Funny and Moody: The Best of Aislin's Cartoons
Northwest Territories to Be Divided in Two...
Aislin (alias Terry Mosher)
1987, 20th century
Ink, printed film on paper
26 x 29.8 cm
Gift of Mrs. Marilyn Michel
© McCord Museum
Keywords: Cartoon (19139) , Drawing (18637) , drawing (18379) , politics (general) (2228)
Keys to History
"American university researchers once did a massive analysis of North American cartoons and puzzled over the fact that they couldn't find even one cartoon that was against improving the environment! They might have said the same about cartoons of Aboriginal persons, who are almost always portrayed by political cartoonists as dignified and stoic.
I am very fond of this simple drawing suggesting the vastness - and timelessness - of Canada's northern regions."
Terry Mosher (alias Aislin)
This cartoon is about Nunavut, created in 1999 out of the eastern section of the Northwest Territories. This was the first time since 1949, and the entry of Newfoundland into Confederation, that a provincial or territorial border in Canada had been changed. But, as the cartoonist here points out by invoking such a vast territory and so few inhabitants, the North doesn't really register in the preoccupations of people living in the South.
Nunavut is bordered on the west by the Northwest Territories, on the south by Manitoba and on the north and east by Baffin Bay. This region, marked by its Arctic climate, is sparsely populated. In 1999, the Yukon and Nunavut each counted about 30,000 inhabitants and the Northwest Territories counted about 40,000.
It was on April 1, 1999, that the map of Canada was officially changed to include Nunavut, which covers some 1.9 million square km.
The Aboriginal peoples of Canada, often forgotten and neglected in the past, began flexing their political muscle in the late 20th century. The settling of land claims and self-government were at the top of their list of demands from the different levels of government, an indication, perhaps, of tensions that have long existed between the white majority and the Aboriginal nations.