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Keywords:

  • Arctic;
  • indigenous;
  • diamond mining;
  • colonialism;
  • Northern Canada;
  • accumulation by dispossession

Abstract:  The Canadian diamond industry has been lauded as a new approach to resource extraction, one whose institutions are characterized by a greater attention to Indigenous rights and the environment. However, an institutional analysis obfuscates the terrain of unequal relations that is the context for the Canadian diamond boom; an analysis of the effectiveness of social and environmental policies in relation to the extraction of diamonds in the Canadian North suggests that there is an intent on the part of those instigating this extraction (that is, the Canadian state, Canadian capitalist interests and international capitalist interests) to protect the Northern environment and to provide economic benefits to Northern Indigenous communities. This piece argues, instead, that this assumption is erroneous and that the Northern mining industry is part of Canada's project of internal colonization of Indigenous communities, a project that has intensified and expanded in the neoliberal era.