Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

February 1993


Published in Great Plains Research 3:1 (February 1993), pp. 128-129. Copyright © 1993 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Used by permission.


The Canadian Plains Research Center has published eighteen papers which were presented at the November 1991 conference. The conference sought to identify common interests and strategies for two of Canada's peripheral regions and their seven provinces in the country's ongoing constitutional reform process. These provinces, the Atlantic region of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick, and the prairie provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, share a long history of grievances over perceived domination of national policymaking by the populous central provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

Most of the book's essays are supplied by academics who write about their own region and direct little attention to the other. Many papers resemble a literature review, with extensive and useful references to existing work on their subject. The format does have its shortcomings. There is much repetition as the same territory is explored again and again. Contributors are identified only by their place of employment. We learn nothing about their backgrounds, academic disciplines, or fields of specialization. The editors present no essay to summarize the perspectives and arguments of the conference participants.