Arctic Circumpolar Governance

Indigenous Groups

The following organisations are all Permanent Participants in the Arctic Council:

Aleut International Association
The Aleut International Association (AIA) was formed to address environmental and cultural concerns of the extended Aleut family whose wellbeing has been connected to the rich resources of the Bering Sea. AIA is actively pursuing collaboration with governments, scientists, and other organizations in developing programs and policies that could improve the wellbeing of the Aleut people and their environment.

Arctic Athabaskan Council
The Arctic Athabaskan Council (AAC) is an international treaty organization established to represent the interests of United States and Canadian Athabaskan Member First Nation Governments in Arctic Council and to foster a greater understanding of the common heritage of all Athabaskan peoples of Arctic North America.

Gwich'in Council International
The Gwich'in Council International (GCI) was established as a non-profit organization in 1999 by the Gwich'in Tribal Council in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada, to ensure all regions of the Gwich'in Nation in the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Alaska are represented at the Arctic Council, as well as to play an active and significant role in the development of policies that relate to the Circumpolar Arctic. In total, the Gwich'in Council International founding members represent approximately 9,000 indigenous peoples of Gwich'in descent.

Inuit Circumpolar Council
The Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) represents Inuit in Greenland/ Denmark, Canada, Alaska/USA and Chukotka/Russia. Founded in 1977 by the late Eben Hopson of Barrow, Alaska, the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) has flourished and grown into a major international non-government organisation representing approximately 150,000 Inuit of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Chukotka (Russia).

Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North
The Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON)  is a  public organisation, that has as its goal the protection of human rights, defence of the legal interests of indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East, and assistance in solving environmental, social and economic problems as well as problems of cultural development and education.

RAIPON works to guarantee the right on protection of native homelands and traditional way of life as well as the right to self governance according to the national and international legal standards. It unites 41 indigenous groups whose total population is around 250,000 people. These people are represented by 34 regional and ethnic organisations that have the authority to represent these groups both in Russia and in the international community. The Congress of Indigenous Peoples of the Russia's North, Siberia and Far East, which is held every four years.

Sami Council
The Sami Council (SC) is a voluntary Sami organization with Sami member organizations in Finland, Russia, Norway and Sweden. Since its foundation in 1956 the Sami Council has actively dealt with Sami policy tasks. For this reason the Sami Council is one of the indigenous peoples' organizations which have existed longest.

The primary aim of the Sami Council is the promotion of Sami rights and interests in the four countries where the Sami are living, to consolidate the feeling of affinity among the Sami people, to attain recognition for the Sami as a nation and to maintain the economic, social and cultural rights of the Sami in the legislation of the four states, (Norway, Sweden, Russia and Finland).

Use the websites of the Permanent Participants in the Arctic Council to research their main areas of interest and concern. Draw up a table.

Which areas of interest and concern are common across the organisations?

Check your ideas against the Calls for Action made by the Indigenous Peoples' Global Summit, although it must be remembered that the representatives were not just from the Arctic.

The Anchorage Declaration (Word document)


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