The Co-operative Movement: A Historical Overview and Relevance to Northern & Aboriginal Communities

This paper will explore the historical context of the co-operative movement, address the initial originating conditions that lead to the development of the modern co-operative to its accepted definition and discusses the philosophy and principles of the movement. The six types of co-operatives are illustrated along with a discussion on co-operative structure and their role in Canadian communities. The relevance of co-operatives to communities, in particular northern and aboriginal communities in Canada, is addressed in the final section of this paper. Case studies of three existing co-operatives (Neechi Foods Co-operative, Ikaluktutiak Co-operative, Akochikan Co-operative) provide insight to the role and importance of co-operatives in their respective communities.