The Arctic Territories of Canada have a much different political history. We'll start with the Yukon territory. The Yukon includes areas of Beringia, which means large parts of the Yukon we're not iced over during the last ice age, making it a refuge for many unique peoples. According to oral tradition, the Yukon First Nations have lived there since crow, a mythological creature, made the world and set it in order. Archaeologists calculate that the first humans settled in the Yukon more than 10,000 years ago, crossing from Asia over the Bering land bridge. Today, the First Nations peoples belonged to either the Athabaskan or Tlingit language families. The main nations are: Gwich'in, Han, Tutchone, Kaska, Tlingit, and upper Tanana. These various nations all engage in unique cultural, economic practices that continue today. For example, the Tlingit potlatch is a ceremony where the people celebrate together and demonstrate their generosity by giving food and possessions away to each other. The economy of the Yukon was based on extensive trading networks between the Tlingit, who lived on the coast and the First Nations living farther inland. Coastal peoples would trade Ulla Qin oil and other marine goods for native copper and first from the interior. During the 19th century, trade with Europeans changed the economies and societies of Yukon's First Nations. Just as on other regions, infectious diseases devastated the population, disrupting all aspects of life. Then, in the early 20th century, the Gold Rush led to a significant influx of explorers from across Canada, the United States, and as far away as Europe. Since the late 19th century, mining has continued to be the Yukon's most important extractive industry. The main focus has been on silver, lead, zinc, copper, coal, and iron. Oil and natural gas exploration began in the 1950s, and significant gas reserves were discovered in the '60s. Extensive petroleum exploration has continued since then. All this mining activity is very sensitive to fluctuations in global markets, which has meant that the Yukon is experienced an unstable boom and bust pattern of business development and employment. This precarious cycle has also left abandoned mine sites in its wake, such as the Pharaoh mine. Disasters like this presents serious questions about the sustainability of the mining industry in the Yukon. It wasn't until 1988 that the Yukon Umbrella agreement was settled, which lead to government recognition of the Yukon First Nations and introduced the processes by which those nations would gain greater control over their lands and resources. It also created opportunities for economic development and education resources for local communities. However, ensuring that land and resource development is sustainable has proven challenging, and tensions between the territorial government and the First Nations continue to simmer. The most recent example was the Yukon government's decision to increase mining and the porcupine range appeal River watershed, which are sacred to local communities and critical to their society and economy. What is now known as the Northwest Territories is the traditional homeland of many First Nations and Métis peoples. For countless generations these communities have maintained intricate subsistence economies and trading relationships which often revolve around the Caribou herds. The Mackenzie River, a major wide array that runs through the territory has always provided important subsistence resources, mostly fish, and also served as the main thoroughfare for hunters and traders for many communities. Like theory of Alaska, the Inuvialuit People of the Northwest Territories were trading marine resources with the Europeans as early as the 17th century. Samuel Hearne was the first European to reach the shore of the North American coast of the Arctic Ocean overland when he followed the copper mine River to its end and 1771. Then 18 years later and further west, Alexander Mackenzie reached the Arctic Ocean by way of the Mackenzie River. Trading with the Hudson's Bay Company and Northwest Company gave the First Nations of the Northwest Territories access to European resources. Trade continued, but always a missed complex between the European companies and the First Nations. It wasn't until 1899 that the Canadian state recognized the rights of the First Nations in the Great Slave Lake and Mackenzie regions through treaties 811. However, in spite of these treaties, resource development in the decades that followed yielded few benefits for First Nations peoples. The discovery of gold in Yellowknife made it the capital, the Northwest Territories, bringing greater prosperity to the region. After this, other projects came along, like the alaskan highway, which began in 1942 and was belt with the help of thousands of military personnel and local people. None of the third and newest Canadian territory stretches across a vast area of northern Canada and is home to many Inuit people. Although it is one of the most sparsely populated regions of the Circumpolar North is a complex and important geopolitical region. The territory was created in 1999 after the negotiation of a large Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement. Calloway, the administrative, commercial, and cultural center of Nunavut is the largest town. Some other towns are Rankin Inlet on the northwest coast of Hudson's Bay. Pangnirtung on the Cumberland Peninsula of Baffin Island in Cambridge Bay on the southeast coast of Victoria Island. Alert, a weather station and military outpost on the north coast of Ellesmere Island is the northernmost community in North America. None of its place in the global economy is based on its mineral resources, which include iron, precious metals and diamonds, as well as oil and natural gas. Historically, a lack of access to these