Layered Landscapes: Deconstructing and reconstructing the Narrative of Victimization for the Arctic of the Anthropocene
Victoria Herman | BIG Research Reports | #36
In September 2014, Prime Minister Harper, seated in front of an imposing map of A Strong Canada, proudly announced the discovery of Her Majesty’s Ship (HMS) Erebus, an ill-fated vessel of the 1848 Franklin Expedition. “This is truly a historic moment for Canada,” he pronounced as he congratulated the national expedition’s success. “Franklin’s ships are an important part of Canadian history given that his expeditions, which took place nearly 200 years ago, laid the foundations of Canada’s Arctic sovereignty.” With those words, the Prime Minister connected Canada’s contemporary national identity to that of a centuries old imperialist history of British exploration and presence in the North. In an era of melting sea ice and contentious questions of ‘who owns the Arctic,’ the importance of establishing such a deep-seated identity was not lost on domestic audiences or the international community.