CCF Colonialism in Northern Saskatchewan: Battling Parish Priests, Bootleggers, and Fur Sharks

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David M. Quiring, CCF Colonialism in Northern Saskatchewan: Battling Parish Priests, Bootleggers, and Fur Sharks (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2004), xx + 356pp. Cloth. $85.00. ISBN 0-7748-0938-8. Paper. $29.95. ISBN 0-7748-0939-6.

As indicated by the title, this book discusses the impacts of the policies, programmes and achievements of the CCF (Cooperative Commonwealth Federation) government of Saskatchewan on the northern half of the province during 1944-64. The author is a member of the faculty of the Department of History, University of Saskatchewan, and has therefore benefited not only by his nearness to the North, but also by ready access to the Saskatchewan Archives Board in Saskatoon, and the papers of two former academic institutions of the University of Saskatchewan, namely the Center for Community Studies and the Institute for Northern Studies. This debt is acknowledged, as is that to northern specialists such as Bob Bone, Ken Coates, Walter Kupsch, Jim Miller and many others, who have been at the university in recent years.

David Quiring has done his sources proud with a splendid and overdue study of CCF's northern policies. This was an era when the provincial Norths, like the territorial North, were on the verge of great changes in economic linkages with the South, and in the perceived and actual status of their Aboriginal populations. What becomes clear is that the term 'colonialism' in the title is no misnomer. Part of the CCF's interest in the North came from a belief that northern forests, waters and mines would provide revenues for funding its ambitious health and social programmes throughout the rest of the province. …