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Reviews -- Out in the Cold: The Legacy of Canada's Inuit Relocation Experiment in the High Arctic by Alan R. Marcus

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Out in the Cold is a comprehensive, controversial, yet concise study of the 1950s relocation of Inuit families from northern Quebec and North Baffin to Ellesmere and Cornwallis islands. The failure of the federal government to acknowledge any wrongdoing or to consider Inuit demands for an apology and compensation has led to increasing tension and alienation, a situation exacerbated by a recent government study and entrenchment of its position in November 1992. Appearing in Canada only weeks earlier, Out in the Cold provides a convincing counter - argument that unequivocally opposes the government stand. While admittedly there are a few shortcomings in this study, it nevertheless represents an important addition to the growing collection of independent scholarly literature on the subject.

At the time of writing, Alan R. Marcus was a doctoral candidate at the Scott Polar Institute at Cambridge University in England. His first publication on this subject appeared in the Polar Record (October 1991). A greatly expanded and updated work is scheduled for publication. The perceptive analysis and objectivity expressed by this American national studying in England gives rise to a reluctant admission that perhaps Canadian scholars may be far too hesitant to criticize the 'gospel according to Ottawa' on this particular issue, lest they somehow become responsible for tarnishing the national pride Canadians attach to their northern identity.

Ambitious by virtue of its broad scope and interdisciplinary methodology, Marcus's study combines research of diverse government records, published and archival, with interviews of Inuit survivors and correspondence with several RCMP constables and northern officials who were directly involved in the projects. Illustrated with numerous photographs and the text fully substantiated with scholarly references, the volume also includes statistical graphs and tables, a chronology, appendices, and an essential map. All serve to illuminate a complex and confusing debate. More...