Arctic Indigenous Peoples: A Dialogue and Perspectives on Common Concerns for Sustainable Societies

Open seminar hosted by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network and the Centre for Arctic Policy Studies at the University of Iceland, Tuesday 15 May from 14:00-16:45 at the Nordic House.

Indigenous peoples have a particularly important status within the Arctic Council and six indigenous peoples’ associations are Permanent Participants in the Council.  These are the Aleut International Association (AIA); Arctic Athabaskan Council (AAC); Gwich’in Council International (GCI); Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC); Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON); and the Saami Council. All Arctic countries except Iceland include indigenous populations, making it particularly important for Iceland to ensure visibility and recognition of indigenous peoples’ issues during the Icelandic chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

The seminar is open to the public and conducted in English.


Opening remarks: Mr. Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Iceland.

Keynote Speakers:
Josie Okalik Eegeesiak, Chair, Inuit Circumpolar Council
Ellen Inga Turi, Vice President, Saami Council
Chief Gary Harrison, Arctic Athabaskan Council, Chair BOD Indigenous Peoples´ Secretariat
Yury Khatanzeyskiy, Vice President, Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North

Chair: Helga Ögmundardóttir, Assistant Professor, University of Iceland

Coffee and refreshments: 15:00-15:15

Roundtable discussions: 15:15 – 16:45

• Tukumminnguaq Nykjær Olsen, MA Student West Nordic Studies / Polar Law
• Liza M. Mack, Interim Executive Director, Aleut International Association
• Gunn-Britt Retter, Head of the Arctic- and Environmental Unit, Saami Council
• Níels Einarsson, Director, Stefansson Arctic Institute
• Hjalmar Dahl, President, Inuit Circumpolar Council, Greenland
• Ethel Blake, Chair and Head of Delegation, Gwich´in Council International (TBC)
• Embla Eir Oddsdóttir, Director, Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network

Chair: Jón Haukur Ingimundarson, Senior Scientist, Stefansson Arctic Institute, and Associate Professor, University of Akureyri

16:45 Reception hosted by the Ministry for Foreign Affair