With mining came jobs and investment-but also road-building, pipelines and toxic waste, which scarred the landscape; and alcohol, drugs, and debt, which deformed a way of life. In Paying the Land, Joe Sacco travels the frozen North to reveal a people in conflict over the costs and benefits of development.
Resource extraction is only part of Canada’s colonial legacy: Sacco recounts the shattering impact of a residential school system that aimed to remove the Indian from the child; the destructive process that drove the Dene from the bush into settlements and turned them into wage labourers; the government land claims stacked against the Dene Nation; and their uphill efforts to revive a wounded culture. Against a vast and gorgeous landscape that dwarfs all human scale, Paying the Land lends an ear to trappers and chiefs, activists and priests, telling a sweeping story about money and dependency, loss and culture, with stunning visual detail by one of the greatest comics reporters alive. Available in store and online.