Utqiaġvik, Alaska to host 2018 Inuit Circumpolar Council assembly

Utqiaġvik, Alaska in 2005. This Arctic Alaskan city will host the 2018 Inuit Circumpolar Council General Assembly. (Al Grillo/AP/The Canadian Press)
The Arctic Alaskan city of Utqiaġvik will host the 2018 general assembly of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, the organization announced this week.

The assemblies are held every four years and bring together delegates from the world’s four Inuit regions in Russia, Canada, the United States and Greenland.

The meeting will run July 16-19.

“It is especially significant that the next assembly will be in Utqiaġvik, as this June we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the meeting convened here by Eben Hopson that led to the very establishment of ICC,” said ICC Chair Okalik Eegeesiak in a statement.

Inuit Circumpolar Council - Quick Facts
  • non-governmental organization founded in 1977
  • represents roughly 150,000 Inuit in Canada, Greenland, the United States and Russia
  • general assembly held every four years
  • promotes Inuit rights and culture
  • permanent participant representing Inuit at the Arctic Council
Circumpolar strategies
Overlapping claims to the North Pole don't mean conflict is inevitable says a Norwegian expert. (iStock)
The ICC meetings look at circumpolar strategies to tackle issues facing Inuit throughout the Arctic.

Delegates at the 2018 assembly will discuss everything from human rights, health and social issues, to strategies for tackling environmental and economic issues in Inuit regions of the Arctic.

Before then, ICC will hold two other summits this year: a wildlife management summit in Canada this fall, and an education summit in Greenland this winter.

“As Inuit, we are the people of the land in the Arctic who will continue to advance the livelihoods of our people through the unification of our innovative ideas within our circumpolar region,” Utqiaġvik mayor Harry Brower Jr. said in a statement this week.

Until last year, Utqiaġvik was known as Barrow.

The city voted to change back to its Inupiaq name on December 1, 2017.

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

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Inuit leaders want Ottawa to ‘reimagine’ relations: Obed, Radio Canada International

Finland: Indigenous rights under fire says Finnish Saami leader, YLE News

Greenland: What the EU seal ban has meant for Inuit communities in the Arctic, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Repressive policy deprived Sámi people of language, culture : Norway’s prime minister, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sami Blood: A coming-of-age tale set in Sweden’s dark past, Radio Sweden

Russia:  Russia brands Arctic indigenous organization as “foreign agent,” Barents Observer

United States:  Inuit organization plans economic development across national boundaries, Alaska Dispatch News


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."

2 thoughts on “Utqiaġvik, Alaska to host 2018 Inuit Circumpolar Council assembly

  • Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 15:33

    Please review this article for places where the diacritic is missing from the name of the town. In this article, the town is inconsistently identified as Utqiaġvik. Thank you.

    • Friday, March 9, 2018 at 11:52

      We corrected “Utqiaġvik” in the photo legend, thank you.

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