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News Release

Inuit Circumpolar Council-Alaska 

Over the course of three months this fall Inuit Circumpolar Council held a series of online workshops to aid in the development of the Inuit Circumpolar International protocols for the Equitable and Ethical Engagement (EEE) of Inuit communities and Indigenous Knowledge. Around 35 nominated Inuit Delegates from across Inuit Nunaat took part in the workshop series.

During the final day of the workshop series, held November 18, 2021, Inuit Circumpolar Council Chair, Dr. Dalee Sambo Dorough shared in her closing remarks, “For decades, in the name of science, actions have been taken to ultimately disrespect or exploit Indigenous knowledge or take it out of context for other purposes. Indigenous knowledge, and Indigenous knowledge holders must be recognized and respected by all others. Moving forward, this work will help us to make clear to all others that it is necessary to respect and recognize the important standards necessary to secure the ethical, equitable, fair, and just use of our knowledge. This work is about our rights of ownership, possession, control, development, and protection of our knowledge.”

The protocols will be a crucial tool in advancing Inuit sovereignty, directions, and priorities at national levels and within institutions and international fora, such as the Arctic Council and United Nations.

The development of the protocols is further informed by a synthesis report developed by Inuit Circumpolar Council. The report brings together information and documents on Inuit-produced rules, laws, values, guidelines, protocols, and principles that provide guidance on how others should engage with our communities and our knowledge. 

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“Numerous United Nations initiatives and intergovernmental dialogues can benefit from our knowledge,” said Dalee Sambo Dorough. “From October 27th – November 10th I was head of our delegation at COP26. It is clear that State party members to the Climate Change convention and many others need to raise their capacity to understand and respect the safeguards that we develop in order for us to reveal and share our knowledge, on our own terms and based upon our own values. In this way our work is beneficial to Inuit and all others who seek to engage in production of knowledge about Inuit and Inuit Nunaat.”

A draft final document is expected to be circulated to all Inuit Circumpolar Council member organizations in early 2022 for a one-month review process. The final draft is scheduled to be submitted to the Inuit Circumpolar Council Executive Council by the spring of 2022 for approval and released to the public prior to the 14th Inuit Circumpolar Council General Assembly. The primary intention of the protocols is to aid in international work. Additionally, the protocols will be useful to all those interested in working within Inuit Nunaat, working through meaningful partnership with us, will aid to foster equitable and ethical engagement of our communities and knowledge, and will further support Inuit sovereignty.

About Inuit Circumpolar Council

The Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) is an Indigenous Peoples’ Organization (IPO), founded in 1977 to promote and celebrate the unity of 180,000 Inuit from Alaska (USA), Canada, Greenland, and Chukotka (Russia). Inuit Circumpolar Council works to promote Inuit rights, safeguard the Arctic environment, and protect and promote the Inuit way of life. In regard to climate change, we believe that it is crucial for world leaders and governments to recognize, respect and fully implement the human rights of Inuit and all other Indigenous peoples across the globe.

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