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News Release

Inuit Circumpolar Council

The Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) has received the joint statement of the Senior Arctic Officials of Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the United States calling for a temporary pausing of participation at all meetings of the Arctic Council and its subsidiary bodies.

The Inuit Circumpolar Council has also received a message from the Russian Chair of the Arctic Council agreeing to the request of the other countries. Russia holds the chair until May 2023.

A founding member of the Arctic Council, the Inuit Circumpolar Council is one of six Indigenous Peoples organizations with Permanent Participant status. Inuit in Chukotka, Russia, are members of the Inuit Circumpolar Council and two other Permanent Participants have Russian membership as well — the Aleut International Association and the Saami Council. The Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) is also a Permanent Participant.

The Inuit Circumpolar Council emerged from the Cold War as a unifying voice for Inuit across our collective homeland of Inuit Nunaat. We worked hard to ensure that our sisters and brothers from Chukotka were able to join us in 1992.

We are concerned about the future of the Arctic Council which is based on peaceful cooperation and mutual respect.

Inuit are committed to the Arctic remaining a zone of peace, a phrase coined by former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev in a 1987 speech in Murmansk. The Inuit Circumpolar Council has repeatedly echoed this message in all of its guiding documents, most recently in the Utqiaġvik Declaration of 2018 in which it was mandated to lay the groundwork to declare the Arctic as a peaceful Zone.

The Inuit Circumpolar Council is monitoring the situation closely and agrees with the SAOs that this temporary pause will allow time to consider “the necessary modalities that can allow us to continue the Council’s important work in view of the current circumstances. ”The Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) has received the joint statement of the Senior Arctic Officials of Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the United States calling for a temporary pausing of participation at all meetings of the Arctic Council and its subsidiary bodies.

The Inuit Circumpolar Council has also received a message from the Russian Chair of the Arctic Council agreeing to the request of the other countries. Russia holds the chair until May 2023.

A founding member of the Arctic Council, the Inuit Circumpolar Council is one of six Indigenous Peoples organizations with Permanent Participant status. Inuit in Chukotka, Russia, are members of ICC and two other Permanent Participants have Russian membership as well – the Aleut International Association and the Saami Council. The Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) is also a Permanent Participant.

The Inuit Circumpolar Council emerged from the Cold War as a unifying voice for Inuit across our collective homeland of Inuit Nunaat. We worked hard to ensure that our sisters and brothers from Chukotka were able to join us in 1992.

We are concerned about the future of the Arctic Council which is based on peaceful cooperation and mutual respect.

Inuit are committed to the Arctic remaining a zone of peace, a phrase coined by former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev in a 1987 speech in Murmansk. The Inuit Circumpolar Council has repeatedly echoed this message in all of its guiding documents, most recently in the Utqiaġvik Declaration of 2018 in which it was mandated to lay the groundwork to declare the Arctic as a peaceful Zone.

The Inuit Circumpolar Council is monitoring the situation closely and agrees with the SAOs that this temporary pause will allow time to consider “the necessary modalities that can allow us to continue the Council’s important work in view of the current circumstances.”

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