Gerlis Fugmann: Wirtschaftliche Entwicklungsperspektiven von Nationen der Vierten Welt. Eine Untersuchung am Beispiel der indigenen Bevölkerung Nunavuts. Berlin 2008 (Beiträge zu interdisziplinären Studien in Ländern des Südens 3). 126. S.

This treatise, based on the author's master's thesis in geography, focuses on the perspectives of modern socio-economic developments for Fourth World Nations and especially for the aboriginal population, the Inuit, in the Territory of Nunavut in arctic Canada. Since the early 1970s the term 'Fourth World' has been used by  Canadian aboriginals to describe the particular situation of indigenous peoples - First Nations - encapsulated in modern industrialized nation-states that emerged from former colonies.

After introducing and discussing the issues around aboriginal lands rights and the completed and still continuing negotiations between the Canadian State and aboriginal nations, Fugmann concentrates on the emergence of Nunavut after lengthy negotiations between the Federal Government and the Inuit that resulted in legal settlements that dealt with Inuit claims to land and compensation and in the creation of a new public entity, the Territory of Nunavut in 1999 in which the Inuit represent the majority of the 30,000 inhabitants (2008) within area of two million square kilometres - a precarious construct considering cultural, socio-economic and political perspectives. The author presents briefly the geographical, demographic and political framework for modern Nunavut and then delves in detail into the economic conditions and the future prospects for the territorial population. Here the terms 'mixed economy' and 'wage-based economy' are introduced to show the dependence, on the one side, on existing renewable resources (e.g. caribou, sea mammals, and fish) and, on the other side, on the ever-increasing wage-economy based heavily on the public service sector, exploitation of non-renewable resources and, finally, tourism with global dimensions. The author discusses diligently some of these sectors in their resource base, infrastructure and future possibilities, connecting them, in the end, with the current scientific and political discussions around global change and environmental impact which have become of paramount importance in arctic regions. Fugmann's analysis is solidly researched and based on extensive literature and other sources. She has understood to frame her discussions by highlighting the precariousness of modern development for a minute population in a large geographical area within a political system - Canada - whose sovereignty and national prospect is still evolving next to the claims and expectations of aboriginal nations within the same framework. The author's work is a welcome addition to the understanding of such processes.
Autor: Ludger Müller-Wille

Quelle: Erdkunde, 63. Jahrgang, 2009, Heft 1, S. 81

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