resources have been a barrier to development, but that is changing. Now that the ice caps are melting, the Northwest Passage has opened up to barge in icebreaker traffic. This coupled with new proposals for all-weather roads has created new opportunities for mining companies. In Nunavut just like in many other Arctic territories, communities have gained few benefits from resource development. The settlement of their land claims which granted mineral rights in some key areas has improved the situation. However, Nunavut still struggles to provide adequate education, housing, health care, and other services to its citizens. Additionally, the high cost of imported food means Nunavut experiences significant food insecurity, which is compounded by threats to subsistence resources. Nunavik means great land in Inuktitut and is the territory of the Inuit of Northern Quebec, comprising one-third of the province. In the past, the federal government has treated the people Nunavik with brutality. During the Cold War in the 1950s, the government of Canada forced eight Inuit families to present-day Grise Fiord and resolute in an attempt to assert sovereignty in the high arctic by increasing the population. The families were promised homes and game to hunt, but when they arrived, there were no buildings at all and very little familiar wildlife. The government told the families that they would be able to return to Nunavik after a year, but this never happened and the families were forced to stay. Amazingly, they learned the local Beluga Whale migration routes and survived by hunting across an 18,000 square kilometer range of land. Nunavik, along with the Quebec side of James Bay, is part of the administrative region called Nord-du-Québec. The James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement of 1978 led to greater political autonomy for most of the Nunavik region with the founding of the Kativik Regional Government. Almost all of the 12,000 people who live there, 90 percent of whom are Inuit, inhabit 14 northern villages on the coast of Nunavik and the Cree reserved land of Whapmagoostui. Mining has long been prevalent across Nunavik. The Raglan Mine for example, is one of the oldest in Northern Canada and played a key role in the impact and benefit agreement. Nunatsiavut is the homeland of the Inuit of Newfoundland and Labrador. In the 1760s, Moravian Missionaries were the first Europeans to settle north of the Hamilton Inlet. As was often the case, the missionaries brought massive and disruptive change to the community. Although there were some benefits during the period, including the documentation of indigenous languages in histories. The assimilative efforts of missionaries, including the creation and implementation of residential school systems, was devastating to Northern peoples. Once again, European diseases wiped out much of the population. Over time, the Inuit who survived grew more connected to the emerging trade economy of Newfoundland and Labrador. The deterioration of trade in the 1920s brought further social and economic upheaval. First, the Hudson's Bay Company and the commission of government took control of the Moravian stores but found little success. Then, when Newfoundland and Labrador entered the Canadian confederation, the provincial government suspended services to northern communities of Hebron, Okak and Nutak. The residents of these communities were abruptly resettled throughout the region, now known as Nunatsiavut. The trauma of that move, still resonates today. In 2005, the Labrador Inuit Association was dissolved and replaced with the Territory of Nunatsiavut, which is now responsible for healthcare, education, and cultural affairs. Although mineral resources and hydroelectric power are the major economic drivers in the region, subsistence hunting, fishing, and trapping still underpin the economy of most communities. Once again, let's take an imaginary hike across the Bering Strait to the Russian Arctic. Until the 16th century, the indigenous people of Northern Russia, a diverse group of communities with complex economies based mostly on hunting, gathering, and herding, we're relatively isolated. Although the Tsar ruled the region, the peoples of the North mostly maintained their own lives through the traditional institutions of their communities. While most Indigenous nations were nomadic, they organized themselves into autonomous clans or territorial communities. These local communities had strong social and political systems that provided their people with equitable access to resources, conflict management, social assistance, health care, and education. For example, the communities used highly developed systems of traditional knowledge and rules to regulate access to lands and resources and to manage the sustainability of these resources. Leaders ensured that people knew where, when, and with whom to herd their animals, such as Reindeer, to avoid conflicts between different family groups or villages. The social organization was rooted in common law. Under this arrangement, the Tsarist policy regarding the indigenous peoples relied on indirect control through the community's own traditional institutions. When Vikings sailed into the White Sea hundreds of years ago, they called the area Bjarmaland. After that, the construction of the port in Arkhangelsk in 1584 initiated Russian trade with English, Scottish, and Dutch merchants. Later, Peter the great's northern explorations during the enlightenment period of 1733-1749, led to important scientific discoveries. At the same time, his forays into Siberia captured the imagination of the Russian people. Suddenly Russia's North was an exciting frontier of potential development. When Northern Russia began trading with Central Russia and later with Europe and China, the fur trade was the major focus of commerce. While