Development Theory and the Canadian North

  • James C. Saku Frostburg State University
Keywords: Development Theories, Dependency, Bottom-up


The Canadian North is home to a large proportion of Aboriginal Canadians. As a peripheral region, the Canadian North faces numerous development problems. Because of the enormity and complexity of these problems, the region has attracted researchers from different disciplines. In the mid-1970s, Orvik (1975) suggested the adoption of a universal theory in guiding research in the region. He argued that adopting a common theory would foster consistency in explaining development problems in the region. Contrary to Orvik’s suggestion, the Canadian North has been studied within the framework of several theories. The factors accounting for the use of a plurality of theories include the changing geopolitical environment of the region. This paper examines a selected number of theories that have been used to explain development issues in the Canadian North. Specifically, the development-underdevelopment, core-periphery, dependency, dualism, and bottomup theories are examined. The potentials and short-comings of these theories in explaining the development of the region are explored.


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