The emergence of the knowledge-based economy has challenged non-metropolitan regions that have traditionally engaged in the extraction and export of natural resources. These regions require government policies that will enable them to participate in an economy that now favours human capital over resource endowments. Appurtenancy is one such policy. Originally used in the management of water and forest resources, appurtenancy provided the conditions for regional sustainability by formalizing a relationship between a community and its adjacent resources.
This thesis presents the characteristics of appurtenancy and applies them to new northern universities in British Columbia and Manitoba. The data from these case studies provide evidence of how the universities have a strong relationship with their regions and embody a new social contract involving these regions and the state. At its foundation, knowledge appurtenancy is based on regional responsibility and providing the capacity for sustainability in a knowledge-based economy.