anti-trapping pres- sures, in 1991, the European Community (EC) again proposed a ban on the import of furs caught in leg- hold traps. Canada, Russia and the US fought this regulation together, as a regional group that exports much of the fur to Europe. Passed in 1991, the legislation was to take effect in 1995, when leg-hold traps would be banned in Europe as well. Ironically, the ban was not justified, in the end, on the basis of animal welfare, and the ration- ale for the European regulation never mentioned cruelty; it was justified on the basis of management concerns for ”œthreatened or endangered species of wild fauna.” As noted earlier, none of the species at issue are threatened or endangered. Meanwhile, leg-hold traps could still be used in Europe, to trap ”œpests” and other animals.

As with the northern communities and their reliance on hunting and trapping, many British Columbia communities rely on the forest industry. People there have deep tradi- tional, historical, social, cul- tural and economic ties to forestry and the land. Further, the government (and people) of BC relies on the approximately $4.2 billion in stumpage, income taxes and other rev- enues from forestry which fund their health, education, social and other government programs.

Originally, the campaigns against BC forestry focused on the use of chlo- rine in pulp and paper-making, the practice of large clear-cuts, and the use of old-growth trees for making pulp, but they have since evolved, intensify- ing and changing their demands over time (see W.T. Stanbury’s detailed chronology of these and other cam- paigns in Environmental Groups and the International Conflict over the Forests of British Columbia).

The experience in BC, starting with Clayoquot Sound (drawn from Stanbury) illustrates the moving targets: when one-third of the Clayoquot Sound area was permanently protected, and other management rules were imposed, Greenpeace-UK threatened another campaign against two major UK paper producers should they not cancel their contracts with MacMillan Bloedel (MB). Friends of Clayoquot Sound said they did not want compro- mise at all ”” they wanted all the area intact. Though the BC government immediately implemented the recom- mendations of an independent scientific panel, the Western Canada Wilderness Committee demanded instead an end to all logging in the area; Greenpeace and Friends of Clayoquot Sound added new criteria to be met by government and industry; Greenpeace threatened to reinitiate their boycott if MB tried to take clear-cuts of the size recommended by the panel (4 ha). The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and the Natural Resources Defense Fund in the US con- tinued their boycott actions; and the Coastal Rainforest Coalition launched a postcard campaign to push BC to adopt the panel recommendations into law and to extend them to the rest of BC.

Beyond Clayoquot Sound, other campaigns continue to intensify and alter the pressures on BC forestry to conform to new values. In 1994, coor- dinated protests in Victoria and Tacoma demanded an end to all industrial log- ging in BC. In 1997, several groups said they were now targeting the entire BC coast rainforest. In 1998, Greenpeace- Canada called for an end of all com- mercial logging of old growth in BC. RAN has identified their next target as companies selling any wood into the US from any temperate BC forest.

As the Clayoquot Sound campaign began to lose steam, the Great Bear Rainforest was identified as the next arena (a name with no basis in ecologi- cal science, which Patrick Moore has called ”œa pile of emotional rubbish”). Even though Interfor had reached agree- ment with several AUCs (a ”œtruce” while the multi-stakeholder Land and Resources Management Process was underway), Greenpeace-UK started the Great Bear Rainforest campaign. Later this was made broader, aimed at stop- ping US firms from buying lumber from BC’s ancient rainforests.

Clearly the targets have been extended over time: demands trans- form to comprise different types of forest products, different areas and types of ecosystems, different forms and lev- els of protection, different AUCs. Subsequent demands are not necessar- ily consistent with previous ones, or with agreements negotiated.

Most importantly, these negotiated processes have typically included the AUCs, the targeted companies, and sometimes governments. Seldom have the affected communities been invited to the table. Land and Resource Management Processes which do include multiple stakeholders have often been boycotted by AUCs, or if they have participated, they have walked out if their demands have not been met. Or some groups may participate, while other groups will boycott. When a ”œJoint Solutions” process was proposed for the Great Bear Rainforest, it originally involved only AUCs and affected com- panies ”” not until First Nations and local communities forced the issue, were they allowed to participate.

Tactics used in BC’s war in the for- est have included blockades and civil disobedience, spiking of trees and other sabotage, sit-ins at stores selling BC old-growth products, picketing publishers and newspapers that use BC paper, boarding ships carrying BC for- est products, threatening boycotts of industrial users of old-growth lumber or pulp, newspaper ads exposing buy- ers of old-growth or other BC forest products. Pictures speak a thousand words, so posters, coffee-table books, photographs and films have been pop- ular devices. In Europe, anti-logging groups trucked around ”œStumpy” ”” a large old-growth cedar stump from BC ”” a simple, effective image implying ecological devastation of old- growth forests, but one which avoids addressing any of the nuances.