the fur trade brought Northern Russia into closer contact with the South, large-scale settlement of Siberia only began with the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railroad between 1892 and 1905. Another important infrastructure project, was the Trans-Siberian telegraph, built and operated by the Great Northern telegraph company of Denmark, which linked to European Russia, to the Russian Far East, as well as China and Japan. The railroad was a part of a larger initiative to reduce the rural population in European Russia by encouraging people to move to Siberia. The building of the railroad in turn spurred the coal mining industry. However, before the Russian Revolution in 1917, Siberia still accounted for a tiny fraction of Russia's wealth. Then with the arrival of the Russian Revolution, everything changed. During the communist era, all previous exploration and exploitation of Siberia achieved to that point was overshadowed by the new Soviet juggernaut. In 1925, the government created incentives, such as pensions to encourage people to settle in Siberia. Many people were also forced to have settle in Siberia. Gulag prison labor was used to build a huge network of mines, roads, and work camps that supplied the rest of the Soviet bloc. A large number of prisoners endured grievous human rights violations to complete the work. However, the Soviets were eager to find a gold rush to rival the Alaskan Klondike, and also wanted to claim the North Pole as Soviet territory. To those ends, they made massive investments in Siberia throughout the 1960s and '70s at the height of the Cold War. When the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s, Russians experienced a sharp spike and poverty, and economic inequality. Between 1990 and 1998, the World Bank estimated that, Russia's poverty rate increased from 1.5 percent to 40 percent. Not surprisingly, more poverty meant worse public health. The level of social inequality also rose sharply during the 1990s, making Russia's income disparity as large as Brazil's. At the same time, economic disparity between regions also got worse. For people in the North, the nose diving economy in the rest of Russia, meant to breakdown of trade and scarcity of consumer goods. During this time, subsistence activities became even more important for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Siberians alike. Today, the Russian North is divided into eight zones: Kola, Arkhangelsk, Nenets, Vorkuta, Yamal-Nenets, Tameer Torukan, North Yakotia, and Chukotka. While the Russian federal system administers these territories, the organizations that are active today have routes in the Soviet system. Many of these Northern regions have long enjoyed significant legal and practical autonomy, especially the larger more remote regions. Yet it wasn't until the post-Soviet period, that these regions gained some political and economic autonomy. However, that autonomy has not been secure and has ebbed and flowed over time. Compared to other areas of the Circumpolar North, the Russian Arctic is still largely controlled by the central government, which affords limited rights and self-determination to the Northern Indigenous peoples. Russia is a natural resource-based economy. Within that economy, the Russian Arctic plays a disproportionately large role. Thanks to the revenue, the energy, and mineral sectors generate. Russia's Arctic territory, population, and economy are all massive. The Kremlin is still justice came to develop the vast natural resources of these Northern Territories as it ever was. Arctic shipping has always been uniquely important for Russia. In the days of the USSR, the Northern Sea Route was an important shipping and communication artery. Today, Russia operates the largest and most powerful icebreaker fleet with four operational nuclear icebreakers, and numerous conventional icebreakers. Three more nuclear icebreakers are under construction. Now, because of climate change, Russia wants to develop the Northern Sea Route as an international waterway. It is the doorway to Russia's enormous Arctic oil, gas, and mineral reserves. Because of the size, mineral wealth and strategic importance of the Russian Arctic. Russia continues to dominate many aspects of Arctic development. Russia possesses large reserves of gold, nickel, tin, and diamonds, and there are massive oil and gas fields in the Yamalo, Nenets, and Kanti Murmansk autonomous accrues regions. The Yamal liquid natural gas project is an enormous $27 billion enterprise shared between the Russian gas company Novatek, the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation, the French company Total, and the Silk Road Fund. In addition to this partnership, Novatek is also greatly reliant on Chinese bank loans of $12 billion US. Since Russia's annexation of the Crimea and the resulting Civil War in Eastern Ukraine, triggered Western financial sanctions. Novatek is now continuing with another liquefied natural gas project called LNG 2, also mainly with Chinese partners. The 15 ice class tankers needed to bring liquefied natural gas from Yamal to Europe and East Asia, are being built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering in South Korea for Russian, Chinese, and Japanese shipping companies. Each tanker costs around $260 million US. China is rapidly becoming the key foreign partner for developing the shipping infrastructure along the Northern Sea Route. At the same time, the governor of Arkhangelsk has recently stated that, China is their partner for developing more shipping infrastructure there. South Korea is also building a new port in Murmansk. All these developments show how the power transition that has come with the economic, political, and scientific rise of East Asian nations is shaping the Arctic today, just as it shapes other regions around the world.