Blog: Inuit Circumpolar Council General Assembly kicks off in Arctic Canada

Environment Minister and Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq is Canada's minister for the Arctic Council. (The Canadian Press)
Environment Minister and Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq is Canada’s minister for the Arctic Council. (The Canadian Press)
Just a quick note to remind everyone that the the Inuit Circumpolar Council general assembly is now underway in the Arctic Canadian city of Inuvik.

The general assembly is held every four years with participants from all of ICC’s regional offices: ICC-Greenland, ICC-Canada and ICC-Alaska and ICC-Chukotka (Russia).

Canada’s environment minister and minister for the Arctic Council Leona Leona Aglukkaq gave the keynote address stressing everything from Canada’s Arctic Council priorities to the role Inuit have to play in determining the environmental and development future of their traditional lands.

She also look a swipe at environmental groups and the negative effects their campaigns have had on indigenous Arctic communities.  She singled out Greenpeace and its role in advocating for the end to the seal hunt.

Aglukkaq called it “A perfect illustration of why it is so important for Inuit to stand up for their way of life.”

“Other people who are not our friends will try to use Inuit as weapons in their own battles,” she said.  “We have to think bigger than that, we have to ask what are the battles that are important to us.”

The meeting runs until July 24th.

For those wanted to keep up with the ICC general assembly, it’s being livestreamed HERE

You can also keep track on Twitter with #iccga2014

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada’s Arctic Council leadership gets mixed reviews, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Ex-President Ahtisaari calls on Finland to join NATO with Sweden, Yle News

Greenland:  Greenland urged to work with Arctic Council, CBC News

Iceland:  Many questions, but few answers as Arctic conference gets underway in Iceland, Alaska Dispatch

Norway:   Permanent Arctic Council Secretariat opens in Tromso, strengthening Norway’s position in Arctic, Blog by Mia Bennett

Sweden: Feature Interview: Sweden wraps up Arctic Council, Radio Sweden

Russia:  Blog – Russia puts countries on edge in the Arctic, Cryopolitics

United States: U.S. participation in Arctic Council lacks coordination, follow-through: report, Alaska Dispatch

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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