Tag Archives: Madeleine Redfern

Can Canada assert its sovereignty over the Arctic

Especially when we can’t even get a handle on some of the worst social issues in the country?

Iqaluit Mayor Madeleine Redfern has two Twitter accounts on which she chronicles the ups and downs of the Nunavut capital.

On the plus side of her online ledger is the recent catch of a 70-tonne bowhead whale by local hunters and the first visit north by Governor-General David Johnston.

On the other side are the territory’s lamentable schooling levels and a stream of suicides, including a young man who took his life just days after his girlfriend killed herself.

It goes on to say

Tangible improvements are difficult to highlight, but there is more training available for northerners to take advantage of employment in newly opened mining projects. Two dozen young aboriginals also signed up for a summer boot camp this year to give them a taste of the soldiering life.

But education remains the biggest roadblock to northern prosperity — and also to Canadian sovereignty over the Arctic, Inuit leaders insist.

“If we have strong, educated, engaged northerners who are part of managing the north — which includes the resources and asserting sovereignty through living in strong, vibrant communities — then we all benefit,” Mayor Redfern noted in a Twitter posting.

“It’s very difficult for any other countries to be able to assert those claims when we are active participants in those discussions.”