Feature Interview: The need for business cooperation in the Arctic

Tromso, a city in Norway's Arctic. Are better business links, with places like this, the key to developing Canada's North? (iStock)
Tromso, a city in Norway’s Arctic. Are better business links, with places like this, the key to developing Canada’s North?
All over the circumpolar world, business and the prosperity of indigenous communities is taking centre stage.

Canada, the current chair of the Arctic Council, has pinpointed development of the Arctic and northern communities as a priority during their two-year term.

Many of these issues were discussed this week at the Arctic Business Forum in Rovaniemi, Finland.

Challenges and opportunities

Timo Rautajoki, the president and CEO of the Lapland Chamber of Commerce in Arctic Finland.
Timo Rautajoki, the president and CEO of the Lapland Chamber of Commerce in Arctic Finland.

There, speakers from all over the Arctic talked about a range of issues including shipping, indigenous issues and the environment.

“We must learn from each other,” says Timo Rautajoki, head of the Lapland Chamber of Commerce in Finland’s Arctic, one of the conference organizers. “It’s the main goal of our activity in Lapland.”

To find out more about the challenges facing Arctic communities and what Canada and the European Arctic can learn from each other, Eye on the Arctic’s Eilís Quinn spoke to Timo Rautajoki just before the conference got underway earlier this week:

Related Links: 

Can the Arctic Council do development?, Blog by Heather Exner-Pirot, Eye on the Arctic

Arctic Business Forum

Lapland Chamber of Commerce


Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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