Last week the 9th Arctic Council Ministerial Meeeting wrapped up in the city of Iqaluit, the territorial capital of Nunavut, Canada. This meeting marked the conclusion of Canadian Chairmanship and set the main objectives for the next two years of the USA Chairmanship. This meeting will bring together ministers of the Arctic States and high-level representatives of the indigenous Permanent Participant organizations.
The Association of World Reindeer Herders delegation (which included ICR Director Anders Oskal, WRH Chair Mikhail Pogodaev and ICR project coordinator Alena Gerasimova, WRH is an accredited Observer to the Arctic Council) was present for the meeting to deliver the final report and executive summary of the EALLIN project on reindeer herding youth.
At the meeting the ministers signed the Iqaluit declaration, which highlights the achievements of the Arctic Council during Canadian chairmanship (2013-2015) and defines the main directions of the Council for the US Chairmanship (2015-2017).
“It is with great pride that we signed the Iqaluit Declaration here in Canada’s North,” said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s Minister and Chair for the Arctic Council. “Canada has put Northerners at the forefront of the Arctic Council’s agenda, and we will continue working to ensure that the Council’s work benefits the people who live there.”
Once again, as in Kiruna in 2013, Secretary John Kerry underlined the importance of indigenous peoples’ role of shaping decisions in the Arctic Council:
“…This underlines the US commitment to collaborate closely with Arctic indigenous peoples in their Chairmanship, as they indeed do with their co-leadership of our new Arctic Council project on food”, says Anders Oskal, Executive Director of ICR and project lead of the new Arctic Council EALLU Project. “This is key as Arctic change and globalization are now taking an ever stronger hold of the circumpolar reindeer herding areas”, he concludes.