Another tactic, begun with Brigitte Bardot on the sea-ice, is to involve Hollywood stars in the fight ”” knowing an uncritical public will be attracted by the personae without questioning their professional qualifications as ecologists or forest managers. In 1996, the Coastal Rainforest Coalition used stars in a New York Times ad, calling on BC to end clear-cutting, to increase the amount of forest it protects, and to ”œend the stranglehold of the ten large logging companies con- trolling 61 percent of BC’s forest lands” (one suspects this would make the BC forest industry much more diver- sified than the Hollywood film indus- try). The threat was to undermine the $500 million a year film industry in BC.

Addressing the European Parliament, then Premier Mike Harcourt said ”œmany of the environ- mental groups[sic], like Greenpeace, were simply being untruthful about what was going on in our province’s forests.” For instance, as Stanbury notes, Greenpeace Germany used a word for clear-cuts that means ”œdefor- estation” or ”œdestruction,” without hope of replanting. BC was called ”œthe Brazil of the North,” inferring massive deforestation and burning of rainforest for agriculture and other purposes ”” this gave a grossly exaggerated impres- sion, and ignored the fact that refor- estation has long been required in BC, and annual cuts (at about 1 percent per year of land included in the forest base) are set on the basis of sustained yield. Rainforest Action Network mounted its boycott against Macmillan Bloedel, claiming old- growth pulp was being used in paper products like telephone books and newsprint, even though much of the MB pulp was made from sawmill waste and recycled paper. J.K. Rowling even got in on the act with a recent Harry Potter release, claiming its printing on recycled paper saved some BC old- growth forest, when such wood is not used for paper-making in the first place unless it is sawmill waste or wood not suitable for lumber.

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The campaigns have certainly had some successes, for instance, the Rainforest Action Network targeted Home Depot, which has since publi- cized its intention to sell only eco- certified wood products. Anti-logging groups have been able to convince MacMillan Bloedel, Western Forest Products and Lignum to announce an intention to seek eco-certification of their products by the Forest Stewardship Council, Canadian Standards Association, and the International Standards Organization. MacMillan Bloedel also announced it would phase out clear-cuts within five years, and move to more cooperative relationships with NGOs.

In response, some industry mem- bers tried to ensure a more honest dia- logue. Greenpeace and the Coastal Rainforest Coalition ran an ad in the New York Times on December 8, 1998, naming IBM and 26 other companies as leading the way in protection of rainforests because they no longer buy BC old-growth products. IBM’s CEO replied quickly, in a letter to customers and others, which was printed in newspapers as well: he said IBM indeed used 95 percent recycled paper in their publications ”” to encourage conservation of old growth and temperate rain- forests; but that they did pur- chase old-growth products where they are being managed in ecologically sound and sus- tainable ways. IBM, he said, rec- ognized the significant steps BC had taken to preserve old- growth and temperate rainfor- est, did not approve of the ad put out by Greenpeace et al., and was not participating in any boycotts.

In summary, the pattern has been that campaigns evolve and change their focus over time, in order to keep up the pressure, and in order to keep the goal-posts moving. In the absence of scientific proof of endan- germent, they shift focus to essentially value-driven judgments about whether sealing, trapping or logging are accept- able activities in the ”œmodern” world. Simplistic mantras (”œall hunting is bad”; ”œall logging is bad”) have replaced com- plex resource science and policy. The campaigns have moved away from using pressure on governments, to pre- ferring direct market-based campaigns, targeting industrial consumers and retailers. This push and pull between industry and the AUCs leaves out the communities who are directly affected by job loss and the stigmatization of their livelihoods. We are not apologists for industry, we are making the case that as the AUCs push industry, either through government regulation or through public opinion and the mar- kets, the communities have little access to the policy network to influence the effects on their livelihoods.

What do these campaigns illustrate about changing value systems and the tactics used to implement them, and about the external influence on resource-based communities?

Most obvious, there is a shift in public values about resources and the environment, from an extractive approach to one in which nature is val- ued more. This is possibly most notice- able amongst urban, industrialized populations. We would argue that AUCs have co-opted the new values by appearing to represent the public voice. As a result, AUCs have gained access to public policy processes, and failing satis- faction with those, have resorted to campaigns in order to achieve their goals, which have remained exclusive of the resource communities and cultures most directly affected.

Canada, the US and Europe, along with other industrialized states, have been undergoing profound changes in economic patterns, educa- tion and prosperity levels, and political attitudes, amongst other characteristics. Social values may be moving away from material concerns and economic growth, to focus more on intangible social gratifications ”” the ”œpost- materialist transformation.” The effects seem to include a shift in public atti- tudes, from a devotion to authority, towards cynicism and self-assertiveness, citizens who are less compliant, more assertive, and less confident in their government institutions. Neil Nevitte links these post-industrial changes to evidence of a profound social transfor- mation, as (among other effects) inter- est groups have been able to press for more entrenchment of their particular interests, environmental issues have come to the fore, the public is generally irritated by the status quo, and other penetrating value-shifts have occurred.

