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humanities 287 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 a time of crisis really was the defining moment for the navy that Armstrong claims. His analysis pays too little attention to the larger picture coming from works such as Marc Milner=s Canada=s Navy, the First Century. There we learn that Canada=s >tin-pot= fleet, created in 1910 and then isolated a year later when the anti-navy Conservatives came to power, remained marginalized through most of the war. Only in 1918, when the Royal Navy reneged on its promise to defend Canadian waters against German submarines, did the Borden government become convinced of the need for a >made-in Canada= navy. At that point and despite negative reverberations emerging from the Halifax disaster, the RCN began to overcome its orphan status. But then came peace, an isolationist government under Mackenzie King, chronic hostility from French Canada over the persistently unilingual state of the service, plus economic hard times during the 1930s. The net effect was neglect of a military role at sea for Canada until another war loomed in Europe. Amid this litany of adversity, while bitter memories of the Halifax disaster of 1917 persisted in the minds of individuals (including the author=s battle-scarred grandfather), they likely had little impact on the larger pattern of events. Overall then, while this book is not entirely convincing, it=s a good read, with haunting photographs, and adds important detail to our knowledge of early twentieth-century Canadian history. (DAVID A. SUTHERLAND) Shelagh D. Grant. Arctic Justice: On Trial for Murder, Pond Inlet, 1923 McGill-Queen=s University Press. xx, 342. $39.95 The title of Shelagh Grant=s book is deeply ironic. Though the book is a penetrating account of Canada=s first efforts to bring its form of justice to the Arctic, it tells the story of a tragic injustice. The murder trial which forms the centre-piece of this book took place at Pond Inlet on Baffin Island in 1923. From 1880, when Great Britain transferred the Arctic Islands to Canada, until the 1920s, Canada had done very little to >show the flag= or take any responsibility for governing the area. As Grant points out, all through this period the Inuit were technically, from the perspective of Canadian law, full-fledged Canadian citizens, but with none of the privileges of Canadian citizens such as health or educational services or the opportunity to vote. An informal >frontier justice= had developed, >allowing for an easy coexistence between Inuit and the whalers,= but the Canadian state had not established any formal system of law and order. In the summer of 1923, the King government decided to send a judge, a prosecuting lawyer, a defence counsel, and an RCMP inspector in charge of nine officers and constables on the CGS Arctic to conduct the trial of Aatitaaq, Naqallaq and Ululijarnaat for the murder of Robert Janes. This 288 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 decision was prompted by much more than an interest in the administration of justice. In effect this was a >show trial= with two political objectives. First, the trial would show the world, especially the Americans, the Danes, and the Norwegians, whose nationals were showing an increasing interest in the Arctic Islands= resources, that Canada really was in charge up there. Though, typical of Mackenzie King=s caution and cunning, until it was all over the trial was a very hush-hush affair, an experienced cinematographer from the Fox Century studio went along to produce the kind of show Canada could give the world. The trial was also intended to show the Inuit the firmness and fairness of Canadian justice at a time when there was increasing violence along an advancing frontier of settlement and development in the Canadian North. In the Inuit system of justice, the killing of Robert Janes was not a >murder= but a communal execution. In March 1920, Janes, a Newfoundland fur-trader who had run out of trade goods and had become increasingly desperate, threatened to kill the Inuit he was living with near Cape Crauford at the...


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