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GG 354OC Case Study Assignment (30% of Final Mark)
Each student will choose a northern community (e.g., Old Crow, Yukon) on which to conduct a
case study. As we work through the different lessons in this course, you will be asked to
research and find information related to the lecture topic and your chosen community (e.g.,
geology of the area, vegetation, population structure). The case study assignments will be
marked for completion. Your answers should be 500 words or less. There are 10 case study
assignments. If you complete the requested tasks you will get the associated 3%, if you do not
you will receive a zero. The links from the lecture notes provide great resources for helping you
to complete the case study assignment tasks.
Each case study assignment is due by the end of the week (Sunday at 11:59pm) that they are
associated with to the MyLearningSpace dropbox.
Case Study 1 ? Week 1
Pick a northern community. Provide a map of the community.
Case Study 2 ? Week 2
Investigate the seasonal temperature and precipitation data for the weather station located
closest to the community. Write a short description of the general climate for the region.
Case Study 3 ? Week 3
Investigate the geomorphology of the landscape surrounding the community. Write a short
description of one of the physical parameters (i.e., landforms and glacial features, watersheds
and drainage basins, geology or soils).
Case Study 4 ? Week 4
Describe the principal vegetation cover and typical wildlife of the region.
Case Study 5 ? Week 6
Investigate the settlement and population characteristics of your region. Choose one of the
following:
Prepare a population profile for the community.
Describe the services and main functions of the community.
Describe how the population of the community has changed over time.
Case Study 6 ? Week 7
Describe a socioeconomic issue that your community has had to face because of development
or lack of development in the region.
Case Study 7 ? Week 8
Describe the political structure or organization of your community.
Case Study 8 ? Week 9
Describe the resource base of your community. Has it been developed yet? Are there plans to
develop it?
Case Study 9 ? Week 11
Describe an environmental impact (or potential environmental impact) from development (or
potential development) of the resource base of your community.
Case Study 10 ? Week 12
Based on what you have learned about your community, how do you feel the future outlook for
it is?
Module Three
Historical and Social Change
Lesson 6: Population Patterns
Population Distribution
Geographical Patterns
Now we will shift our focus to the present day population patterns. The text describes
several dichotomies in the population distribution and ethnicity of this region that is a
critical component in understanding much of the socio-economic system of the North. From
the text describe these patterns by comparing the differences between these regions
?
?
?
arctic and subarctic
political regions including the territories (Territorial North) and the northern
areas of the provinces (Provincial North)
Nordicity zones described by Hamelin.
Which of the political regions is experiencing population growth? Which one is experiencing
a decline? Why is this pattern emerging?
Aboriginal Populations
How have the populations of the various aboriginal groups changed with respect to the
overall population? Which groups dominate in which regions?
StatsCan has released maps and data on the distribution of Inuit population (see ‘Data
Tables and Figures’ at this site) across the country. Examine this reference map and
describe the settlement patterns of the Inuit.
Lesson 6: Population Patterns
Demographic Variables
The demographic variables that will determine overall population change are natural
processes including fertility and mortality rates and migration, the balance between those
moving to the region (immigration) and those leaving (emigration). Both of these factors
have played a role in the changing nature of the population in the North.
Natural Increase
Natural increase is determined by comparing the difference between birth and deaths over a
given period of time. The North has the highest rate of natural increase in Canada from
2001 statistics. As Bone notes, the natural rate of increase for Canada was 0.3% while in
the territories this was 1.3% and 1.0% for the entire North. Within the territorial North,
Yukon had the lowest rate (0.7%), the NWT was 1.3% and Nunavut had the highest at
2.0%.
Using the text, explain the reasons for the high rate found in the North – why is it different
from the overall country rate?
Can you explain the regional patterns identified above – why is Nunavut the highest and
Yukon the lowest?
Migration
We observed in the graph of population change that there have been periods of higher
growth in the North which can partially be attributed to the migration of southerners to the
North. During growth periods the immigration to the region will be greater than the loss of
population through emigration or those leaving the north for other regions.
Link to the following website from Statistics Canada scroll down to “Quarterly Population
Estimates in PDF”, select 2019, and select “October 1, 2019 NWT Population
Estimates”. Read through the document and look at Table 2. Consider the pattern of
population change in the Northwest Territories for the period 2010-2019. What is the
importance of migration to the overall population pattern (hint: examine the numbers of
births and deaths and net migration)?
When examining migration phenomenon and processes you can consider factors that will
push you to move to the North and those that will pull you to move there. Similarly, there
are factors that will push and pull you away from this region.
Discussion 3
Bone provides some of the main pull factors in his discussion of
migration which you can use as a starting point. Try to think of it
from your perspective in terms of the push factors – what situation
you are experiencing in Waterloo might encourage you to consider
moving to the North as well from your perception of the North so far
– what factors make the North appealing to you as a place of
employment and settlement?
Push
Pull
We also have observed a decline in population growth which can be attributed to a period of
higher emigration from the region. Repeat the exercise but this time consider yourself from
the perspective of a Waterloo grad who has taken a job in Yellowknife and after a year of
employment you are considering a job opportunity back in Waterloo. What would be the
push and pull factors that are in play that you would consider the move back.
Push
Pull
Demographic Structure
Another area of investigation in population patterns and dynamics is the demographic
structure of the population – for instance how many young people are there, how many
females to males, how many elderly?
One way of representing the distribution of population by age and gender is by using a
population pyramid. This is a graphic representation of the distribution of number of males
and females in different age brackets (e.g. 5 or 10 years). Statistics Canada
has animations on the change in the population pyramids for each province and territory
from the earliest population estimates to 2016. Link to the animations for Yukon, NWT,
Nunavut, and Ontario. Look at the pyramids for each of the Territories and describe the
patterns below for each category. Also how do they compare to Ontario? You can look at the
population pyramids from year to year by using the slider bar at the below the population
pyramid and move it along from year-to-year.
Under age 15
Male to female
ratio
Elderly
Population
Pyramid Growth
Description
Ontario
Yukon
Northwest
Territories
Nunavut
StatsCan identifies fours types of population change in a population
pyramid: expansive, stable growth, stationary and declining:
Population Pyramid A population pyramid is a graphical illustration depicting the distribution
of age groups in a population for a particular region. Four descriptions of population
pyramids are employed by Statistics Canada: expansive growth, stable growth, stationary
growth, and declining growth.
? Expansive Growth A broad base, indicating a high proportion of children, a rapid rate of
population growth, and a low proportion of older people
? Stable Growth
period
A structure with indentations that even out and reflect slow growth over a
? Stationary Growth A narrow base and roughly equal numbers in each age group tapering
off at the older ages
? Declining Growth
A high proportion of aged persons and declining numbers
Examining the population pyramid animations above, how would you describe each of the
three territories in terms of these categories?
Lesson 6: Population Patterns
Urban Population
Bone describes an interesting characteristic of the North as that most of the population can
be considered urban or in general in small settlements. This may not be your perception of
life in the North, but there is not a strong traditional rural population as found in other areas
of the country. The only area of successful farmland is in the Clay Belt of northern Ontario
and even this area has been declining in importance over the past century. In some ways
this parallels the national pattern which has also been experiencing a shift from rural to
urban settlements as small scale farming has declined and marginal farmland has been
abandoned.
In the text a number of characteristics of these communities have been described. As
mentioned the majority of the population lives in urban centres. The larger communities are
located along the southern edge of the subarctic region. Also most of the settlements have
very small populations, with the majority under 5,000. Read through this section of the
textbook and gain a better understanding of these patterns.
Bone identifies three main community types: Regional Service Centres, Resource Towns,
and Native Settlements. Prepare short notes on the characteristics and processes of each
type of settlement.
Regional Service Centres
What is the role of the service centre?
What is meant by a hierarchy of centres? Central place theory
Glance back to the exercise we completed in Lesson One regarding Isolation – how
does this relate to that work?
Resource Towns
What is the role of the resource town?
Briefly describe the cycle of a resource town
You can read more on the dynamics of resource towns and the outside influences in
Chapter 5, pages 105-108.
Native Settlements
What is the role of the native settlement?
Why did the Canadian government encourage the growth of native settlements?
Lesson 6: Population Patterns
Case Study
Investigate the settlement and population characteristics of your region. Choose one of
the following:
?
?
?
prepare a population profile for the community
describe the services and main functions of the community
describe how the population of the community has changed over time

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