The Northern Review remembers World War I

This is a slightly different edition of The Bookshelf. As with the earlier columns, this one features a book that reflects on Canadian and Yukon history. The difference is that this column is going to direct you to a website.

The cover of issue number 44 of the Northern Review features a photo showing a large crowd greeting Captain George Black, Commissioner of the Yukon, when he returned to Dawson City on June 8, 1916

The Northern Review identifies itself as a “multidisciplinary journal exploring human experience in the Circumpolar North.” It is published by the School of Liberal Arts at the Yukon College.

Volume number 44 is entitled The North and the First World War, and, at 464 pages, is somewhat thicker than most of the other volumes in the series. It contains the complete list of the papers from the The North and the First World War Conference that was held in Whitehorse, and partly in Dawson City, between May 9 and 12 of 2016.

There were 20 presentations in all during the conference, many of them by such Yukon notables as Brent Slobodin, Michael Gates, Sally Robinson, Kathy Jones-Gates and Max Fraser.

The conference was co-chaired by Slobodin and historian Ken Coates.

Visitors included historians from a number of Canadian universities; the Canadian War Museum, Libraries and Archives Canada; and such independent historians as Timothy J. Popp and Mark Zuehlke.

Presentations included:

  • From the Klondike to Berlin
  • The Home Front: The Yukon’s Economy during the First World War
  • Martha Black and the First World War
  • Celebrating the Yukon’s First World War Hero Joe Boyle: Queen Marie, Romania & Film
  • Negotiating Romania’s Destiny During the First World War: An Analysis of Joe Boyle’s Diplomatic Strategies
  • From Dawson City to Regina Trench: How Joe Boyle’s Mounted Yukoners adapted to Fighting the First World War, 1914-1916.

Boyle, as you can see, was a popular subject.

In addition to these titles, there were articles about collecting medals and badges from the period, Robert Service’s war time poetry, what attributes and skills Yukon volunteers brought to the battles, Sam Steele’s WWI experience, and the war as seen from British Columbia, Alaska and New Zealand.

You can, if you wish, buy the collected volume from the Yukon College.

However, you can download the individual articles for free in PDF format, one at a time, from the Northern Review’s webpage. To get there, go to, and click on “About Us” and drop down to “Publications, Plans and Reports,” then select “Northern Review.”

This way you can read the ones that interest you and skip those that don’t.

You’re looking for Number 44 – 2017: The North & The First World War. It was guest edited by Brent Slobodin and Ken Coates.

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