Acts of Occupation: Canada and Arctic Sovereignty, 1918-25 by Janice CavellActs of Occupation: Canada and Arctic Sovereignty, 1918-25 by Janice Cavell

Acts of Occupation: Canada and Arctic Sovereignty, 1918-25

byJanice Cavell, Jeff Noakes

Paperback | July 1, 2011

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As climate change threatens to open the Northwest Passage to ice-free travel, Canada’s sovereignty over the Arctic has become more important to the Canadian government, military, and economy – and more contested by other nations. Although Canada’s claim to the Arctic archipelago is now firmly entrenched in the minds of most Canadians, less than a century ago, ownership of the Arctic was much less assured.

Acts of Occupation pieces together the engrossing story of how the self-serving ambition of explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson ultimately led Canada to craft and defend a decisive policy on its claims to the Arctic. Drawing on a wealth of previously untapped archival sources, including the private papers of explorers Shackleton, Rasmussen, and Stefansson, historians Janice Cavell and Jeff Noakes show how unfounded paranoia about Danish designs on the north, fueled by Stefansson’s deliberate dissembling of his own motives and by the fears of civil servant James Harkin, was the catalyst for Canada’s active administrative occupation of the Arctic.

A tale of intrigue worthy of the best popular histories, Acts of Occupation throws new light on an under-studied but transformative period in the history of Canadian Arctic policy and provides much-needed historical context for contemporary debates on northern sovereignty.

Visit www.actsofoccupation.com for updates, photos, and news from the authors.

Janice Cavell works in the Historical Section at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. Jeff Noakes is a historian at the Canadian War Museum.
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Title:Acts of Occupation: Canada and Arctic Sovereignty, 1918-25Format:PaperbackDimensions:308 pages, 8.99 × 5.99 × 0.81 inPublished:July 1, 2011Publisher:Ubc PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0774818689

ISBN - 13:9780774818681

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Reviews

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Policy of Secrecy

1 Taking Hold of the North

2 The Danish Threat

3 An Expedition to Ellesmere Land

4 A Citizen of the British Empire

5 Rasmussen in London

6 Wrangel Island

7 Stefansson in London

8 The Sector Claim

Conclusion: Canada of Itself

Appendix

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

In Acts of Occupation, historians Cavell and Noakes deliver the engrossing story of Canada’s early days of Arctic policy. Drawing on a wealth of previously untapped archival sources, they show how one explorer’s self-serving ambition fueled unfounded paranoia about Denmark’s designs on the north, and ultimately served as the catalyst for Canada’s active administrative occupation of the Arctic. A compelling tale that throws new light on a transformative period in Canadian Arctic policy-making, Acts of Occupation offers much-needed historical context for contemporary debates on northern sovereignty.This book was a delight to read ... The authors have thrown a clear light on a very important period in Canadian foreign policy as it pertained to Arctic sovereignty. The topic is quite timely, in view of the current focus on sovereignty over Arctic waters and the seabed. - William Barr, Professor and Senior Research Associate, Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary