International Handbook of Research on Indigenous Entrepreneurship
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International Handbook of Research on Indigenous Entrepreneurship

Edited by Léo-Paul Dana and Robert B. Anderson

The comprehensive and thoroughly accessible International Handbook of Research on Indigenous Entrepreneurship aims to develop a multidisciplinary theory explaining entrepreneurship as a function of cultural perceptions of opportunity. The Handbook presents a multitude of fascinating, superbly illustrated studies on the facets of entrepreneurship amongst indigenous peoples.
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Chapter 29: A Theory-based Empirical Study of Entrepreneurship in Iqaluit, Nunavut (Formerly Frobisher Bay, Northwest Territories)

Léo-Paul Dana, Teresa E. Dana and Robert B. Anderson


Léo-Paul Dana, Teresa E. Dana and Robert B. Anderson Introduction This chapter will present the findings of an exploratory study suggesting that service firms in Iqaluit are often launched by former employees of larger firms who become entrepreneurs; these entrepreneurs are usually mainstream English–Canadians or French– Canadians, and growth is often important for them. In contrast, indigenous Inuit1 often identify more with the land and with sharing its resources, than with Western-style mainstream entrepreneurship; their activities are often forms of informal and subsistence selfemployment, such as fishing (see Figure 29.1), and hunting caribou, polar bears and seals for food and for pelts (see Figure 29.2). Entrepreneurship among the Inuit is different in form and substance from the commonly accepted model, and one size does not fit all. The context of our research In the words of McCall, ‘There are many more nations in the world than there are states for them’ (1980, pp. 538–9). Among these are the Inuit of northern Canada, whose homeland is Nunavut, Canada’s third territory, created as the result of the largest land-claims agreement in Canadian history. Named after Sir Martin Frobisher, and known until 1 January 1987 as Frobisher Bay, Iqaluit is the main town on Baffin Island, and the capital city of Nunavut. The name ‘Iqaluit’ means ‘place of fish’, in Inuktitut, the language used by Inuit people of the region – descendants of the Thule. The Inuktitut language is widely used in the region (see Figure 29.3). The purpose...

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