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James J McCarthy - Leadership Seminar for Arctic Indigenous Youth Leaders

In January 25-29, 2021, International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry and the Arctic Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government conducted a training seminar for talented and emerging Arctic indigenous leaders, in memory of Professor James J McCarthy and his strong dedication to the Arctic.

28 young indigenous peoples from around the circumpolar Arctic have worked together in the last week of January 2021, learned together and innovated together to come up with solutions to challenges facing their communities.

The seminar was built on recent progress in the fields of resilience, adaptation and leadership, with the purpose of providing competence and confidence building for Arctic indigenous youth for a more sustainable future in the Arctic and beyond.

A five day intensive virtual seminar co-taught by Indigenous leaders and science and policy experts from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.


 This five day seminar covered topics from:

  • Building Resilience During Rapid Change
  • Indigenous Knowledge and Multiple Ways of Knowing
  • Finding Opportunities Through Resilience
  • Leading Through Crisis (such as COVID-19)
  • Innovating and Leading in a Changing World


Using simulations, case studies, skills-based workshops and Lavvu dialogs students were building the competence and confidence to step into leadership in their home communities and beyond.




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Video-presentations by indigenous leaders and Arctic experts:










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