Aurora College students in Fort Smith were given a challenge by one of Canada’s foremost Canadian circumpolar historians: Set the country straight on Northern sovereignty.
Whitney Lackenbauer, a history professor at the University of Waterloo, was in the NWT last week to launch his latest book, The Canadian Rangers: A Living History in Yellowknife. The author’s visit included a stop in Fort Smith where he held several lectures for students at Aurora College’s Thebacha campus.
During Lackenbauer’s lecture on Northern Canadian sovereignty on Wednesday, which chronicled Canada’s historical interest in the North, he urged students to be the force that breaks the cycle of government interest waxing and waning in the North.
“I hope all of you will be in the forefront of making sure we don’t allow southern Canadians to get caught up in that sovereignty crisis mindset that, when the crisis doesn’t come true, people just forget about the North,” he told the class.
Canadian understanding of sovereignty needs to move away from the vision of an Arctic military threat that has coloured the media in the last several years to rest on the people who occupy the land, Lackenbauer said.