UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Meet the Arctic : the authentic, domestic and federal north, 1955-1959 Candela, Andrew


The events of World War Two, changes in Northern economies, and popular Canadian opinion compelled the Canadian government to administer the Arctic more intensively in the immediate postwar period. To call attention to its new northern initiatives and to underscore its commitment to the region, the creative civil servants in the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources produced an Arctic display, employing Inuit youth to perform ‘authentic’ Indigeneity in a way that incorporated the region and its peoples into Canada. “Meet the Arctic” legitimized the federal presence in the north through fair exhibition and display, using environments dedicated to domesticity and the familiarization of female labour. Its ambivalent messaging also provided opportunities for audience members and the Inuit who worked at it to resist and reshape its message, coherence, and authority.

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