Wage Labor, Housing Policy, and the Nucleation of Inuit Households

Pamela Stern


Public policy practices in the Canadian North, particularly those connected to housing and employment, are encouraging a reorganization of Inuit social organization to more closely resemble the insular and independent nuclear family household idealized by Eurocanadians. This has wide-ranging implications for the social stability of northern communities without sufficient employment opportunities. The paper examines the symbolic and structural effects of housing policies and employment on culturally valued social practices such as sharing in Holman, a community in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories of Canada.

  • Pamela Stern, Department of Anthropology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1

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