Significant changes in our econom- ic lives are also occurring. Canada and other industrial states have seen their primary production and manufacturing sectors decline in importance, and the service sector increase. Manufacturing, resources and agriculture no longer gen- erate jobs the way they used to. Thus, resource-based work is becoming less vis- ible, and perhaps less valued by society- at-large. The campaigns against some Canadian resource uses have exempli- fied this changing set of values in both North America and Europe.

Unfortunately, while values may have shifted from an ”œold style” of thinking about resource extraction to a ”œnew (post-materialist) style” (figure 1), AUC campaigns go even further. They reflect a new set of narrowly constructed views drawing on the perceived ”œsocial goods” of the shift in values ”” original- ly defined as ”œsustainable development” ”” but which they now focus on partic- ular activities without the obligation to consider the broader contexts and inter- ests affected by those practices. They appear to want to ”œgive people more say and to protect nature” and so on, but they are doing so by returning to a nar- row set of views that limits or discour- ages resource extraction and treats nature as more important than human communities. As Michael Kendu of the Sea Shepherd Society was quoted in Nunatsiaq News about the impacts of the anti-sealing campaign: ”œIf a few people are hurt for the good of the global soci- ety, then that’s not our problem. It hap- pens all the time.”

While the expression ”œenvironmentalist” is often used to describe a broad number of individuals and groups interested in protecting the environ- ment, we are suggesting that AUCs rep- resent a narrowly focused range of values along the spectrum of environ- mentalism. The views expressed by AUCs take little account of the cultures or practices that might very well already include sustainable resource extraction, or of the broader sets of concerns and needs of society and its many interest groups. Under these circumstances, AUCs act as eco-colonialists.

As part of a new ”œenvironmental consumerism,” AUCs may appeal to individuals who want to preserve nature for their own direct or indirect benefit. Unfortunately, this reinvents an imperi- alist process from earlier times, through forcing other countries, regions, individ- uals or communities to conduct their socioeconomic lives according to out- side-imposed rules. Canada’s wilderness seems to have evolved from a resource that was exploited in order to serve European interests one or two centuries ago, to one that is to be preserved in order to serve those interests today. After all, argued Randy Hayes of RAN (quoted in Stanbury’s book), ”œAmericans have the power to influence BC’s logging practices and safeguard a magnificent landscape they may one day wish to visit.” Neither the terms environmentalist nor post-materialist seem to capture the tone of this value shift: we prefer to call it eco-materialism.

While much of the literature about changing values has emphasized the idea that individuals are moving toward post-materialism, this seems much too simplistic. There is a considerable amount of materialism to be found. Birdwatchers travel great distances at great expense with sophis- ticated equipment to help them spot their quarry; just because they do not kill the birds they watch does not mean these birdwatchers are post-materialists. Birdwatchers spend a lot of money on their hobby. Most importantly, these new activities reflect changing values, and carry the potential for more social conflicts. Intense conflicts have already occurred between users of rural areas, parks and trails, for instance. According to a New York Times piece, the US bird- watchers are considering building polit- ical awareness and legal muscle to protect birds and their habitats, arguing the ”œhuman need” to watch birds. There may be a growing number of individuals who wish to self-actualize through a return to nature but often this has meant that nature itself has become commodified.

AUC groups play on a public sen- timent that appears to have laudable goals, but often without real consider- ation of science, sustainable develop- ment or the ability of communities to pursue sustainable resource manage- ment. We certainly do not question the importance of environmental or species protection but communities and individuals cannot be left out of the democratic processes that will allow them to pursue responsible resource uses and livelihoods.

Thirty years ago the same AUCs that now clearly affect public policy would have argued that their access to the public policy process was limited or non-existent. Nowadays one could argue that environmental NGOs are part of the policy process, but from a northern perspective the campaigns against resource harvesting are often seen as representing the interests of rich, urban, well-fed people who have destroyed their own immediate envi- ronment and now want to save others’; rich people who have a secure liveli- hood fail to understand that other peo- ple do not. Too late, Greenpeace acknowledged the profound impacts and social devastation that its cam- paigns had wrought on Inuit commu- nities and issued an apology, but Lynx and the International Fund for Animal Welfare never have. There is also little sign that the lesson has been applied to other campaigns; there seems to be lit- tle recognition that people are part of the landscape, along with ecological and economic values. One Vancouver- based consultant to the Joint Solutions process for BC’s central coast suggested that the people of the remote Great Bear Rainforest could turn from forestry to e-based business instead ”” his profound lack of understanding of social and economic realities was not lost on community participants at the meeting.

