This paper uses the 2014–2015 plunge in oil prices as a linchpin for understanding how petroleum ... Read more
This paper uses the 2014–2015 plunge in oil prices as a linchpin for understanding how petroleum development represents a challenge to Arctic societies. Analysis of media discourses, grey literature and fieldwork material from 2013 to 2017 compared with previous work in the region shows that the 75% price decrease in oil price brings into stark relief the perceived level of ontological security that future petroleum economies in Northern Norway, Alaska and Greenland provides. The findings reveal that while the communities in each location find themselves along different timelines of the petroleum economy, there are transferable insights that can benefit other communities influenced by (the potential for) petroleum development in both the Arctic and beyond, in particular concerning the way in which specific ideas about oil and oils future features as contributing to or diminishes ontological security perceptions on the ground. The goal of this paper is to deepen the comparative analysis of research on tensions in Arctic communities as petroleum is perceived as either strengthening or threatening future ontological security in the region. The discussion considers the consequences of path de- pendent petroleum economies, and how perceptions on alternative futures can fruitfully be introduced into petroleum-dominated narratives about viable Arctic futures.
Over the past three decades, homelessness has become an area of significant social concern in Ala ... Read more
Over the past three decades, homelessness has become an area of significant social concern in Alaska, the Canadian North, and most recently, Greenland. These three geographical contexts show both similarities and contrasts, but no effort has yet been made to review the research literature on homelessness from these three regions or to highlight key themes or gaps in current knowledge. We reviewed the literature in order to 1) understand the current state of knowledge of the dynamics of homelessness in Alaska, the Canadian North (here including Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut), and Greenland and 2) conceptualize a northern geography of homelessness. The research literature identifies common themes across these contexts, which include chronic housing insecurity, overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples among those living homeless, and the significance of gendered experiences of homelessness. It identifies key interconnections between hidden homelessness and visible homelessness as the dynamics of urbanization in northern towns and cities reveal the social consequences of chronic housing insecurity in settlements. Across these northern regions, the high rates of chronic homelessness reflect the prevalence of northern housing insecurity and the lack of both adequate, appropriate support for people experiencing mental health or addiction problems and supportive or public housing options. Strategies that aim to diversify housing stock at various critical points along the housing spectrum are needed in northern regions, an idea that is promoted by Housing First and transitional housing programs in Alaska and the Canadian North.