Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Around the Arctic March 16, 2017 - 1:10 pm

International Inuit org to put focus on Inuit business development

"We will explore the potential for creating an international Inuit business organization"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
In 2011, the Inuit Circumpolar Council leaders speak at a signing ceremony for “A Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Resource Development Principles in Inuit Nunaat.
In 2011, the Inuit Circumpolar Council leaders speak at a signing ceremony for “A Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Resource Development Principles in Inuit Nunaat." From Left to right: Carl Christian Olsen(Greenland), Aqqaluk Lynge, chair, Duane Smith (Canada) and Jim Stotts (Alaska). (FILE PHOTO)

Economic development in the Arctic: that’s what the Inuit Circumpolar Council plans to look at later this month with Inuit businesss organizations from Russia to Greenland.

The ICC, which represents roughly 160,000 Inuit from Chukotka to Greenland, will host a Circumpolar Inuit Economic Summit in Anchorage, Alaska from March 28 to March 30, on the theme “Setting the Agenda for Our Future.”

“We are meeting to explore potential co-operation and share experiences. We will explore the potential for creating an international Inuit business organization to promote collaborations across our respective national borders,” Jimmy Stotts, president of ICC Alaska, said in a recent ICC news release.

The ICC has hosted similar meetings before. In 1983, ICC hosted a conference in Anchorage on trade and travel, and in 2011, the ICC met in Ottawa to create a document called “Inuit Principles for Resource Development in Inuit Nunaat.”

”There have been numerous conferences within ICC’s four countries over the years on Inuit business and economic development,” said Hjalmar Dahl, president of the ICC Greenland, adding that it’s essential to focus on economic development in the Arctic.

“There is a huge focus on the Arctic mainly on the climate issues, but it is important also to focus on the human aspect of it including economic development. How can we work together and reach common interests?”

At the ICC assembly held in Inuvik in 2014, Inuit from the four countries agreed to the Kitigaaryuit Declaration which called for three ICC-organized summits which would address pressing needs in Inuit regions.

In the fall of 2017 the ICC will meet in Canada for the wildlife management summit to discuss “the importance of our hunting culture to our food security and our future,” said Okalik Eegeesiak, who chairs the ICC.

The education summit will take place in Greenland in 2018.

For further information on this month’s economic summit, go here.

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