Episode 12: Industrialization in Subarctic Environments
Between 1920 and 1960, Canada’s northwest subarctic region experienced late-stage rapid industrialization along its large lakes. These included Lake Winnipeg, Lake Athabasca, Great Slave Lake, and Great Bear Lake. Powered by high-energy fossil fuels, the natural resources of the northwest were integrated into international commodity markets and distributed throughout the world. Whitefish from the large lakes found their way onto dinner plates in New York while uranium from Canada’s northwest fueled the world’s most destructive weapons, atomic bombs.
Professor Liza Piper joins us this month to discuss her new book The Industrial Transformation of Subarctic Canada from UBC Press. This book explores a region unfamiliar to most Canadians and how that space was transformed through industrial processes in the twentieth century. Rather than finding industrial technologies dominating the landscape of the northwest, Professor Piper found that humans used those technologies to assimilate nature.
Sean Kheraj, Canadian History & Environment
Piper, Liza. “The Industrial Transformation of Subarctic Canada.“ Vancouver: UBC Press, 2009.
“R&R&R” by Pitx
“Hapbirmai” by Pitx
A miner hauling a car of silver radium ore, 340 feet below the surface, Eldorado Mine of Great Bear Lake. Credit: Eldorado Mining & Refining Ltd. / Library and Archives Canada / C-023983
Kheraj, Sean. “Episode 12: Industrialization in Subarctic Environments.” Nature’s Past: Canadian Environmental History Podcast. 19 January 2010.
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