For the NWT, Nunavut and BC, and all the other resource-based regions of Canada and the world, continued links to their resources are important, whether for economic, social, cultural or spiritual reasons. Sustainability is obviously in their best interests and comprises these facets. The impact of external campaigns must be reexam- ined, as a form of globalization, at best, or imperialism, at worst, that seri- ously undercuts different cultures’ abilities to survive. Sustainability can- not be achieved at the expense of peo- ples and their cultures.

In purporting to promote a greater public good, AUC groups have clear- ly made the connection between liber- al democracy and capitalism. With their ability to revert from the policy process to market cam- paigns, AUCs have both access to the policy network and the ability to circum- vent the domestic policy processes when they are dis- pleased, using the power of the market to achieve their ends. If AUCs can convince consumers of the rightness of their position, they do not need to work through public policy and its unap- pealing compromises.

The anti-trapping and anti-seal- ing campaigns were aimed at govern- ment regulation and prohibitions of trapping, along with some consumer diversion. The anti-logging cam- paigns aimed more at forestry compa- nies and their markets, diverting retail and industrial consumers from buying BC forest products, and thus forcing the BC industry to adopt new behaviours. The campaigns are increasingly expecting to influence public resource use/policy with little government participation. NGO disil- lusionment with government is most pointedly reflected by the Forest Stewardship Council’s reluctance to allow governments even to be mem- bers of the Council. The preference now is clearly for market campaigns rather than multi-stakeholder processes.

Environmental organizations and AUCs reflect the opinions and values of a growing segment of west- ern industrial society, and they have also very effectively created issues with which to generate public sup- port and revenues. By forceful use of advertising, civil disobedience and economic force, they have been able to gain formidable powers over forestry companies and the entire province of BC, as well as Newfoundland, and northern and aboriginal communities in Canada. This has been done by both domestic and foreign pressure groups and it has resulted in a situation in which public resource policy in BC or the North (as examples only) is being driven by the mores and values of people outside the region.

Given their move beyond govern- ments to direct market influ- ence, the evidence about constantly intensified campaign issues, and the evidence about new eco-materialist values, it seems that we may expect continuing campaigns by anti- harvesting interest groups. It may even be too late for governments and resource users to demonstrate that they can achieve sustainable utiliza- tion of resources, greater diversity of uses, and community relevance. Governments’ authority has been called into question, and community resource users have been derided, dis- missed and even excluded from the policy-making process. The values implicit in anti-harvesting cam- paigns, and in the powers they now wield over industry and retailers may not even include continued resource use. If the Forest Stewardship Council chose to do so, it could easi- ly declare all old-growth on the BC coast to be of high conservation value ”” in light of the AUCs’ claims about Clayoquot Sound and the Great Bear Rainforest ”” and there- fore, as Stanbury points out, no coastal logging firm would be able to meet their eco-certification stan- dards. The trappers learned this les- son earlier ”” it was impossible to achieve certification of humane traps because the goal posts were continu- ally moved. BC can only hope the forest eco-certification process will avoid this.

The AUC groups have worked from a foundation of urban and eco- materialist values and in doing so the values and needs of rural and indigenous cultures are being ignored, as are the larger values of democracy and fair-dealing. The tac- tics used in the campaigns reflect other new values as well ”” greater distrust of authority and elites, greater emphasis on individualiza- tion and intangible values. Thus, the practice of international and domes- tic suasion regarding resource use, environmental protection and sus- tainability, though once in the hands of governments, is now firmly in the hands of often narrowly focused inter- est groups using market campaigns against their chosen targets. Unfortunately, this model of decision- making is piecemeal, ignores the wider implications and obligations of responsible multi-stakeholder decision-making and undermines the broader requirements of sustain- able development ”” environment, economy and society.

Anti-use campaigns often raise or reflect valid concerns and consciousness, but their role in public resource decision- making needs to be moderated by a requirement for fair tactics, good sci- ence, and inclusion of all stakeholders in democratic processes. We can see an evo- lution of public policy-making from bilateral arrangements between industry and government, to a triad of government, industry and interest groups, or worse a new bilateral cabal of indus- try and interest groups. Communities and other resource users, especially if their cultures and values dif- fer from those of the urban decision-makers, have not been reliably invited to the table, and certainly are not honestly reflected in the campaigns for sustainability.


This article is adapted from a presentation they made to the confer- ence of the Canadian Association of Geographers. Other excellent books dealing with this issue are: M. Adams, 1998, Sex in the Snow: Canadian Social Values at the End of the Millennium; M.M.R. Freeman, and U.P. Kreuter, 1994, Elephants and Whales: Resources for Whom?; A. Herscovici, 1985, Second Nature: The Animal Rights Controversy; F. Lynge, 1992, Arctic Wars: Animal Rights, Endangered Peoples; G.W. Wenzel, 1991, Animal Rights, Human Rights: Ecology, Economy and Ideology in the Canadian Arctic.

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