Inuit Circumpolar executive members meet in Canada: Launch Inuit summits on wildlife, education, & economy Duane Smith thanked for 17 years of service to ICC

Press release from the Inuit Circumpolar Council

January 28, 2016 – 7:39pm – By The Arctic Journal

Ottawa – 28 January 2016 – The executive council of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) met here this week to review initiatives that the organization is expected to deliver on by its next quadrennial General Assembly in 2018.

Also at the meeting, ICC Vice Chair for Canada, Duane Smith, announced his resignation after serving ICC for over 17 years. Mr. Smith was elected earlier this week to replace Nellie Cournoyea as the Chair and CEO of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC). He will also be stepping down as ICC Canada president.

Stop romanticizing Arctic development, say indigenous leaders

By Eilís Quinn, Arctic Newswire

TROMSO, Norway — Indigenous communities around the North are struggling economically and want development more than ever, as long as it’s done on their terms and with their full partnership.

That was the message sent by a host of Arctic indigenous leaders from the worlds of politics and business when they addressed the opening policy session of the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromso, Norway on Monday.

Aili Keskitalo, president of the Sami Parliament of Norway, the body that represents indigenous reindeer herders, said it’s hard to overstate the challenges climate change is putting on northern communities, which includes external business and political pressures competing for land and resources.

Coordinating U.S. Actions to Address Arctic Challenges: The Arctic Executive Steering Committee’s First Year

By Dr. John P. Holdren and Mark Brzezinski (Huffington Post)

About half of the State of Alaska — an area larger than Texas — lies in the Arctic. This makes the United States an “Arctic Nation”, one of only eight with territory in the region. The others are Russia, Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland.

The Arctic Ocean and closely connected shelf seas cover about 8 million square miles, and the adjacent Arctic lands total about five million square miles. Across this vast land area live only 4 million people, half of them in the Russian Arctic. The Alaskan Arctic is home to only about 140,000 people, at a population density of half a person per square mile (compared to 106 people per square mile in the Lower 48).

US strategy for Arctic includes Alaska’s Aleutians and Bering Sea

By Yereth Rosen, Arctic Newswire

The rain-drenched Aleutian Islands, which curve from Alaska’s mainland to Asia, lie about 800 to 1,000 miles south of the Arctic Circle. So why do the U.S. government’s Arctic plans include enhanced shipping safety in the Aleutians and the similarly subarctic Bering Sea?

There is a legal explanation. The 1,200-mile Aleutian chain, the Bering and other subarctic areas are considered part of the Arctic for the purposes of federal policy.

Minister of State Sam Tan to make official visit to Norway

Channel NewAsia

SINGAPORE: Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Manpower, Mr Sam Tan, will visit Norway from Sunday (Jan 24) to Thursday.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Saturday, Mr Tan will be attending the 10th Arctic Frontiers Conference held in Tromso from Sunday to Monday.

This will be the second time Singapore is attending the “annual international event organised by Norwegian think-tanks and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the discussion of Arctic issues”, said MFA, adding that Mr Tan’s attendance is part of the Republic’s ongoing engagement of the Arctic since becoming an Arctic Council observer in 2013.

Fairbanks SAO Meeting 15-17 March 2016

The second SAO Meeting of the second U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council will be held in Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S.A. 15-17 March 2016.

Read more.

Inuit Circumpolar Council strikes commission on High Arctic polynya’s future

CBC News

The Inuit Circumpolar Council has struck a special commission to consult Inuit on how to save the North Water Polynya — the world’s largest body of open water in the High Arctic.

Polynya are areas of year-round open water surrounded by sea ice. The North Water Polynya — traditionally known as Pikialasorsuaq — between Ellesmere Island and Greenland is approximately 85,000 square kilometres in size and is a critical habitat for many species Inuit depend on, such as narwhal and beluga.

The Pikialaorsuaq Commission will consist of Okalik Eegeesiak, the international chairperson of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, as well as former Nunavut premier Eva Aariak and former Greenland premier Kuupik Kleist.

Airing their concerns

Arctic Journal

Three European Union member states have Arctic territory (Denmark via Greenland). Seven more have seats on the Arctic Council as observers. The EU itself has one foot in the door: in 2013, its application for observer status was received “affirmatively”, thoughfull observer status has been withheld due to the continuing row over Brussels’ ban on seal products.

Europe, then, clearly has an interest in the region. So far, that interest has been in commercial or scientific terms. Its 2012 Arctic Policy, for example, lists four areas (climate change, environment, research and shipping) where the EU can play a role.

Where the Arctic meets America

Arctic Journal

American Arctic types of all stripe will converge on Seattle on Friday and Saturday for the third Arctic Encounter Symposium. Last year’s event was energised by two important topics: Washington’s preparation to assume the chairmanship of the Arctic Council and debate over Alaskan oil drilling, both onshore and off.

The 2015 meeting was also an important platform for Alaskans for making their views about the Arctic known before the American chairmanship began in April. One of their big concerns was that not all of the non-Alaskans who have begun to take an interest in the region are putting the interests of the state or its people first, not least when it comes to oil exploration.


By   (McGill University Study via Futurity)

People in the Arctic appear to have an inherent ability to adapt to climate change, perhaps because they are so used to accepting a climate that is changeable and uncertain.

“Arctic populations are often identified as being highly vulnerable people, but that’s not necessarily what the research shows,” says James Ford of of the geography department at McGill University.

Ford and colleagues reviewed 135 scholarly works about climate change adaptation, resilience, and vulnerability in Arctic societies around the globe.