GeoNames ID: 
5 883 102

Bitumen Exploration and the Southern Re-Inscription of Northeastern Alberta: 1875–1967

Longley traces how geographic and cartographic knowledge of the Athabasca region, Alberta, Canada, colonized the region in the southern imagination long before the oil sands industry began extraction there. The practices of exploration, surveying, and documentation mapped the Athabasca region in terms of its rich bitumen deposits, obscuring the histories of Indigenous people. The south gained political and economic control of the region, although this process is incomplete and contested.

Coal in the Age of the Oil Sands

Piper argues that coal has played an important role in Alberta’s history, although it receives less attention than the oil sands. Coal has been essential to Alberta’s economy and the industry has benefited from government support, although from the 1970s this came into conflict with growing grassroots environmentalism. Whether the coal industry can withstand recent political and economic changes, however, remains to be seen.