International Small Islands Studies Association


At a recent public symposium sponsored by University of Prince Edward Island's Institute of Island Studies, in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, speakers explored the current population landscape. Geographer and professor of Island Studies Dr. Jim Randall laid out the demographic challenges facing our island: an aging population, a declining birth rate, a shrinking workforce, chronic out-migration, rural decline.

Cultural geographer Katie Mazer profiled the new face of out-migration, inter-provincial workers (that is, Islanders who live here but work Out West) and the regulatory system that encourages that trend.


Finally, Tony Wallbank prefaced the imminent arrival of Ontario Amish families who are moving to the Island...

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Seeing Island Red

Laurie Brinklow

In September 2015 I had an e-mail from an artist based in Ontario, Canada, who was looking for help in finding soil for an interdisciplinary art project documenting earth colours from across Canada. He was looking for “soils and rocks that leave a good stain or streak,” which he could use as an artist pigment.

We here at the Institute of Island Studies get lots of queries about our Island – our history, geography, our economy, our culture, our islandness. We hear from scholars wishing to visit or become Research Associates, and from students who want to come study for a few weeks or a semester. We have people looking for reports or books or information about PEI and our comparative studies with other islands. It’s fun to open my e-mail each morning to see what’s waiting.

But I must admit: I’ve never received a request for information about dirt. I was intrigued.

Prince Edward Island is well-known for its red soil. Except...

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