Saskatchewan’s Power: Technology, health, and democracy during the Energy Crisis, 1971-1982

Justin Fisher

Award: 2023 Doctoral Research

The 1970s energy crisis launched a decade of debate over the impacts of new energy developments in Saskatchewan. Home to an abundance of diverse energy resources including fossil fuels, uranium, hydro, and exceptional renewable energy potential, the province was well-positioned to take advantage of surging global demand for new and accessible energy sources. However, people across Saskatchewan also began to question the health effects of new energy technologies, particularly impacts on human bodies and the environment. Indeed, proposed developments made clear for people in the province the linkages between human and environmental health. This was especially true when it came to uranium development in the north of the province, where Indigenous communities appeared positioned to bear the brunt of those impacts. Social movements and researchers responded by pushing for a technological alternative centered on energy conservation and renewable energy that was seen as supportive of healthy bodies and environments.