The Dene have lived in the vast Mackenzie River Valley since time immemorial, by their account. To the Dene, the land owns them, not the other way around-it is central to their livelihood and their very way of being. But the subarctic Canadian Northwest Territories are also home to valuable natural resources, including oil, gas and diamonds. With mining came jobs and investment-but also road-building, pipelines and toxic waste, which scarred the landscape, and alcohol, drugs, and debt, which deformed a way of life. In Paying the Land, Joe Sacco travels the frozen North to reveal a people struggling with the ambiguous wages of development and the incalculable toll of a pitiless colonial lecacy. Against a vast and gorgeous landscape that dwarfs all human scale, Paying the land lends an ear to trappers and chiefs, activists and priests, telling a sweeping story about money and dependency, loss and culture, with stunning visual detail by one of the greatest comic’s reporters alive.