On April 14, 1982, a plebiscite on dividing the Northwest Territories into two regions was held. Fifty-three percent of the eligible voters cast ballots and fifty-six percent supported such a division. In the eastern Arctic, support for division was high,-while in the West it was mixed. The paper analyzes why these differences were evident. Utilizing a development-underdevelopment model, the results suggest that the dominant economic activity (wage vs. subsistence), government activities and the dominant cultural ethos were the determinants of how the community voted.