The area at top of the world has attracted much attention in recent times. This area is known as the Arctic. It consists of parts of Canada, Russia, the United States (Alaska), Denmark (Greenland), Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. Governments of all of these countries have been extremely interested in laying claims to different parts of this vast polar desert for various reasons including oil, gas, minerals, fresh water and fish. Every Arctic nation is concerned about sovereignty/defense, resource development, shipping routes, and environmental protection. As a result, large amounts of money are directed towards the exploration and development of this treeless region every year.
The Canadian Arctic is divided into two regions called the near north and the far north. The near north is often called the subarctic and contains vast evergreen forests and freshwater lakes. The far north is barren with no opportunity for the people of the land to engage in farming. In history, the fur trade and fishing were the major industries when the Arctic was controlled by the Hudson’s Bay company from 1670 to 1869. The government of Canada then purchased its claim and the area became a part of Canada. One area of particular interest is the land that lies to the east called Nunavut.
It is the newest territory of Canada and became so when it separated from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999. It has a polar climate because of its high latitude. This means that the living conditions are harsh with very few resources. Local shops which provide the daily necessities of life must be flown in from other places, which can be very expensive. Imported produce such as meat can cost a family a considerable amount of money each year.
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