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


From the Author's Introduction, Page xx:

"The narrative that emerges by combining the information from various sources may not be what some expect or want to hear. Some CCF goals for the north, including socialism and modernization, found and still find many sincere and devoted supporters. Many also would agree with Joe Phelps in his desire to end the reign of parish priests, bootleggers, and fur sharks in the north.14 Large numbers of Canadians have placed the CCF and its leaders on a pedestal, thinking them above the failings that afflict ordinary mankind. Many look on the CCF and its successor, the NDP, as the originators of many of the best aspects of Canadian society. They accept that Tommy Douglas and his party helped save Canadians from the excesses of capitalism by developing and implementing a kinder, more humane society. The CCF record in southern Saskatchewan serves as one basis for this belief. Yet little is known about the actions of the CCF in the northern half of the province, where the party had much more freedom and power to demonstrate its nature. Examining the CCF record in the north can shed light on the nature of CCF socialism in the larger context of Saskatchewan and Canada.

The reader should not interpret this work as an attempt to blame the CCF and its program of modernization, assimilation, socialism, and colonialism for all the ills that came to plague the north. Other governments across Canada, including those that did not adopt socialist policies or other aggressive programs of directed change, experienced similar failures in their northern regions. This book does not seek to release Aboriginal society or those who promoted nonsocialist solutions from accepting some responsibility for life as it was lived in northern Saskatchewan. As this book demonstrates, Aboriginals possessed free will and some power, even when confronted by a powerful state. Also, the pre-existing Euro-Canadian capitalist and church institutions, which sometimes made victims of Aboriginals, certainly did not vanish completely with the election of the CCF. Although greatly weakened, the old forces continued to affect events during the CCF era." (xx).

Impacts to Northern Life

A copy of Quiring's Dissertation, which his book is based from, is attached. 


Publication Information

Quiring, David M. CCF Colonialism in Northern Saskatchewan. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2004.

Quiring, David M
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