The creation, by federal letters patent, of The University of Canada North (UCN) in March 1971, is an important event in the history of education in the Canadian North. The brain-child of Richard Rohmer, a prominent Toronto lawyer, and some fifty-seven residents of the two northern territories, the UCN initiative was intended to be a grass-roots northern institution responsive to specific northern needs. The idea was good and the motives noble. Yet, practically from its inception, UCN was beset by problems serious enough to first stunt its growth and eventually to suffocate it entirely. Those problems were rooted in philosophical and conceptual differences about the kind of institution the new university and exacerbated by financial and administrative difficulties.